The election campaign is entering its final days and with opinion polls suggesting things are tight, parties have been dialling up their attacks on each other.

In his interview with Sean O'Rourke on RTÉ Radio 1, Leo Varadkar continued his theme of trying to cast Fianna Fáil as being behind the times when it comes to social issues.

The Fine Gael leader said his government has made the country a more modern and compassionate place and that Fianna Fáil would be less enthusiastic about social change in the future.

This follows on from his description yesterday of some in Fianna Fáil being "backwoodsmen".

It is part of the Fine Gael strategy to reach out to liberal, more urbane voters, who may have supported them in the past, but are now looking to smaller parties like the Greens or Labour whose numbers could help Fianna Fáil to form a government.

It is a risky move, particularly for the party’s rural TDs, some of whom see it as fishing in a relatively small pool for votes.

For its part, Fianna Fáil has sought to take the moral high ground. At a press conference in party HQ this morning, its finance spokesperson Michael McGrath said this was a nasty, personalised approach and a sign of desperation.

He invoked the words of Michelle Obama saying: "When they go low, we go high."

Mr Varadkar has, in turn, described comments by Micheál Martin that his TDs have a sense of entitlement and privilege as "nasty".

He said "people in Fine Gael come from all walks of life," and that the Fianna Fáil leader is "trying to inject class conflict into politics".

Sinn Féin has stayed out of the fray so far today. The party has not had any press conferences or public engagements in the morning.

But that will change at afternoon when leader Mary Lou McDonald meets reporters in Dublin Mid-West, one of the few constituencies where the party is in a position to pick up two seats.

She is sure to be asked about her participation in an RTÉ Prime Time debate tomorrow night which - as things stand - is between Micheál Martin and Leo Varadkar.

RTÉ has previously said it will give consideration to any representations made but there has been no further comment from the broadcaster.