Richard Bruton this evening made an eleventh hour appeal to Enda Kenny not to go ahead with tomorrow's vote of confidence, and instead to step down as Fine Gael leader.
Deputy Bruton was given a major boost today as Laois Offaly TD Charlie Flanagan, and the man appointed as acting finance spokesman - Kieran O'Donnell - declared their backing for his bid to oust Deputy Kenny as party head.
This evening Clare TD Pat Breen and Donegal's Joe McHugh have also entered the Bruton camp.
Deputy Bruton told reporters that the people can only have faith in his party under a new leader.
"My message to Enda Kenny is that I would prefer if this vote didn't go ahead," he said.
"I believe that the momentum is behind a change."
However speaking later, Deputy Kenny was confident in his assertions that he would win the day.
“I look forward to winning the vote tomorrow and leading the party into another successful election as I have done on three previous occasions,” Mr Kenny said.
“I have been extremely encouraged, not only from the support I have received within the parliamentary party, but from members and supporters all over the country.
“This volume of support will ensure that I will carry the motion tomorrow and lead Fine Gael into the next election and, after, to the Taoiseach’s office.”
The two sides of the parliamentary party will go head-to-head tomorrow at 11am when the 51 TDs, 15 Senators and four MEPs vote on whether to keep Mr Kenny at the helm.