RTE Leaders Debate Live Blog…

RTE Frontline tonight accommodates the first full leaders debate at 9.35 GMT. All five main party leaders will appear tonight in the one show. Four years ago, when there were six main parties, it was split into a major and minor debate.

So who will corpse first? Enda or Gerry? Both are perceived to be the weakest links in this debate. But there is no Michael McDowell this time, will anyone take the trouble to take Gerry on?

Enda is likely to the main target for both Micheal Martin and Eamon Gilmore whose parties continue to suffer in the polls leaving Fine Gael to take a comfortable lead.

We’ll keep it open for the apres match coverage on Late Debate (on RTE Radio One), the Eleventh Hour (RTE Live) and/or Vincent Browne

It is the first of two live blogs this week. The second will be on Thursday, when Slugger should have exclusive coverage of the RICS Leader’s Debate on the Economy (for Northern Ireland).

, ,

  • Nunoftheabove

    Depends on the format of the show and the extent of the pre-rehearsal and pre-scripting; if they get time to properly exchange on numbers without Browne impeding the flow then Adams might be done for and even if he gets his sums right the lack of authority around them is almost certain to find him out – its the combination of the lack of conviction as well as mastery of the detail which has been shocking thus far.

    That said, the others may be quite dismissive towards SF and as such lend Adams space to attack them on their record in government and opposition – to be honest if he can’t land a few punches on that alone then he really should be sent back to pulling pints again. One would hope it’s not a night in which platitudes are entertained and that they get no space to filibuster or be allowed to finger-wag their way thrugh proceedings – that’s just too dispiriting to contemplate.

  • alan56

    Good start by kenny

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    After 30 minutes….
    For the most part they are getting to make the points that their advisors told them to make.
    Gormley seems peripheral. Adams detached (which is a good tactic).
    Gilmour looks uneasy.
    Martin and Kenny are doing ok (but is Pat Ednas cousin or something as he seems a bit soft on him?).
    By the way…would it not be better if the debate was presented by a journalist?

  • Comrade Stalin

    I found them all rather bland with the exception of Adams who made his points stridently and came across well. He seemed to be quite well prepared for Martin’s broadside at him about fraud. I’d say that Gerry does better in general when he’s not having to deal with details.

  • sqmunster

    Kenny is not being honest about the cuts. If they are not hitting tax then they are hitting education, health and other services which is fine until its your child, sister, brother, mother or father or yourself that needs that service.

  • sqmunster

    Just to clarify – I don’t believe a word out of the mouth of the newly reformed Martin where has he been the past 14 years.

  • Zig70

    Fairly dull, switched over in favour of bbc1’as others see us’. Not a great picture anyway, we need to get RTE on freeview.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    I take Comrade Stalins point. Was thinking earlier that it would be “better” had Mr Adams stood down as SF leader in South as Mr O’Caolan or Pearse Doherty would have better understood the minutae of living in the South (VHI, university fees, rates) but its surprising nobody has really laid a glove on him.
    I thought Gilmour came close with mentioning the biggest bank robbery in history (ie the Banks robbing the taxpayers). When I first heard the remark I (and perhaps many in North thought he was referring rather nastily to another robbery)….in fact I think Gilmore meant it innocently.

  • Comrade Stalin

    fitz, the SF leadership was always a team with Gerry doing the big picture and McGuinness doing the details. This is why I think Gerry always seemed somewhat lost during the past few years. Without a big headline grabbing deal to be done he was out of his element. I don’t think he is at all interested in governing.

    I don’t think Gilmore was referring to Northern Bank actually. Michael Martin flirted with mentioning Gerry’s past but skirted around it rather than going in for the kill McDowell style. My perception was that Gerry was prepared for it.

    I thought GA was even better in the second half, I found him very compelling. I thought he was the only one of the five talking about empowering citizens and urging people to have a rethink about what the country stood for and where their roles were in it. All of the points he made on health and economics were tied back to that principle, emphasizing “political principles” etc. It was a good performance. I obviously still think his crackpot economics will ruin the country. And I couldn’t help feeling that his ideas for healthcare “free at the point of delivery” will seem like a British import to some people. But I think SF will be happy and I’d predict a couple of points up on the next round of polls.

  • pippakin

    I thought Kenny won it with Gilmore second, Adams (choke) third and the two culprits can fight it out for fourth and last. Now time for VB he must be sore.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Michael Martin

    That’d be Micheál Martin. I swear I’m not turning into an Ulster Unionist.

  • tacapall

    I think Adams was the only one standing up there who looked relaxed his body language was open used the patriotic card well, the others looked like mannequins with the only movement being using hand jestures to cloak their decite.

