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Tánaiste: Fine Gael are 'election-ready'

Tánaiste Simon Coveney has declared that Fine Gael are "election-ready" as ministers laid down a demand that talks with Fianna Fáil on the government support pact conclude soon.

Speaking at the Fine Gael Ard Fheis in City West, Dublin, Mr Coveney made it clear that he and the party wants negotiations with Fianna Fáil to wrap up quickly.

Fine Gael was ready to face a snap general election if it cannot get clarity from Fianna Fáil over renewing the current deal, he stressed.

“We will not stay in government without clarity in terms of the Confidence and Supply agreement.

“You cannot run a government working week to week...That’s why these negotiations are serious in terms of trying to provide stability,” he said.

Mr Coveney added that Fine Gael did not want this process to go on forever but said he is happy with how the talks are progressing to date.

However, other ministers were equally eager for a poll, if needs be.

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan said that the printing machines for posters or campaign material were “well oiled”.

The Tánaiste also did not pull back from suggesting Fine Gael were ready to face voters if a new mandate was needed.

He said: “We are a party that is election-ready we are certainly not taking for granted the successful outcome of the Confidence and Supply discussions.”