Coveney favoured over Varadkar in new leadership poll

Fine Gael voters favour Coveney over Varadkar in a head-to-head to race

Coveney favoured over Varadkar in new leadership poll

Leo Varadkar (left) and Simon Coveney (right) at the Fine Gael Think-In in 2008 | Image:

A new opinion poll shows that nearly half of Fine Gael voters would favour Simon Coveney over Leo Varadkar as Fine Gael leader in a head-to-head to race

According to today's Irish Times/MRBI poll, 49 % would choose the Housing Minister Coveney, compared to 44% for the Social Protection Minister Varadkar. 

The poll showed however, that in a contest with multiple candidates, 30% of voters want Minister Varadkar to become leader, followed by Minister Coveney on 28%. 7% of respondents said they didn't know.  

The next Fine Gael leader will be chosen by an electoral college of parliamentary party members, elected councillors and party members, so it's important to see who FG supporters back. 

Between the two candidates, the poll showed that Simon Coveney is stronger among older voters, more rural voters, farmers, men and voters in Munster and Connacht-Ulster.

Leo Varadkar’s strength is in Dublin, the rest of Leinster, urban voters, younger voters and women. 

The poll also showed that voters are ambivalent about the “new politics” and want to see much greater change in Irish politics.

Asked for their views on the new politics in place since the formation of the minority Government last year, 30% said it represented a "change for the better."