No canvassing strategy between FF candidates Willie O'Dea and Peter Power

FIANNA Fail's communication spokesperson Willie O'Dea said he will not be dividing up canvassing in the constituency with his running mate to help bolster votes - a strategy which has been adopted by Fine Gael locally.

FIANNA Fail's communication spokesperson Willie O'Dea said he will not be dividing up canvassing in the constituency with his running mate to help bolster votes - a strategy which has been adopted by Fine Gael locally.

Fine Gael finance spokesperson Michael Noonan recently confirmed that he and deputy Kieran O'Donnell are dividing up the constituency to further their prospects in retaining two seats for the party.

But Deputy O'Dea said this is not a strategy he would advocate or adopt.

"I could lose votes if I don't go and talk to them (the constituents], and I'm sure the same applies to Peter (Power]. I think the best way to maximise the vote is to just canvass, canvass all over town.

"Suppose I didn't go down to Thomondgate, people might say I no longer need their vote. I think two separate campaigns to cover the vote is best," he told the Limerick Leader.

Deputy O'Dea said he is facing one of his toughest ever election campaigns, in the face of a Fianna Fail backlash and the revision of the constituency, which will reduce his vote by 4,500.

He is planning to erect some 1,200 election posters over the course of the campaign, some of which have not yet been erected, and has distributed thousands upon thousands of leaflets.

In terms of the cost of the campaign, he said "the party's contribution is very small."

"We're entitled to spend a certain amount, but you're limited in what you can spend due to the number of seats in the constituency. Instead of the party helping you, the party are actually reducing the amount you can spend on yourself," he said.

The Kilteely native said he could spend up to €19,000 based on the party's criteria, but he "won't spend anywhere near that."

"People think we get money physically from the party, but we don't. At the moment the party is financially in very bad straits," he said.

He said he has not received any corporate donations, but has received a number of individual donations, which have to be declared.

He added that he has no objection to the proposal to ban corporate donations. "If people feel there's some wrong with corporate donations so be it," he said.

Peter Power, the party's spokesperson on foreign affairs and trade, had also not considered splitting the number of election canvasses in his race for the 31st Dail.

He has, however, urged Fianna Fail supporters in Limerick to balance their vote between him and Deputy O'Dea to retain two seats in the hotly contested four-seater constituency.

Ten candidates are now seeking a seat in the city constituency.