Taoiseach says party would support Fianna Fáil led Government under confidence and supply agreement

Taoiseach says party would support Fianna Fáil led Government under confidence and supply agreement

The Taoiseach has conceded that his party would be willing to support a Fianna Fáil-led Government under a new confidence and supply agreement.

Leo Varadkar has also said he wouldn't rule out a grand coalition with Micheál Martin's party and others after the next General Election.

However, Mr Varadkar has made it clear that Fine Gael would only consider flipping the current deal which has kept the Government in place, if Fianna Fáil comes back as the largest party.

"We certainly would not entertain a situation whereby we were the largest party in the Dáil and we are then somehow asked to facilitate the second, third and fourth largest parties forming a Government," he said.

On the subject of a grand-coalition which had been raised after the 2016 elections, Mr Varadkar said: "I'm certainly not ruling as any future arrangement with Fianna Fáil, either a Confidence and Supply or a coalition."

At the end of Fine Gael's two-day think-in in Ballycotton, Co Cork, Mr Varadkar said he still expects that his party will return to power after the next General Election.

"When it comes in May 2020 we will be the largest party and as the largest party, we will do what the largest party always does is seek to form of government, ideally a coalition government, with a majority because while Confidence and Supply has worked reasonably well for just over three years now, I think majority government would be better for the country and that's what I want us to be in a position to do," he said.

Appearing on RTÉ's Morning Ireland programme this morning, Mr Varadkar also said that “if the shoe was on the other foot” and Fianna Fáil had the majority after the next general election then Fine Gael would have to consider a Confidence and Supply Agreement.

But Fine Gael’s policies would have to form part of any such agreement.

It comes after Mr Varadkar told party members at the pre-Dáil gathering that he is now "concerned" that when the next General Election comes, the Green Party could be the "Trojan Horse that lets Fianna Fáil back in with Micheál Martin as Taoiseach".

"They’ve done it before. We don’t want to go back to that," he told a private meeting

The Taoiseach expressed confidence that Fine Gael can make gains in a large number of constituencies including Cork East and Cork North West.

"There are up to 12 potential gains, but they're also potential losses as well."

He was joined at the press conference by Tánaiste Simon Coveney who claimed that both he and senator Jerry Buttimer could win seats next time around in Cork South Central.

Mr Coveney said: "There are multiple constituencies in different parts of the country, Tipperary is a good for example, we don't have a TD in Tipperary at the moment and that is something totally unacceptable because it's, it's the kind of constituency where we have a lot of support. So there are lots of constituencies where we will have very proactive campaigns to make games."

More on this topic

Justice Minister admits voting for colleague in Dáil; Chambers apologises for 'genuine error'Justice Minister admits voting for colleague in Dáil; Chambers apologises for 'genuine error'

Fianna Fáil TDs accused of ‘premeditated assault’ on democratic processFianna Fáil TDs accused of ‘premeditated assault’ on democratic process

Martin suspends frontbench duo - Kettle is calling the pot blackMartin suspends frontbench duo - Kettle is calling the pot black

Timmy Dooley and Niall Collins step down from FF front bench over voting controversyTimmy Dooley and Niall Collins step down from FF front bench over voting controversy


More in this Section

Kodie's death should spur nations to do more on fishing safety, lawyer saysKodie's death should spur nations to do more on fishing safety, lawyer says

Cork town moves to end private operation of pay parking enforcement  Cork town moves to end private operation of pay parking enforcement

Garda-PSNI relationship 'could be undermined' without Brexit agreementGarda-PSNI relationship 'could be undermined' without Brexit agreement

Cork has gone from leader to laggard in delivery of biking infrastructure, cyclists sayCork has gone from leader to laggard in delivery of biking infrastructure, cyclists say


Lifestyle

A scientific study has found that the teatime treat is just as effective as shop-bought energy gels.You might want to swap your energy gels for mashed potato on your next run

We catch up with Bushmills’ master distiller, who tells Sam Wylie-Harris more about this liquid gold.Irish whiskey masterclass: 11 things you need to know

Temples, beaches, and several nations with new names.From Bhutan to Costa Rica, Lonely Planet reveals its top countries to visit in 2020

Columnist and trained counsellor Fiona Caine offers guidance to a woman who’s unsure how to manage her mother’s dying wishes.Ask a counsellor: ‘Is it appropriate to notify my mother’s friends of her death by email?’

More From The Irish Examiner