Time out until Tuesday…

It seems the news of Bertie’s resignation was pre-mature, though it also seems there has been a lot of backroom powerplay going on. On the scale of things, £8,000 is neither here nor there. Although it would seem an important principle has been breached, Ahern is squeaky clean compared to some of his more notorious forebears, who clearly believed he had disposited his duty by making disclosure to the Moriarty Tribunal.No one in cabinet is particularly keen to see him walk the plank. It has thus far been a game of margins, with none wanting to condemn him and none prepared to do the dirty deed. This will come down to one thing: how does it play in the constitencies? The problem for the party is not dissimilar to Labour’s with Blair. He towers above the opposition (and anyone else within his party) in stature.

But if it is percieved that too many backbenchers will their seats (currently predicted at about ten), he may have to walk the plank.

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty