Kenny hopeful of election majority

FINE GAEL leader Enda Kenny is confident that an overall majority for his party was “not beyond a possibility” following a snap general election.

Finishing up the party’s two-day think-in in Cavan, Mr Kenny claimed a general election could bring stability to the country.

The party is targeting constituencies where gains could be made if people went to the polls, he said.

“The theme emanating from these meetings in Cavan is the Fine Gael party is determined to secure the support of the Irish people in a general election.”

The electorate no longer wanted Fianna Fáil, claimed Mr Kenny.

“We want to replace fear and uncertainty with competence and direction and confidence.”

Asked which party Fine Gael might consider entering Government with, he added: “It’s perfectly clear that the Fine Gael party is going into the next election on its own – we will go for the maximum number of seats.

“There will be no joint programme before any election. We’ll see how the people judge us on our merits.”

He added that a majority for the party was “not beyond a possibility”, noting that Fianna Fáil themselves had come within a “whisker of a majority” in a recent election and that a recent poll had put support for Fine Gael at 34%. “We still have strides to make, there are new opportunities for our party out there. We’re going into the next election on our own and we’re very confident about what we can achieve.”

The party yesterday also heard of plans to overhaul the health care system with ideas based on the Dutch model of care.

Health spokesman James Reilly held discussions on the party’s healthcare reform plan with Theo Van Uum, the director of policy in Holland’s ministry of health.

Meanwhile, Fine Gael is to drive ahead with its support for the Lisbon Treaty.

A national Lisbon campaign day on September 26 was announced yesterday, which will see party members knocking on people’s doors to drum up support for yes votes on October 2.

The party’s referendum director, Billy Timmons, explained: “Twenty-five per cent of the electorate have yet to be convinced of the merits of a Yes vote in next month’s Lisbon referendum.”


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