Leo Varadkar repeatedly refused to rule the possibility out despite a promise by the leader of the party supporting his minority government that they would not bring down the Irish government. He went on to say he feared his ruling Fine Gael party may not win an early vote if he was forced to call one. Michael Martin, leader of the opposition party Fianna Fail, has promised to support the government until the next scheduled vote in 2020.
However Mr Varadkar said he could not guarantee calling a general election in 2019, whether Brexit is settled or not.
According to the Irish Times, the Taoiseach was pressed on whether Irish voters would go to the polls next year despite the agreement.
Mr Varadkar replied: “I can’t give an absolute guarantee.
“You know, circumstances may arise.”
Mr Varadkar said he had tried to agree a date with Fianna Fall for a 2020 general election but his suggestions were rejected.
He explained: “The situation is that we’ve agreed that there won’t be an election, given the uncertainty around Brexit, and that we, as Fine Gael and independents in government, that with Fianna Fail we will try to negotiate another budget.
“There’s always the possibility that we won’t be able to negotiate that budget.
“What I sought was that we agree an election date in 2020. Fianna Fail decided not to accept that, so that was an offer that was on the table – an agreed election date in 2020.
“Fianna Fail decided not to accept that and proposed an alternative which was that we negotiate one more budget.”
Mr Varadkar added he understood there was a realistic possibility that if a budget could not be agreed he may not win the subsequent election.
He added: “People might get elected to the European Parliament for example, and that would be a vote gone.
“Sadly, politicians, on occasion, become sick and die.
“The fundamental question when you’re in government is: are you able to govern? Are you able to get your legislative programme through? Are you able to implement your policies to the benefit of the Irish people? And that’s the fundamental question.
“So as long as we can do that, we’re in government.
“And I’m very conscious that if there was an election, I mightn’t win it.”