  • tacapall

    Thats deceit by the way but the urban ones just fine too.

  • CliffNI

    The debate didn`t do Adams any good, but then again it probably hasn`t done him any harm. The fact that he was there is good enough for Brownie. He`ll sort the Republic`s economic problems out alright..”gulp”

  • Munsterview

    A pretty tame event by any standards. I remember the Old Guard FF, FG and Lab. fifty years back outside church gates and in the Fairs. This bloody lot ( Gerry included) were not fit to hold their coats when it came to passion and debate.

    At one election, the late Paddy Mac, TD Lab was in full flight about the fall in small farmer living standards, while subject to a line of FF hecklers who had all ‘been out in the troubles’ One yelled, “you know nothing of farming, how many toes have a pig “?

    Macks timing was faultless, he allowed the crowd roar of laughter to peak and wane, pointed to the offended and naming him by name said ” take off your boots and I will count them ” After the second wave of laughter had died further heckling was met with cries of ‘let the man talk’

  • George

    Surprised nobody has mentioned Martin’s gaffe about how dare he comment about things “down here in the Republic” to Adams.

    That’s a very dangerous statement to be making from an FF leader and could backfire seriously if it gets any broader airtime. A lot of Republicans might be looking for a new home.

  • pippakin

    listening to VB. Gormley did do well at times but, he was and is equally responsible. How dare he condemn the Health Service he was in the Cabinet that created it. As for Martin the only time he showed any life was when he challenged Gerry Adams about fraud. I thaught Gerry Adams comment about being very humble was eye watering.

  • alan56

    Kenny won in as much as he didn’t mess it up. Nobody was a clear winner on the night.

  • Mark

    Martin taunting adams didn’t really work .. Adams was ok , himself and Gormley new best mates ….Kenny had alot of coaching this week and stuck to his lines ..not very inspring but not a meltdown either . Gilmore still hoping he has a ticket to the ball .

  • Comrade Stalin

    The debate didn`t do Adams any good,

    Let’s play spot the unionist.

    That’s a very dangerous statement to be making from an FF leader and could backfire seriously if it gets any broader airtime. A lot of Republicans might be looking for a new home.

    Adams did well but I don’t think chuckies should start jerking each other off just yet.

  • Mick Fealty

    Well I think you cannot declare a clear winner in such a messy contest. Gormley for the most part was honest (even came out with an #Iagreewithgerry line a few times), but he’s a beaten docket.

    Kenny and Adams both got what they wanted, and put in competent performances. I suspect that Enda’s performance will go a much longer way than Gerry’s (who might count himself lucky there was no residually anti Provo on the panel this time).

    Kenny’s party was on 38% before this in the polls. By contrast Gerry is in a position where more than 71% don’t believe him on the economy.

    This got Gerry back to where he might have been in 2007. Passionate and focussed. And it may encourage the base. Not sure he’s made any new contacts, but the rot may have been stopped.

    Martin mostly competent, and Gilmore is the one who would be worrying me most if I were in any political party. He will get a chance in the three way to redeem himself.

  • Vincent Browne panel calling it for Adams and Kenny. Politics.ie poll also has them running away with it by a country mile.

  • slappymcgroundout

    As of 1:49 pm HST (10 hours behind you in Belfast), from Politics.ie:

    Kenny 46.24% (252)
    Adams 35.78% (195)
    Gilmore 7.16% (39)
    Gormley 5.87% (32)
    Martin 4.95% (27)

    When you consider the prior rep and the presumed innate bias, Gerry did well.

  • pippakin

    Mick Fealty

    Agree about Gilmore he was a disappointment, not sure what to expect in the next one he didn’t do well in the first debate either.

    Gerry Adams was not required to do much, there were no awkward questions and he was allowed to indulge his favourite daydream of the Irish Shangrila with no really awkward questions to interrupt his flow.

    Kenny had the most to lose. He didn’t lose. He did well, just the right amount of anger and contempt.

    Gormley can’t expect to get away with the ‘not me guv’ line. He was there as indecisive as ever through every major and even minor decision.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Comrade Stalin,
    I agree absolutely that Gilmores mention of bank robbery was unintentional. I merely point out that when I heard it I thought “oops bank robbery”. And Im sure many others thought the same.
    I think you ove-estimate Gerry Adams performance. It was ok …and that was all it needed to be. I thought the apres debate discussion on RTE2 where three journos including Sam Smyth said Adams performance was poor ….went too far the other way.
    Gerry Adams was neither good or bad. And I dont think anyone will move FROM voting SF on the basis of the debate. Whether anyone will be convinced to move TOWARDS SF (particuarly from FF) is a different question.
    John Gormley struck me as a man who would rather be somewhere else. He was……and the Greens are……going thru the motions.
    FG can be pleased. The Indo will be full of praise for Kenny.
    Gilmore??? Its a tricky one.
    The five spin doctors who appeared on the same show wre all risible. “Our man won” adds nothing to political discourse.
    Based on Pippakins analysis above.
    Id score it…….
    1 Kenny……2 Adams & Martin (tied) 4 Gilmore………and 5 the audience who contributed more than Gormley.

