Enda Kenny set to lead Fine Gael in next election despite new poll

Support has fallen for both Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil

Enda Kenny set to lead Fine Gael in next election despite new poll

Taoiseach Enda Kenny (left) arrives in Brussels for a European Council meeting | Image: © European Union

Fine Gael Cabinet ministers believe Taoiseach Enda Kenny intends to lead the party in the next election.

A divisive week in the Dáil has seen fears mounting over a potential government dissolution as early as March, according to the Irish Independent.

Kenny has previously stated he will not lead the party into the next election, currently scheduled for 2016. However, sources allege he will seek to remain in power should the government collapse prior to this.

The prospect of the Taoiseach seeking a third term will come as a blow to Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar and Minister for Housing Simon Coveney, who have been actively seeking support ahead of a leadership campaign next summer.

Poll

Meanwhile, new opinion poll shows a fall in support for Fine Gael and Fianna Fáíl.

The Behaviour and Attitudes Poll in the Sunday Times shows gains left of centre parties. Fianna Fail remains the most popular party despite a 2% drop to 28%.

Fine Gael are down 2% to 26% Sinn Fein are up 2% to 19%, Labour up 2% to 5%.

There was no change observed for The Independent Alliance, who remain on 5%.

Gerry Adams dropped 6% in the leaders satisfaction ratings, reflecting the recent controversy surrounding the murder of Austin Stack.