Joan Burton becomes Labour leader and Tanaiste

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Joan Burton has become the first woman to lead the Labour party defeating Alex White and replacing Eamon Gilmore. Earlier today, Gilmore wrote to An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny formally tendering his resignation and asking that Burton be installed in his place.

Gilmore resigned just after the Labour party’s disasterous result in the local and European elections in May and today he finally brought the curtain down on his 3 year, 3 month, 2 weeks and 2days (not that I am counting!) tenure as Tanaiste. Burton’s job has been made a little easier with the confirmation that Gilmore and the Education Minister, Ruari Quinn will go to the backbench following the cabinet reshuffle due to take place next week.

I suppose the fundamental question is, can Burton turn it around in time before the next election?

  • Roy Walsh

    An Accountant leading a party supposedly bent on socialism, can’t see it but, vote labour or Sinn Féin is the choice, I strongly suspect both Sinn Féin and more Independents will take Dáil seats, following the success of these political classes in the locals.
    Did you hear Mary Louise addressing the concerns of local residents, household charge payers on the news today, re Garth Brooks?
    Sinn Féin, certain to support big business rather than voters.

  • Nordie Northsider

    I think a lot depends on how generous Fine Gael are going to be in terms of throwing Labour a bone or two. Labour have already flagged improvements in the minimum wage and the building of more social housing as an issue they can deliver on to reconnect with working people. I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s been choreographed so that Labour can claim to have ‘won’ it come the next budget.

    But Fine Gael have their own survival to consider. And given the fact that the numbers don;t stack up for a second FG/Labour coalition, it’s not clear just what they have to gain by a ‘Save Labour’ project.

  • the rich get richer

    Is the new leader of the labour any good or are they on the way to oblivium ?

  • http://fitzjameshorselooksattheworld.wordpress.com John Mooney

    Hopefully it will lead to a purge of the erstwhile Stickies.
    The best socialists are often the so called middle class.
    You dont need to be rich to be a “conservative”…just greedy.
    And dont have to be poor and living in a hovel to be a socialist.

    Two ways to look at Labour in coalition.
    Mitigating the worst excesses of Fine Gael.
    or co-operating with Fine Gael.
    Plainly under Gilmore erstwhile Labour voters deserted them.
    So Ms Burton can hardly do worse.

    Putting a little distance between Labour and Fine Gael will help.
    Putting a lot of distance between the new Labour leadership and Gilmore-Rabbitte will help even more.
    Labour is really in the same position as the British Lib Dems.
    They will be seriously damaged in the next General election.
    They might even deserve it.

  • Jagdip

    Whatever about the change at the top of the Labour party, the Shinners are on the warpath, and using language which anticipates a collapse in the coalition. GA has issued at least two statements in the past 24 hours, nailing Labour to its principles and questioning how it can continue in a centre right led government.

    Will the Coalition last the next fortnight to the summer recess? Probably, but looks like the Shinners are preparing for all eventualities.

    (and incidentally, if the Shinners do end up in govt in the South, won’t that eliminate the value of the LUPOs boycotting (or being busy washing their hair) the North South council?)

  • Greenflag

    While one can only wish Joan Burton well as she takes up the mantle of Labour she’s between a rock and a very hard place . Gilmore erstwhile once and future first Labour Leader has been self garroted by his FG partners in government . Foreign Affairs indeed .

    Burton has stated she will lead with more ‘heart ‘?This could sound like what was once known as compassionate conservatism or closer to home the eh “Big Society ‘ of Cameron and company . She should remember that Irish voters can be heartless when they need to be . A glance across at the dearth of FF TD’s in the Dail should be a constant reminder .

    If she can raise their current 4% near extinction rating to nearer 10% at the next general election she’ll have done well .
    Somehow I don’t think Joan Burton will be taking the Minister for Foreign Affairs portfolio.

  • Greenflag

    oops error above should read

    “Gilmore erstwhile once and future first Labour Taoiseach’