Minister McHugh is backing Varadkar for leadership

Minister McHugh is backing Varadkar for leadership

Simon Coveney is in Clare today for a number of engagements including the Clare Fine Gael AGM, but his visit here comes as he faces an uphill battle to defeat Leo Varadkar.

Minister for Social Protection, Leo Varadkar and Minister for Housing, Simon Coveney are the clear frontrunners in the race.

Aoife Heffron, spokesperson for BoyleSports, said: "With Enda Kenny's retirement coming into effect, we have seen an influx of bets on Leo Varadkar, who was once priced at 11/10 to take over as Fine Gael leader, but now heads the betting at the short odds of 2/5". "With important issues such as the Brexit negotiations, public sector pay talks and the shape of the next Budget coming up, the quicker the leadership question is resolved, the better".

Minister Donohoe explained: "He has a rare combination of intellect and judgement that I believe make him the best person to lead Ireland as we deal with new risks, and make the most of some great opportunities".

One that says to people that if you contribute to the system, the system is there to support you.

"Believe it or not it was my proposal back in the late 90s that we should extend the vote of FG leader to members and councillors".

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However, fellow local TD Fergus O'Dowd is set to give his vote to the favourite Leo Varadkar.

MICHAEL Noonan is to step down as Minister for Finance and will not seek a seat in the next General Election nor will he seek a seat at the next cabinet table.

.

He said he did not see any major failings with Minister Varadkar and his choice was more down to Minister Coveney's attributes and work in the past. Leo Varadkar leads both men and women but gets 70% support from women and 55% from men.

Coveney officially launched his campaign yesterday, saying that he would be a strong and stable leader of the party.

As the leadership contest enters its second day more members of the parliamentary party, including a number of other senior ministers, are due to indicate who they are supporting in the contest.

Meanwhile, Minister Varadkar has received the backing of the Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton.

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