Leo Varadkar has now officially gained the support of over half of the Fine Gael parliamentary party.
With 14 members still to declare their intentions, Mr. Varadkar has the support of 38 members, with Simon Coveney on 19.
Mr. Varadkar’s camp claim to have another three or four members secured, whose endorsements will be announced later.
Officially announcing his candidacy earlier, Minister Varadkar said the country was now at a crossroads:
But the Housing Minister says he’s not fazed by the numbers, and has ruled out ending the contest early.
Speaking to Clare FM in Ennis, Minister Coveney said such a move would be doing the party a dis-service.
Meanwhile Fine Gael TD Tony McLoughlin has declared that he will be backing Minister Leo Varadkar to be the next Fine Gael Leader.
Deputy McLoughlin spoke to Northern Sound News, he says he has a good relationship with both candidates but is backing Minister Varadkar because of his “ability and charisma” to lead the Fine Gael party going forward.