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#Elections2019: Coveney expecting 'modest gains' for Fine Gael

Tánaiste Simon Coveney has said Fine Gael will see "modest gains" and that the election results this weekend instead will show support has plummeted for Sinn Fein.

Mr Coveney also advised that the coming months will see a “laser-like attention" on Brexit.

Speaking as counting continued in the local and European elections, the Fine Gael deputy leader defended his own party's results.

Fine Gael were up by 3.5% in Dublin, roughly the same in Ireland South and had achieved multiple increases beyond this in Midlands-North West.

Mr Coveney said there would be “modest gains” for his party overall for his party in the local elections. Senior party figures expect the party to slightly increase its 235-seat tally from 2014.

The election results would prove to be bad for Sinn Fein, he predicted, particularly in Cork where the opposition party looks set to lose multiple council seats from its national high tally of 159 councillors in 2014.

Sinn Fein's vote would be "down significantly," he added.

The Tánaiste also addressed the issue of the green wave and huge swell of support for the Green Party.

Outlining plans for the government's long-awaited climate action plan, he also said that you “don't need to wipe out farming to have a green agenda”.

Ireland also needed to look at its methods of protecting the climate, with 10 times as much sea as land mass, he told RTE.

Mr Coveney also warned that Brexit would occupy much of the government's work in the coming months. With a Tory leadership race looming in Britain, he warned that the country was going to have a “very challenging” Summer and Autumn with Brexit.

Furthermore, there would be “laser-like attention” and focus on Brexit in the weeks and months ahead.

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