Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has claimed he is not planning for an election this year and wants to continue the confidence and supply deal with Fianna Fáil when it runs out in October — despite admitting the issue is not “entirely in my control”.
Mr Varadkar made the comment after the latest national opinion poll showed he has the highest personal support of a taoiseach in a decade, saying he was previously told by Enda Kenny “never take out the revolver or the champagne” on the basis of what the polls say.
In recent months, speculation has continued to mount that an autumn general election may take place, in part because of the current strength of Fine Gael in the polls and recent Fianna Fáil warnings the Government must resolve the health and housing crises before a new deal can be struck.
However, asked by reporters if an election may be called later this year due to the issues, Mr Varadkar insisted he is unaware of any plans.
“The former taoiseach, Enda Kenny, gave me a number of bits of advice,” said Mr Varadkar. “He said to me: ‘I’d be very wary of opinion polls — whatever happens, never take out the revolver or the champagne as a result of an opinion poll.’
“So I am very conscious that opinion polls go up and down and it wouldn’t be my instinct or policy to seek a general election for opportunistic reasons, just because the polls are going good.
“I am not planning one [a general election], but it’s not something that is entirely under my control.”