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No general election this year, Taoiseach tells FG Ministers
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has told his Fine Gael Ministers there will not be a pre-Christmas Irish general election.

Mr Varadkar made the comments at the weekly pre-Cabinet meeting of Fine Gael Ministers. No Fine Gael Minister disagreed with the Taoiseach's view at the meeting.

It follows several days of internal Fine Gael speculation about the possibility of a pre-Christmas election with many in the party believing the party's fortunes are riding high now.

Some Fine Gael TDs were keen on a snap election to capitalise on the new Brexit deal and the discomfort in Fianna Fáil over `Votegate' (where TDs voted for colleagues who were present in the Dáil chamber but who were not in their designated seats)and the uncertain outcome for Government TDs in the four by-elections to be held next month.

There was also a feeling among some in the party that the decision to hold a general election in Britain on December 12th created a possible window during which an election could be held.

Many in Fine Gael are also mindful of Enda Kenny's decision in October 2015 to delay until the spring. As one senior Fine Gael figure said: "He rued the day of not going early. We will never get as good a chance. By January, the kudos will not last."

Irish governments tend to lose mid-term bye-elections and so the government may not do well in the four bye-elections due next month caused by the election of Dail deputies to the European Parliament. Varadker (and to a lesser extent Fine Gael), have gotten a polling bounce due to the perceived success of the Government Brexit negotiating strategy, but that polling bounce is unlikely to persist long into the new year. Varadker has previously stated that his preferred polling date is next May.

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Oct 30th, 2019 at 01:59:59 PM EST

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