We Don’t Want to Be Portugal, PM Enda Kenny Tells Irish Voters

Portugal is paying a “horrendous” price for political instability, Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny said, as he tried to arrest a slide in his coalition’s popularity before an election.

Portugal benchmark 10-year bond yield surged after October’s election produced an inconclusive result, leading to weeks of wrangling before a Socialist led-government took power. Prime Minister Antonio Costa aims to remove some measures introduced during the bailout that ended in 2014.

The Irish economy recovery “should not be taken for granted,” Kenny told reporters in Dublin on Sunday. The current coalition grouping is “clear and stable.”

Kenny and his coalition partners in the Labour Party are pitching the campaign as a battle between stability and chaos, represented by the previous administration led by Fianna Fail and anti-austerity parties such as Sinn Fein. Yet, Ireland too may be headed for a bout of instability following the Feb. 26 election.

Combined support for Kenny’s Fine Gael-Labour alliance stands at 36 percent, the Sunday Business Post said, citing a Red C poll. To win a second term, the coalition needs about 44 percent, according to Philip O’Sullivan, an economist at Investec Plc in Dublin. The two parties drew 55 percent in the 2011 election.

Kenny said he’s not contemplating any circumstances where he’ll share power with Fianna Fail, which drew 18 percent backing in the Sunday Business Post poll.

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