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Ivan Yates thinks the general election is less than two months away

But Enda is willing to bet otherwise.

ENDA KENNY HAS indicated the election will not be on 20 November despite a prediction from his former ministerial colleague and broadcaster Ivan Yates this morning.

This morning on Newstalk Breakfast, Yates predicted that the election would take place on 20 November and said that Fine Gael is targeting 60 seats.

The former bookmaker is considered close to senior government figures having served as a cabinet minister with Kenny in the Rainbow coalition during the mid-90s.

However, the Taoiseach told reporters this afternoon:

“You can tell Ivan Yates I’ll have a bet with him – and he will lose.”

His comments come amid increasing speculation of an early election despite the coalition’s consistent public statements that voters will not be going to the polls until early next year.

This morning, bookmaker Paddy Power slashed odds on the election taking place in November after a rush of money in the past 24 hours.

Odds were cut from 4/1 to 4/5 overnight following a string of bets. Spokesperson Féilim Mac An Iomaire said:

If money talks, and it usually does, it’s telling us that an election in 2015 is far more likely than what we initially thought.

The Taoiseach was speaking at the launch of the government’s €27 billion six-year capital investment plan at Heuston Station in Dublin today.

Many senior figures in Fine Gael and backbenchers have indicated a preference for an early election that would take place before the end of the year.

They argue that the government should go to the country straight after the Budget announcement on 13 October.

However the Taoiseach has repeatedly said publicly that the election will take place early next year and, as recently as last week, said it would be in “early 2016″.

Tánaiste Joan Burton has said it is Labour’s preference that the government go its full term and that an election is held next year.

A senior Labour source said today the election would “definitely not” happen in November and insisted February 2016 would be likely.

Additional reporting by Rónán Duffy. Originally published 2.51pm.

Read: When’s the election? Enda has just dropped a big hint

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Hugh O'Connell

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