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Micheál Martin says he will carry on as FF leader even if he fails to become Taoiseach

Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael are neck-and-neck in the polls.

Image: Leah Farrell

MICHEÁL MARTIN HAS said he will remain on leader of Fianna Fáil even if he fails to become Taoiseach after the next general election.

“I’m going to carry on as leader of the party in the aftermath of the election. But we’re going to do much better in this election than we did in the last election,” he said, adding that is not contemplating that he will not successfully be appointed Taoiseach next year.

“I think we will do much better in this election than we did in 2016,” he said. 

“I think, and one can never be certain about these things. We prepared well for 2016. I think we’re actually stronger in terms of our electoral potential, electoral performance going into the next general election than we were before 2016.”

He said it is Fianna Fáil’s objective to get into government in 2020.

The latest poll puts Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil now neck-and-neck after support for Martin’s party jumped two points.

The Sunday Times/Behaviour & Attitudes poll shows support for Fine Gael is unchanged at 27% compared to the last poll carried out on behalf of the newspaper, while Fianna Fáil’s support has risen by two points from 25% to 27%.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Martin are expected to meet in the new year to have further discussions about a legislative programme ahead of a potential general election next year. 

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The Fianna Fáil leader wrote to the Taoiseach earlier this month to request an agreement on an election date, and indicated that the “sensible and logical option” was to agree to a set of legislative priorities up until the Easter break.

The confidence and supply deal between the parties will become “untenable” if a legislative programme for the new year was not set out, Martin subsequently told reporters.

The Taoiseach has sought assurances regarding some Fianna Fáil TDs, specifically John McGuinness, who have said they will not abstain from any future motions of confidence in the government.

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