The Social Democrats significantly increased its representation in the Dáil last year when it won six seats.

With opinion polls indicating that its support has risen since the General Election, the Social Democrats co-leader Róisín Shortall outlined her plans for the party on the Your Politics podcast.

But she dismissed a potential merger with the Labour Party, following comments from Labour's education spokesman Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, who spoke about the merits of a merger, on the podcast earlier this month.

She said: "When I hear another Labour Party spokesperson talk about a merger that seems to be the only thing they talk about."

Ms Shortall also said that Labour's experience of its merger with Democratic Left in 1999 "was not a good one".

She also said that there was a "lot of discontent" in Fianna Fáil at that moment and added "with low poll ratings it is hard to see how it could be otherwise".

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