The Fianna Fáil leader has said his party will be in a strong position to lead the next government.

Speaking in Youghal in Co Cork on the penultimate day of campaigning, Micheál Martin said he believed there would be a "critical mass" of other parties to form a government with Fianna Fáil after the election.

Mr Martin said the change that the electorate clearly wants in government should be "achievable and realistic".

Meanwhile, asked on the campaign trail in Carlow if there was anything he could or should have done differently in the past few weeks, Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar said he believed it had been a good campaign and that he had done "pretty well" in the debates.

"I think it's been a good campaign, I think we've a really good manifesto described by independent experts as being the most detailed, I think I've done pretty well in the debates, or at least that's the feedback that I'm getting.

"I know our frontbenchers and teams have done well in head to head debates, and we've good policies and records that we can stand over, you know, a strong economy, represented the country well abroad on Brexit, housing figures finally going in the right direction at long last. Lots of things I think we can be positive about, so I don't think so.

"But elections are analysed after the votes are cast and counted, not before, and we're not there yet," Mr Varadkar said.

Paschal Donohoe, who also attended the Fine Gael campaign event in Carlow, defended Leo Varadkar's performance.

"I've seen this man over the last number of years more often than I've seen my wife," he said. 

"I have seen him when his back has been against the wall on truly difficult issues for our country, about where we stand on issues that really matter for the country's future.

"While the demands have been many and while the environment has been so difficult and frequently the choices have been so challenging, I can genuinely tell anybody who's looking to weigh up what to do that the only thing that's ever motivated him has been what's the right thing for the country? It's the question he's always asked," Mr Donohoe said.

Mr Varadkar was also asked if he was concerned about the possible impact of bad weather on polling day.

He said he hopes the effects of Storm Ciara do not deter people from casting their votes on Saturday.

"The main reason why I called Saturday as the polling day was so parents didn't have to bear the cost of taking time off work or paying for extra child care on a Friday.

"But we didn't have the long term forecast, so it does seem we're going to have bad weather. Hopefully that wont depress turn out. We'll see," he said.

Additional reporting Vincent Kearney