Gilmore says he will complete term as Labour leader
Burton denies assertion she has not been fully supportive of party chief
Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore has said he intend to complete his term as leader of the Labour Party notwithstanding the result of an Irish Times opinion poll this week which put support for his party at its lowest in a quarter of a century.
Responding to questions this morning about the Irish Times/Ipsos mrbi poll which put his party’s support levels at 6 per cent, Mr Gilmore said he had a job to do and that was to lead his party in government.
“I consider that progress has been made on the employment side. The live register was heading for half a million when we came into office and is now heading in the opposition direction, going down to 400,000.
“We are making progress and are determined to continue with that job,” he said.
He said he did not accept the argument that there would be more pressure on Labour in terms of making a mark on the Budget, referring to final decisions not being made until close to October 15th.
When it was put to Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton her that her lack of support for Mr Gilmore was partly responsible for the poor showing, she said she did not accept she was not fully supportive.
“Eamon and I have had for a very long time, two decades, a very strong positive working relationship. None of that has ever changed. [Negative] briefings did not come from me - and you and other journalists know that.
“I have given Eamon Gilmore an enormous amount of support and that has been reciprocated.”
She said everybody in Labour had ownership of the poll result. She also said the high showing for Independents reflected there was still a great deal of volatility in electoral politics.
“[It shows] a third or more of the Dáil will be made up of separate Independent TDs. It’s hard to imagine a chamber where the balance of power is held by disparate Independents,” she said.