Kenny expects to hold on to three seats in Mayo

An Taoiseach Enda Kenny

An Taoiseach Enda Kenny

Speaking this week at a briefing with local newspapers in Castlebar, An Taoiseach Enda Kenny said he fully expects the four sitting Fine Gael TDs from Mayo to be re-elected to the Dáil at the next General Election.

The Taoiseach said: "I expect that John O'Mahony will take a seat in Galway West and will get massive backing from south Mayo. I expect that all three candidates here will be elected."

When asked why he thought that the public would give their backing to his Government for a second term he said: "I do think when people reflect on what they have to do, the people are the masters here, they vote for what they want. But one of the hallmarks of this Government has been stability, and stability leads to being clear in the decisions that are made, that leads to confidence for investment, and investment leads to jobs and more jobs, and more taxes and that is better for all. But it is the people's choice, you ask them do you want the progress you have seen to continue or do you want change direction and that's the choice. I think they will make a very clear decision about that, you saw in England after they said there would be a hung parliament, the people gave a clarity of decision in the end."

About the issue of going forward in an alliance with the current Government partners to the polls or going it alone, he said: "We haven't actually discussed that, I think we will have a situation where the Labour Party will produce its own programme and we will produce ours, we have obviously worked well together in government for the last number of years and that is the Government I would like to see re-elected, it's clear where we have made decisions and we moved on. That is my view and we will fight that very hard and get on with it."

Recent opinion polls has shown strong growth for independents and newer political entities, the Taoiseach was asked if he had ruled out bringing in some of these groups to form a government next time, if the numbers added up. The Taoiseach answered saying: "I have rarely gone by polls, but when people actually focus on the election and say what do we want? What am I going to do, what do you want to vote for? Do you believe that you will get everything for nothing or do you believe that we have to consolidate what we have gained here. I say the credit for all that goes to the people, give them back whatever flexibility you have in terms of USC, we will look a the low pay commission, we reversed the cut on the minimum wage four and half years ago. People will look at these things and say is Ireland in a better place than it was and if so, do I want that to continue."

As for joining up with the old enemy he quipped: "Fianna Fail have ruled out doing business with Fine Gael in all stages. The problem with the current Fianna Fáil crowd is that they don't have a clear policy on most things." When it was put to him that they would say the same about Fine Gael he responded that Fine Gael has very clear policies.

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