Heather Humphreys suggests 'people don't want an election' in 2018

The current deal between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil is for three budgets - the last of which comes this year

Heather Humphreys suggests 'people don't want an election' in 2018

Heather Humphreys. Photo: Sasko Lazarov/RollingNews.ie

There's no appetite for a general election this year, the Business Minister has claimed.

Heather Humphreys says the Government still has lots of work to do and hopes they will have the full year to do it.

Fine Gael's minority government is currently propped up by the party's confidence & supply agreement with Fianna Fáil, which covers three budgets - the last of which is due towards the end of this year.

The Government narrowly avoided collapse late last year amid the controversy over former Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald's handling of the Garda whistleblower scandal. 

A Fianna Fáil motion of no confidence in Mrs Fitzgerald threatened the agreement between the two parties - but a Christmas election was averted after Mrs Fitzgerald announced her decision to resign from Cabinet.

The Taoiseach, meanwhile, has recently suggested that he sees no reason why the arrangement with Fianna Fáil cannot be extended beyond the next budget, although stressed he would have to discuss the possibility with Michéal Martin.

On the subject of a potential 2018 general election, Minister Humphreys observed: "First of all, I don't have a crystal ball. Secondly, this Government has a lot of challenges ahead of it.

"I've been out and about around the Christmas period, and people are saying to me 'we don't want an election, we're glad there was no election'. I think that we need to continue on to do the work that the people elected us to do."

Reporting by Sean Defoe and Stephen McNeice