  • tacapall

    “he was allowed to indulge his favourite daydream of the Irish Shangrila”. – What do you mean Pip.

  • crafty

    Gerry’s economic policies remind me of having a “punt” on an outsider in a horse race.. its a gamble;
    but his oratory on republican principles, to this lost generation is a wake-up call.

    The rest ,sadly, remind me of flotsam and jetsam, bobbing on the tide, which they cannot influence at all due to the loss of sovreignty over ireland own finances.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    There appears to be a concensus that Kenny and Adams did best. The performance of Gilmore as shown in the figures above are certainly worrying.
    My view was that Martin and Adams largely cancelled each other out. But Gilmores less than stellar performance tonight might leak a few votes towards SF……although the next three way debate might reverse that.
    But really the lesson is that since the Election campaign ACTUALLY got under way, Gilmore has been faltering but not floundering.

  • oracle

    Thought it was a dire leadrship debate, they all came across as, if not clueless then certainly powerless! They all agve the impression that any policies that they have are a work in progress policy to be dumped or watered down com the 28th

    Adams being ignored at the start by the others was a godsend for him as it made him look more controlled and in comand.
    Though once it starts to get detailed he looks decidedly amateurish and waffley

    I thought Gormley came across as a luxury Ireland can not afford

    Martin was on a damage limitation exercise and Kenny’s aura of a used carsalesman helped him do that.

    For me I thought Gilmore did the best of a bad lot

  • pippakin

    tacapall

    I mean thanks to fecking FF and the Greens it is probably more years away than it was. The north is relaxing and the south is going bankrupt. SFs policies would hasten the bankruptcy , further delaying a UI. Sooner or later you have to do the maths, and frankly the sooner the better.

    Some might say there are some things more important than money but they are not usually the ones having their homes repossessed.

  • Comrade Stalin

    fitz,

    Agreed WRT Gormley. On at least two occasions I noted him gesturing to Gilmore and Kenny along the lines of “these are the problems you’ll find you have to deal with when it’s your turn”, indicating that he’s basically sitting the whole thing out as a done deal. He deserves a bit of credit for at least acknowledging the reality of his own fate.

    I think Gerry’s performance narrowed the credibility gap that exists between SF’s high-falutin’ ideals/ideology and the limits of the talent they have available to present and sell it. I’m not predicting SF will sweep the board as I think people are suspicious of them, but I think they came out better off than when they went in.

    I don’t know why people are doing Gilmore down, I thought he was quite forceful and indeed had Kenny on the ropes a few times. I thought he had a bit more passion than Kenny or Martin.

  • Antoin Mac C.

    Gerry Adams is parroting the same nonesence he’s been parrotin 4 the last 35/6/7/8ish years.A cap of 100,000 means exactly what 2 450000 unemployed people?most of who have an income of 186 euro that=9000ish and is 10% of 100,000.Whether the clown is elected or not,who is he to talk about salary caps???A millionaire,who wrote loads of books about himself.Gormley is a green.Enufff said.FF have ditched the Charlie,Bertie and Brian the Wino Cumann in favour of Mick wit the fada and a bald patch.Gilmore is trying desperately to implement the final stages of the eamo smullens strategy,adapted by the official doctrinaire cult,now better known as labour.At least enda turned up tonite.How couragous.

  • wee buns

    That debate was dire.
    As stated by Nunoftheabove at the top of the thread ‘just too dispiriting to contemplate.’

    Although Adams was alone is setting out points of principle, and Gormley was alone in remaining calm & agreeable at all times.

    A profoundly more interesting panel on VB about principles of capitalism, solidarity, cooperativism and health.

  • Comrade Stalin

    oracle:

    I thought Gormley came across as a luxury Ireland can not afford

    Well put.

    I’m deeply suspicious of this whole idea of appointing Ministers drawn from outside the Dail. Imagine the government of the past few years in the hands of unelected friends of Fianna Fail.

    Martin was on a damage limitation exercise and Kenny’s aura of a used carsalesman helped him do that.

    Agreed. I thought it was a mistake for Kenny to have his hands in his pockets at the end while talking. But who knows what way people will take that.

  • tacapall

    Hopefully next time someone will grab the bull by the horns and start asking questions about who profited from this criminal enterprise that robbed our country, and how did it happen, can charges be brought. The Joe blogs need to know these things as the law is supposed to apply to all.

