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Alan Kelly denies leaking internal Labour polling

Kelly has brushed off accusations that he leaked the results of internal party polls.

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DEPUTY LABOUR LEADER Alan Kelly has denied leaking internal polling that suggested the party could lose up to 20 seats in the next general election.

A report in yesterday’s Sunday Times claimed that party sources have accused the environment minister of leaking the information to damage potential leadership rivals.

Kelly has denied the allegation, however, saying this morning that he had no prior knowledge of the data.

“Not alone [did I not leak information], but I’m not aware of such analysis even existing,” he told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland.

“Much of the analysis put forward I wouldn’t even agree with,” he added.

“I think we have a great possibility of bringing this government back.”

Kelly also said he was “not bothered” by supposed criticism of him by Labour members who believe him to be responsible for the leak.

Presenter Keelin Shanley put it to him that the accusation “says volumes about the way [he is] regarded” in the party, something Kelly dismissed as “very unfair analysis”.

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“I might point out that when I ran for deputy leader of the party, I got over 50% support from the membership,” he said.

Reports published two weeks ago claimed that Labour strategists have warned the party could return with only 10 to 16 TDs after the next general election.

The analysis suggested that Alex White, the minister for communications, and Seán Sherlock, the minister for overseas aid, are among those expected to lose their seats.

Read: More good news for Fine Gael – a poll shows they’re on course to be the biggest party

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Catherine Healy

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