Read more: Fine Gael set up Obama-type website for upcoming election

Fine Gael says it has been “overwhelmed” by the public response to its online campaign, which asked for personal views of the electorate.

As part of the campaign, the opposition party shut down operation of its main website yesterday and replaced it with a single page inviting the public to comment on the economic crisis and the political system.

A party spokeswoman has said they received almost 1,000 online responses in the first 24 hours, many of which were visible on the party’s page.

“We weren’t quite sure what to expect, perhaps 100 or more on the first day, but we were inundated and overwhelmed,” said the spokeswoman.

The party said it only excluded profane responses and those that did not make sense. The spokeswoman said that they included comments that were critical of Fine Gael and their party leader, Enda Kenny.

Comments included calls for public sector reform; a reduction in the number of TDs and councilors; criticism of the bank bailout; and several calls for the closure of the Seanad; an early election; and social welfare cuts.

Many Fianna Fáil members criticized the campaign, with Minister for Social Protection Éamon Ó Cuív describing it as a “gimmick”.

“Fine Gael has repeatedly announced it is “ready for government” yet today begins its election campaign by removing all its policies from the public domain!” he said.

Read more: Fine Gael set up Obama-type website for upcoming election