Home Featured As Leo Varadkar departs, who in the Irish government will hold off Sinn Féin? – POLITICO
As Leo Varadkar departs, who in the Irish government will hold off Sinn Féin? – POLITICO

As Leo Varadkar departs, who in the Irish government will hold off Sinn Féin? – POLITICO

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Many grassroots members of Fianna Fáil are open to negotiating a potential coalition with Sinn Féin, rather than Fine Gael, following the next election — a position at odds with that of Martin and one of his potential successors, Jack Chambers.

Sinn Féin on top

POLITICO’s Poll of Polls for Ireland puts Sinn Féin on top nationally with 28 percent support, several points below its 2023 peak. Its base appears to be weakening among right-wing nationalists who dislike Sinn Féin’s support for immigration.

The current combination of Fine Gael (20 percent), Fianna Fáil (18 percent) and the third coalition party, the Greens (4 percent), retains a still-plausible path to attaining a post-2025 parliamentary majority. Their coalition already receives extra support from rural independent politicians, who constitute a strong force in Irish politics and broadly dislike Sinn Féin’s socialist posture.


For more polling data from across Europe visit POLITICO Poll of Polls.

A senior Fine Gael lawmaker told POLITICO that Varadkar’s resignation could prove key to reviving the party’s electoral fortunes in time for June’s double poll.

The lawmaker, speaking on the condition he wouldn’t be identified because, said: “I’ve long been a friend and supporter to Leo and don’t want to hit a good man when he’s down — but it’s been clear for a good while that his eye’s been off the ball and his heart hasn’t been in the job like before. As a party we’ve sounded out of touch. New blood at the top with more disciplined messaging is exactly what we need now.”

Fine Gael’s chairman, Alan Dillon, said Varadkar’s resignation “caught everyone off guard” but the expected the rise of Harris would allow the party to recover quickly from an event he compared to “an earthquake.”

He thinks Fine Gael’s April 6 annual party conference at the university in Galway on Ireland’s west coast will provide an ideal platform for the new leader to win back voters.

“I’m confident that this government can be re-elected whenever the next election is called and Fine Gael under a new leadership can gain seats and lead the government in a historic fourth term,” Dillon said, referring to the party’s position running governments since 2011, its longest uninterrupted time in power. “That’s achievable. A new leader will bring new energy.”

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