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Leo would make a better leader of Fine Gael - poll

Nearly half of people think the Health Minister would make a better leader of Fine Gael than Enda Kenny.

Leo Varadkar and Enda Kenny Source: James Crombie/INPHO

NEARLY HALF OF people think that Leo Varadkar would be a better leader of Fine Gael than Enda Kenny.

A poll has found that 48% think the Health Minister would make a better party leader than the current incumbent with just 28% saying he would not and 24% saying they don’t know.

The Claire Byrne Live/Amárach Research poll for TheJournal.ie was carried out late last month, prior to the start of the general election.


Support for Varadkar leading Fine Gael is strongest in his native Dublin where 52% think he would be better than Kenny. Support is lowest in Kenny’s native Connacht and Ulster where 43% think Varadkar would be better.

Varadkar has frequently been tipped to succeed Kenny as Fine Gael leader when the Taoiseach eventually steps down.

Other contenders include ministers Frances Fitzgerald and Simon Coveney. Kenny has said that he intends to serve one more term as Taoiseach if re-elected next week.

However, with Fine Gael slipping in the polls in recent weeks, the leadership question could arise much sooner if the party has a poor general election result.

Enda Kenny with Sonia O'Sullivan and Leo Varadkar Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Should Kenny fail to lead Fine Gael back into government his leadership of the party is likely to come into serious question.

Varadkar has remained coy on his leadership ambitions, repeatedly insisting that it is not something he is considering at this moment in time.

Speaking to TheJournal.ie last year, the Dublin West TD said he would not consider the question for another four or five years and only “if I’m still around”:

Source: TheJournal.ie/YouTube

Last year, a poll of Fine Gael supporters showed 49 per cent favoured him as the party’s next leader, well ahead of any of the other contenders.

Meanwhile, a separate Claire Byrne Live/Amárach Research poll, carried out earlier this month, found people largely split on whether Frances Fitzgerald would make a better leader of Fine Gael than Kenny.

While 32% said that she would, 35% said she would not, while 33% said they don’t know. In Dublin, where Fitzgerald is a TD, 34% of people favoured the minister over Kenny.

However, in the Taoiseach’s native Connacht and Ulster, 44% said that Fitzgerald would not make a better Fine Gael leader than Kenny.

Read: Fine Gael’s next leader, from most to least likely

WATCH: O’Callaghan vs. Rock: Which one of these two can we trust?

About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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