TDs, senators, and MEPs have been told to begin campaigning and have been given a set of key messages to bring to the doorsteps during a lengthy presentation on election strategy.
As the Irish Examiner reports, the Fine Gael think-in was told that the party can no longer try to be “everything to everyone” and instead must focus on its core base in order to capitalise on votes in the next election.
However, members were not provided with a printed copy of the PowerPoint presentation at the gathering in Kilkenny City over concerns that it would be leaked.
Leo Varardkar’s party has also been advised to stay on brand and use a number of specific slogans when speaking to the media or to voters, including the key promises that Fine Gael will “put money back in your pocket” and will “make work pay”.
Members were also given details of focus-group polling which found that hospital waiting lists are still the top issue for voters at 84 per cent, followed by worries over the cost of living at 80 per cent. Housing also features strongly.
Politicians were also given stark figures in relation to the energy crisis during a discussion on budget priorities.
At the private meeting, members were told that dual bills which cost €326 last year, will rise to €675 by October and €900 in January if no Government intervention is taken.
It comes as Mr Varadkar indicated that households will receive multiple energy subsidies both this year and next, similar to the rebate that was paid out earlier this year.