  • Antoin Mac C.

    what did ruarai o say about adams and principles 25 years ago?only tactics gerry???No Principles.

  • pippakin

    Antoin Mac C

    Gerry learned that lesson well and doesn’t appear to have altered.

  • Antoin Mac C.

    tacapall-farmleigh house in the phoenix park?bertie and celias private buisness pad.Valued at 25million.They paid an extra 15million.Bertie wud turn up at private buisness meetings to give it the veil of legitimacy.Farmleigh was the residence of the infamous Guinness Clan.Auctioned through the opw,1999.

  • Antoin Mac C.

    pippakin,no fear of that happening

  • Antoin Mac C.

    wee buns,the debate was dire.-I think that’s been complimentary

  • joeCanuck

    Debates can have a powerful influence. I didn’t hear this one. Did anyone shine enough to gain new voters?

  • Antoin Mac C.

    Mick Fealty,Gerry might have the comfort of a few meaningless poles,but the dogs on the street see sinn fein for what they are.Liars.Professional liars.We’re not all professional idiots,that’s their problem.

  • Antoin Mac C.

    joe,i think someone in the audience had shiny shoes.

  • Erasmus

    Have to grudgingly admit that Adams acquited himself quite well.

  • slappymcgroundout

    Updated from Politics.ie at 2:39 HST (again, that’s 10 hrs behind Belfast):

    Kenny 44.88% (311)
    Adams 37.37% (259)
    Gilmore 6.49% (45)
    Gormley 6.20% (43)
    Martin 5.05% (35)

  • crafty

    SF..Professional liars eh antoinn, unlike the FF politicians? .

    Ireland got its fingers burnt, FF ( banks, property speculators ) got greedy, carried away ,gambled on the roulette wheel and lost everything.
    This they did with our money.

    the ordinary muckers like me/you didn’t cause this ;
    and now we’re being asked to pay for it ..

    Ireland voters will punish FF and the polls suggest they’ll vote FG, but the future is very much fingers crossed.

    We’re in dire straits, I just don’t see the country being able to pay the debt burden.

    None of this is down to SF, you’re hitting the wrong guy.
    that if I may say is idiotic ne c’est pas?

  • crafty

    Antoin,
    you appear slighty unhinged dear fellow
    firing of at all and sundry; I think you may well be drunk.
    Would I be far off? I have directed my previous comments for your indulgence, pray may i receive a reply before retiring to my boudoir.

  • Antoin Mac C.

    crafty,hitting the wrong guy?i ain’t evicting nobody.i ain’t robbed millions.i ain’t polluted the liffey.i ain’t gave orders to kill innocent people for power.i ain’t a pathalogical liar.and no.i ain’t drunk or smokin skunk.

  • crafty

    oh I see antoin, your beef with SF is nothing to do with the economic crisis in ROI, or tonites debate.
    That’s what was confusing me ..
    the rhyme drunk/skunk was fun post-rant

  • Comrade Stalin

    tacapall:

    Hopefully next time someone will grab the bull by the horns and start asking questions about who profited from this criminal enterprise that robbed our country, and how did it happen, can charges be brought. The Joe blogs need to know these things as the law is supposed to apply to all.

    Joe Bloggs knew it was going on and happily turned up to vote Fianna Fail time after time.

  • wee buns

    Joe
    The three main parties are at each other’s throats, the joke about that being, their differences are barely distinguishable even to themselves.

  • Antoin Mac C.

    crafty,a cara,wats the difference in the micro economic policies of sf/ff/labour/greens and fine gael.how do any of them propose that the unemployed youth survive wit 100euro?social employment with a salary of 120euro?

    100euro=5200{annually}{xmas bonus not included}
    120euro=6280{annually}{xmas bonus not included}

    over 21s survive wit 186euro{and shrinkin,no xmas bonus,
    no college funds}

    single-mothers in a block of flats with salary of 10000+2/3 kids…

    100,000salary cap proposed by gerry=
    20 salaries of under 21s

    is the 100000salary cap relative to reality.

  • ORWELLSPEN

    The concept of national sovereignty is being challenged by the hurricane winds of globalisation and unfettered international finance. Eires debt is unpayable. Period. It’s like an unemployed man drafting a budget to pay back £1 a day for a million days and rationing the toilet paper too boot. It’s pathetic, indignified and when a nation has it’s face rubbed in the shit for long enough, it turns to men in uniform s with funny insignia to lead it to the promised land.

    Perhaps Eire and Iceland and Greece should gang together to firm a debtors block

  • crafty

    antoin its a fright , i don’t know what to say cara