Varadkar accuses Sinn Féin of "strutting around Leinster House" waiting to lead the next government 5 months ago

Varadkar accuses Sinn Féin of "strutting around Leinster House" waiting to lead the next government

A recent opinion poll recorded a boost in support for Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael.

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has said he believes it is possible that the current Government "could be re-elected".

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The Tánaiste made the comments as the results of the latest Irish Times / Ipsos MRBI opinion poll were published on Wednesday.

According to the poll - the first since December - Sinn Féin is still the most popular party in the State though Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael have seen a slight boost in support.

The results showed Fianna Fáil up three points to 23% and Fine Gael up two points to 22%.

On the other hand, Sinn Féin's points fell by two, though it remains first in terms of popularity with 33%.

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Meanwhile, the Green Party's popularity dropped by two points to 3% as the positions of Labour and Independents/others remained steady at 4% and 15% respectively.

During his Newstalk show on Thursday, Pat Kenny raised the results of the poll with the Tánaiste.

In response, Varadkar said that while he would never take one opinion poll "too seriously", he added that a number of polls in the last month tell him "this is a Government that could be re-elected".

"I know opinion polls don't predict election results and I'd never take one opinion poll on its own too seriously," he explained.

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"But there are four different polling companies that do polls and all four have done a poll in the last month and in three of those four polls, Fine Gael support has gone up.

"It's higher than it was at the last general election.

"So, with an increased first preference vote, with the possibility of more transfers from Fianna Fáil than we would have got in the past and a bigger Dáil, we would then be in a position to gain seats."

Varadkar then highlighted that if you tally the combined support of the three Government parties in Irish Times / Ipsos MRBI opinion poll, it amounts to 48%.

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"In most of them, it's somewhere in the mid to high 40s, if not 50%," he added.

"What that says to me is that this is a Government that could be re-elected.

"There's a narrative out there that it's inevitable that Sinn Féin will lead the next Government.

"They're strutting around Leinster House behaving like they're just waiting to get their Ministerial Seals of Office.

"I don't think that's the case. 30% or so doesn't a Government make. You need to get to 50.

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"I think that it's possible that this Government could be re-elected."

Main image via Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie