Fine Gael plots big changes in bid for ‘personality’ in wake of election review

Having essentially lost the election, party determined not to repeat mistakes

 Chairman of Fine Gael parliamentary party Richard Bruton: "I think people did perceive the party as not being ‘on your side’ and that is one of the most difficult challenges if a party comes to be perceived as being sort of detached."  Photograph: Laura Hutton

Chairman of Fine Gael parliamentary party Richard Bruton: "I think people did perceive the party as not being ‘on your side’ and that is one of the most difficult challenges if a party comes to be perceived as being sort of detached." Photograph: Laura Hutton

Fine Gael was seen as detached and not on the side of the public in this year’s general election, according to the blunt finding of an internal party review that has followed months of soul-searching.

Recently-appointed chairman of the parliamentary party Richard Bruton spent weeks meeting TDs and Ministers throughout the summer to get their views. The party won 35 seats in February’s general election, 15 fewer than it did in 2016.

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