Political careers in play as views differ in Coveney camp

It cannot have been an easy few days for Simon Coveney, as he watched the Varadkar juggernaut build up a landslide of support in the parliamentary party.

The blitzkrieg tactics of Varadkar’s campaign – which saw 44 per cent of all available votes hoovered up by the Minister for Social Protection by the time of his campaign launch on Saturday – have effectively ended the contest to succeed Enda Kenny.

Unsurprisingly, some supporters of the Minister for Housing are pushing for him to withdraw, but Coveney has decided to fight on.

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That he should choose to do so is not a shock. Only last night he said he wanted to see the whole campaign through, stressing the need for party members to have their say on the leadership question.

At his campaign launch on Saturday morning, Varadkar implied there would be a place in his Cabinet for Coveney, but did not offer similar reassurances for others such as Simon Harris, Coveney’s most senior supporter.