ELECTION LATEST: Frances Fitzgerald praises Taoiseach Enda Kenny despite result

Frances Fitzgerald
Frances Fitzgerald

Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald has praised Taoiseach Enda Kenny's running of the country and refused to be drawn on whether she would run for leadership in the event of a contest.

Kenny loyalists have said it is likely the Taoiseach will step aside and be replaced by Frances Fitzgerald who will then handle coalition negotiations with Fianna Fáil.

But commenting after she was re-elected on the first count to the Dublin Mid West Constituency. Minister Ftzgerald told reporters: "The Taoiseach has done an extraordinary job for this country, he has rescued this country, we have sent the IMF and the troika away and we are now in a position that we have the resources to invest in the kind of services that the public want to see and he has done a remarkable job in relation to that."

Asked if she would be interested in running for leader herself, she answered: “I’m not saying anything else now, we will leave it at that."

Several prominent Fine Gael candidates, some seen as extremely loyal to the Taoiseach, have today admitted Mr Kenny’s days as leader of Fine Gael could be numbered after a devastating election for the party.

The party looks set to lose close to 20 seats in the General Election.