Gormley: 'No reason' why election cannot be held in March

The race towards the next election appeared to regain momentum today with Green Party leader John Gormley indicating a March poll and Fine Gael unveiling a revamped website.

The race towards the next election appeared to regain momentum today with Green Party leader John Gormley indicating a March poll and Fine Gael unveiling a revamped website.

Environment Minister Gormley said he saw no reason why a March election could not be possible, but insisted it was crucial for the passing of the Finance Bill to be completed first.

Gormley's Greens had stoked high drama last month with the declaration that the junior coalition partner wanted the country to go to the polls in January.

Speculation as to the date of the poll has been rife in the interim, with Defence Minister Tony Killeen this week saying he thought it unlikely any poll would take place before March.

Gormley today agreed this was the most likely outcome.

"It is the Taoiseach's prerogative when an election is called," Minister Gormley said.

"If the Finance Bill can be concluded by the end of February there is no reason why we can't have an election in March," he added. "That's my view."

Meanwhile Fine Gael effectively kicked off its election campaign today with the unveiling of an overhauled version of its website.

The new-look homepage features a video message from party leader Enda Kenny, and gives voters the opportunity to share their opinions on policy in a tactic similar to that used by US President Barack Obama and former British prime minister Tony Blair.

The party's TD for Cork South Central Simon Coveney said Deputy Kenny is making a real effort to become the country's next Taoiseach.

"We've put up a new 'splash page' which is asking for people's views… Enda speaks very clearly on that and you'll hear him speaking a lot on media between now and the next election."

Deputy Coveney rejected recent media reports that the party had been 'hiding' Deputy Kenny.

"Enda has been in politics for the best part of 35 years and he is certainly not going to be hiding at this stage," he said.

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