No plans for snap election, says Coveney, as Confidence and Supply is 'working well'
Tánaiste Simon Coveney ruled out an early general election as speculation mounted the Government may go to the country before Christmas rather than stage a series of potentially risky by-elections.
Polls are now required with Wexford-based Independent TD Mick Wallace and Cork-based former Fianna Fáil minister Billy Kelleher both elected to the European Parliament for Ireland South.
Some Fine Gael analysts have argued for a pre-Christmas general election rather than a series of by-elections which could prove damaging to the Government if lost.
However, the Tánaiste flatly ruled out any question of an early general election.
"That will be a call for the Taoiseach and, to be fair, a call for the Opposition leader as well, Micheál Martin," he said.
"We have a Confidence and Supply Agreement with Fianna Fáil and it is working well.
"It is providing stability in Ireland when we need it, particularly in the context of Brexit. Those decisions will be made in the autumn.
"But I can tell you the Government has no plans for an early election."
Mr Coveney said the timing of the election would be entirely a matter for Mr Varadkar.
"That is above my pay grade, I'm afraid. I looked for that job and didn't get it," he said.
"Like I said, we have no plan for a general election any time soon."