WATCH: Coveney, Varadkar release Fine Gael leadership videos

Simon Coveney speaks among shots of cities and U2

WATCH: Coveney, Varadkar release Fine Gael leadership videos

Image: YouTube/simoncoveney

The race for the next leader of Fine Gael is heating up as it enters its second day.

Simon Coveney launched his bid on Thursday, complete with campaign posters and a tagline of 'Positive Strong Leadership'.

Speaking outside Fine Gael headquarters, he said: "For me, I'm in politics to be positive, to be constructive".

He pledged "honesty" and "big ideas", saying the party now needs to "rebuild a strong society in Ireland".

He told reporters: "I want to lead a party and lead a country that can heal many of the divisions that have opened up over the last decade or so."

Leo Varadkar officially launched his campaign Friday alongside Minister Paschal Donohoe in Dublin.

He said he was 'humbled' by the support he has received in the Fine Gael leadership race so far.

Speaking to reporters, Mr Varadkar said: "I believe that I can modernise and transform Fine Gael, make it a campaigning party and a fighting force again.

"[I want] to open a conversation with people who don't support us, people who've lost faith in us, or people who've maybe never considered voting for Fine Gael."

Minister Varadkar has taken an early lead in the race over Simon Coveney - but both candidates are continuing to receive endorsements from their parliamentary colleagues.

Now the two have posted their first videos in the campaign.

In his two minute, eight second video, Mr Coveney starts by listing the Government's achievements - rebuilding the economy, creating jobs - before saying: "There is still a lot of work to do".

"We have a more splintered politics now than ever before, certainly in my lifetime.

"People need hope, they need a vision for the future, they need a political party and political personalities that are outlining a pathway towards a new and better Ireland."

Amid images of cityscapes and windfarms, Mr Coveney adds that his leadership: "Will be based on optimism, will be based on positivist and hard work, will be based on big ideas and creating a new vision for the country that can unite people rather than divide them.

"The State needs to reach out and support you - that is what this party is all about.

"Whether you vote for us or whether you don't doesn't really matter - Fine Gael needs to be a party for everybody".

In a much shorter 34 second video, Leo Varadkar is seen with Paschal Donohoe on Leo Street in Dublin city.

In the video, Mr Donohoe speaks to the camera, as Mr Varadkar stays silent: "I'm supporting Leo to be the next leader of Fine Gael and the next Taoiseach of our country.

"I'm asking for you to support Leo too, because I believe he's the most accomplished and the most capable politician of our generation.

"I've worked with Leo as he's run three major governemnt departments - I've seen his vision, I've seen his resilience, I've seen his courage.

"I know these are the qualities that we need for a new Taoiseach to lead our country forward".