Gerry Adams has admitted his Sinn Fein party would have to compromise on policy in order to take power after the next election.
But he ruled out power-sharing with Fine Gael or Fianna Fail and said he hasn’t given any thought to being taoiseach if Sinn Fein become the largest party in the Dail (Parliament), although he intends to be still its leader at the next election.
Sinn Fein’s popularity has been increasing over several months, but in the first poll of 2015 it received a mild setback when it dropped three points to have the support of 21 percent of the voters.
That gave Sinn Fein second largest popular support in the Republic, with Fine Gael, which gained two points in the Red C poll, first at 26 percent.
Some voters were turned off Sinn Fein by a storm which followed Mairia Cahill’s rape claims which were allegedly covered up by Republicans.
The next election is likely to be in spring of next year.
“We want to be a party in government,” Adams said.
He insisted talk of coalition partners was premature and, from a personal viewpoint, he couldn’t see Sinn Fein being part of any Fine Gael or Fianna Fail-led government.
Political observers reckon the only way Sinn Fein will lead a government is if independents, which did so well in the last election, can wrest a few more seats next time from the other parties in the Dail.
If in power, Adams promised to enforce a wealth tax and scrap water charges. He denied Sinn Fein that plans to introduce a third rate of tax that would run every high-earner including health consultants out of Ireland.
Adams said accusations that his party engaged in fantasy economics was a signal that the current government was on its way out.
“It is a sign of a government that is on its last legs and whether it stumbles on to full term or not, none of us knows but the government quite rightly fears the next election,” he said.