Ahern says no to government with Sinn Fein

The Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, has ruled out going into government with Sinn Fein. Speaking on the Today with Pat Kenny show he said that Fianna Fail's and Sinn Fein's incompatibility had nothing to do with Sinn Fein's past and was rooted in their differing policies. He highlighted tax as one area of incompatibility.

He said that there were many options apart from Fianna Fail and Sinn Fein and ruled out returning to the polls.

The Taoiseach appeared on the show answering a series of questions from listeners. One listener asked him if he felt the controversy surrounding his personal finances had boosted Fianna Fail's ratings in the polls, referring to the 5 per cent boost for Fianna Fail in Monday's Irish Times poll.

The Taoiseach rejected this as the reason for the boost and said the controversy had been negative “personally and emotionally and for the party”. He believed that issues they had highlighted last week, such as the €300 per week pension had boosted their ratings.

The Taoiseach was conducing a number of interviews before travelling to the West of Ireland for a day of campaigning.

Tuesday is the last day for the political parties to get their message across the airwaves. On Wednesday broadcasting organisations will not cover the election.

All the parties are holding their final election press conferences today.