Fine Gael only aiming to win 1 out of 4 by-election seats, Taoiseach says

Fine Gael only aiming to win 1 out of 4 by-election seats, Taoiseach says

Fine Gael is only aiming to win one out of the four upcoming by-election seats.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has told his party that winning by-elections is always very difficult for the party in Government and has set his sights on securing one seat.

Mr Varadkar has also indicated that he wants to hold the next General Election in May stating it would be "the right moment" to hold a ballot.

Four Dáil seats were vacated by Fianna Fáil's Billy Kelleher, Fine Gael's Frances Fitzgerald and two Independents 4 Change TDs, Mick Wallace and Clare Daly, following the European Elections in May.

Mr Varadkar told his party colleagues that the months ahead will be busy, citing Brexit, the budget and the matter of four by-elections.

"Winning by-elections is very difficult for Government parties. It has only happened three times in 35 years. But it can be done. There are four by-elections and only one of the four seats was held by Fine Gael.

"We should aim to win one and get the equivalent of something close to a Dáil quota for each of them so that our candidates will be in a strong position to take a seat when the General Election comes."

Mr Varadkar added that he would need the full support of the party to secure one by-election seat.

Fine Gael has selected Verona Murphy in Wexford, Colm Burke was named the candidate for Cork North Central on Wednesday night while candidates have yet to be chosen in Dublin Mid-West and Fingal.

Mr Burke said he had put in the work over many years and will challenge for the seat vacated by Mr Kelleher.

"I was a councillor for 12 years and I was Lord Mayor, the area I represented was the north-west ward which wouldn't have been traditionally Fine Gael so I hope people would see me for the work I have put in," Mr Burke said.

More on this topic

Taoiseach eyeing up May 2020 general election dateTaoiseach eyeing up May 2020 general election date

Government won't 'sugarcoat' effect of no-deal Brexit, Tánaiste saysGovernment won't 'sugarcoat' effect of no-deal Brexit, Tánaiste says

Fine Gael criticises Fianna Fáil demands for €4.35bn spending in six monthsFine Gael criticises Fianna Fáil demands for €4.35bn spending in six months

Fine Gael can still shed lacklustre image by tackling issues head-onFine Gael can still shed lacklustre image by tackling issues head-on


More in this Section

Man arrested in connection with Dublin drugs and gun find releasedMan arrested in connection with Dublin drugs and gun find released

Man reported stuck in mud ran off in his underpants as emergency services reached sceneMan reported stuck in mud ran off in his underpants as emergency services reached scene

Poll: Fianna Fáil sees surge in support following Taoiseach's election announcementPoll: Fianna Fáil sees surge in support following Taoiseach's election announcement

Hundreds of people attend People’s Vote rally in BelfastHundreds of people attend People’s Vote rally in Belfast


Lifestyle

We’ll probably be seeing a particular royal in some of these dresses.Video: Temperley’s new collection is your dream holiday wardrobe

It's been a while since we last heard from Damien Rice - four years since his last shows in Ireland, five since his last studio album.Damien Rice is joined by special guests for a truly special show

Your guide to what's on this week.Gardening notes: Your guide to what's on

Timeless, the Irish Antique Dealers Fair, continues this weekend at the RDS in Dublin and is open from 11am to 6pm today and tomorrow.In Brief: Your guide to what's on in antiques

More From The Irish Examiner