Latest in FG leadership race: Battle for cabinet jobs under way - and Varadkar is out to expose SF
Major jockeying for positions in Leo Varadkar's cabinet is under way amid claims the minister has over-promised his supporters.
Existing ministers who rowed in behind the Dublin TD expect to hold on to their positions while senior TDs who helped mastermind Mr Varadkar's election strategy are lining up for promotion.
The minister has always maintained he has not done any preliminary work on the make-up of his potential cabinet - although sources claim this is not credible given his massive level of support within the parliamentary party.
"It'll be the first big test of his leadership, that's for sure," said one Varadkar supporter.
Richard Bruton, who surprised many with his early backing of the Social Protection Minister, is now being tipped for the Department of Finance.
This would leave Paschal Donohoe in the Department of Public Expenditure for the duration of the public sector pay talks which got under way this week.
Frances Fitzgerald is likely to survive in Cabinet but sources say Mr Varadkar will drop her as Tánaiste, possibly in favour of Heather Humphreys.
Ms Humphreys is currently Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs Minister.
However, sources believe Mr Varadkar has plans to redesign the vast department in order to put Michael Ring in charge of Rural Affairs.
Mr Varadkar's key supporters Eoghan Murphy, John Paul Phelan and John Deasy are being tipped to move up the ranks.
Mr Murphy is likely to become jobs minister in place of Mary Mitchell O'Connor, as a question mark has been placed over her position in Cabinet.
Mr Phelan is in line to be Government chief whip, while Mr Deasy's name is being mentioned in connection with the Department of Justice.
Others with cabinet expectations include Regina Doherty, Paul Kehoe, Charlie Flanagan, Josepha Madigan and Michael D'Arcy.
"There's going to be a lot of disappointed people because there's not enough jobs to go around. If he has made promises he can't keep, that will immediately drive division in the party," a source said.
Housing Minister Simon Coveney yesterday refused to back up the private claims among some TDs and senators that his rival "bought" votes.
"I've deliberately stayed away from talking about people's careers and whether I or anybody else is in Cabinet or not," he said.
Mr Coveney said his Oireachtas colleagues had to make choices and he was "not going to comment on their motivations for that".
'Each week on the Floating Voter, INM's political team discuss the main issues affecting Irish politics, bursting the bubble that surrounds Leinster House.'
"And I'm not going to hold grudges against people," he said.
Meanwhile, Mr Varadkar has launched a scathing attack on Sinn Féin, saying it is the "greatest threat to our democracy".
He said he was concerned that Gerry Adams's party was still attracting young voters and said this was something he would look to change as Fine Gael leader.
"I look at the data and I look at the opinion polls, Sinn Féin is performing very well with voters under 35. I am very concerned about that. Part of my mission as leader, if I have that opportunity, is to take Sinn Féin on and expose it," he said.
Fine Gael parliamentary party endorsements for leader
The Fine Gael parliamentary party makes up 65pc of the total electorate.
That makes each of the 73 members' votes worth 0.9pc of the total ballot.
Of the remaining electorate, 230 party councillors account for 10pc, while the remaining 25pc is rank and file members.
|Richard Bruton -Minister||Simon Harris - Minister|
|Frances Fitzgerald - Minister||Damien English - Minister|
|Michael Ring - Minister||Dara Murphy - Minister|
|Eoghan Murphy - Minister||David Stanton - Minister|
|Sean Kyne - Minister||Marcella Corcoran Kennedy - Minister|
|Joe McHugh - Minister||Kate O'Connell - TD|
|Helen McEntee - Minister||Maria Bailey - TD|
|Charlie Flanagan - Minister||Sean Barrett TD|
|Paul Kehoe -Minister||Hildegard Naughton - TD|
|Patrick O'Donovan - Minister||Peter Fitzpatrick - TD|
|Regina Doherty - Minister||Tim Lombard - Senator|
|Mary Mitchell O'Connor - Minister||Jerry Buttimer - Senator|
|Paschal Donohoe - Minister||Paudie Coffey - Senator|
|Heather Humphreys - Minister||James Reilly - Senator|
|Pat Breen - Minister||Colm Burke - Senator|
|Catherine Byrne - Minister||John O'Mahony - Senator|
|Andrew Doyle - Minister||Paul Coghlan - Senator|
|John Paul Phelan - TD||Gabrielle McFadden - Senator|
|Noel Rock - TD||Deirdre Clune - MEP|
|Tony McLoughlin - TD|
|Alan Farrell - TD|
|Michael D'Arcy - TD|
|Tom Neville - TD|
|Josepha Madigan - TD|
|Pat Deering - TD|
|Jim Daly - TD|
|Brendan Griffin - TD|
|Ciaran Cannon - TD|
|Colm Brophy - TD|
|Peter Burke - TD|
|Fergus O'Dowd - TD|
|John Deasy - TD|
|Joe Carey - TD|
|Neale Richmond - Senator|
|Catherine Noone - Senator|
|Paddy Burke - Senator|
|Martin Conway - Senator|
|Michelle Mulherin - Senator|
|Maura Hopkins - Senator|
|Ray Butler - Senator|
|Frank Feighan - Senator|
|Maria Byrne - Senator|
|Joe O'Reilly - Senator|
|Kieran O'Donnell - Senator|
|Brian Hayes - MEP|
|Enda Kenny - Outgoing Party Leader *||Martin Heydon - Party Chairman *|
|Michael Noonan - Minister||Michael Creed - Minister|
|Bernard Durkan - TD||Sean Kelly - MEP|
|Mairead McGuinness MEP|
* Outgoing leader Enda Kenny and party chairman Martin Heydon will not make an endorsement