Varadkar v Coveney for the Fine Gael Leadership

The deadline for nominations have passed and there are two confirmed candidates for the job with Minister’s Simon Coveney & Leo Varadkar in the race to replace Enda Kenny as Fine Gael Leader.

How does the process work?

Each of the candidates has been nominated by at least 10% of the Parliamentary Party (PP), comprised of TDs, Senators and MEPs.

The process for electing the next Leader of Fine Gael is defined in Rule 49 of the Fine Gael Constitution and Rules.

The entire election process will be overseen by Fine Gael’s Executive Council.

Will there be debates?

Yes, in four locations across Ireland the party will be holding hustings between the two candidates for party members to question both men.

Who can vote?

You have been a member for two years to vote for the party leader.

Fine Gael for the first time will be electing their leader through an electoral college which consists of the following;  73 members of the Parliamentary Party (PP) accounting for 65% of the total vote, almost 21,000 party members accounting for 25% and 235 local representatives (232 councillors and 3 Údarás na Gaeltachta members) accounting for the remaining 10% of the vote.

State of play at the moment

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  • AntrimGael

    It’s a done deal, Varadkar by a street, TD’s are weighing in behind him in numbers. Coveney will withdraw over the next few days.

  • AntrimGael

    That wasn’t intended to sound as Ooh Err Missus as it reads.

  • Jag

    It’s Leo. Question is, will Simon force an election amongst the 21,000 members (who pay €20 a year membership), with probably one quarter of the annual dues used up in a pointless election.

    Of more interest now is, who will be next finance minister (Pascal Donohue presumably), foreign minister (probably no change with Charlie Flanagan), justice minister (probably no change either as Frances Fitzgerald is supporting Leo) and health minister (health is a bit of a mess, and incumbent Simon Harris is supporting Simon).

  • Jag

    Haha, Leo’s a gay!

    More seriously though, Leo will be the first gay head of state of a major country (Luxembourg is a micro state) since the flamboyant King Billy. Tells you a lot about how far the Republic has come.

  • notimetoshine

    It is quite bizarre when you think about it. When I think of Ireland 25 years ago. Pretty awesome, but still bizarre…

  • ted hagan

    ‘First gay head of state of a major country since King Billy’.

    Oh I wouldn’t be so sure about that.

  • Fred Jensen

    Lad’s – you are shockingly behind here, Leo has effectively won it. It’s over.

    Irelands next Taoiseach will be a gay man of mixed Irish-Indian heritage. And he’s a doctor too with a solid economic ideology. Fantastic for the country.

  • smcgiff

    Not Head of State, so King Billy still has that honour 🙂

  • Robin Keogh

    Leo has won. Great news in terms of how it reflects the dynamic and progressive nature of the state. Bad news for FF, he will demolish Michael Martin and his squad of former Republicans. It’s also bad news for the poorest in society with his tory style witch hunt against those on social welfare and his stated preference for those who `get up early in the morning’.

  • smcgiff

    “his stated preference for those who `get up early in the morning’.”

    The fiend!

  • smcgiff

    Not sure those that have backed him really considered the elephant in the room.

    Seriously.

    Do they not realise?

    They must certainly care

    They can’t not know.

    But… but… he went to a Church of Ireland Secondary school!

  • Katyusha

    Damn. I was hoping Coveney would get it, but it looks like the contest is over before its even started.

  • Katyusha

    // End the tyranny of morning people!!

  • ted hagan

    Plus a few Popes.

  • Patrick Mac

    Fine Gayle.

  • Zorin001

    Really?

  • Patrick Mac

    What ?

  • Trasna

    He has promised to look out for worker and what could be wrong that? Way too many dependent on social welfare, government contracts and legal tax avoiders.

  • Paul Culloty

    Even by population, Belgium has beaten us with Elio di Rupo.

  • Zorin001

    I’m not adverse to a good double entendre but at least make it amusing.

  • Paul Culloty

    Yes, Leo has plenty of style, but has delivered surprisingly little over his various Ministries to date. Simon, on the other hand, looked as if he was tackling the housing stock problem, and certainly appeared the more substantial politician. If Varadkar doesn’t call a snap election, the gloss could rapidly fade from his reputation, handing victory to FF.

  • Patrick Mac

    … make it amusing.

    If you can’t appreciate a razor sharp semantic quip such as that then you stay away from politics.

    Oh, and I think its ‘averse’, not ‘adverse’.

  • the rich get richer

    Shift workers and Night shift workers might be going to bed early in the morning……..

  • Zorin001

    Yes because Varadkar can be solely defined by his sexuality and not his politics, sure he will be changing the Fine Gael party colours to pink next and everything.

    And if that’s your definition of razor sharp then you must have some trouble shaving in the morning.

  • Robin Keogh

    Huh?

  • Robin Keogh

    A prejudice seems apparent in the statement

  • Brendan Heading

    Bad news for FF, he will demolish Michael Martin and his squad of former Republicans.

    lol

  • Roger

    Give us a break.

  • Roger

    Openly?

  • Robin Keogh

    Enda wanted Coveney to prevail which is why he hung on so long, hoping Simon could build support. The INM/FF media political hybrid also hoped Simon would pull it off, hence the attacks on Leo in the Sunday papers. Ironically, in the long term Simon would have been a better Taoiseach, he has natural compassion and a scientific brain, while Leo is more of a lucky cute hoor. But he has the face, the progressive credentials and crucially he also has a ‘novelty’ factor. Leo is a godsend for SF.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Robin, a witch hunt of sorts against those on welfare may be no bad thing, in Dublin anyway.

    Too many locals prefer the dole to work, so the gap has to be plugged by poles, Croats and Brazillians (no bad thing in itself btw) which then causes a surge in rental prices which then makes such jobs even less appealing.

    I think they’ve just missed the bus regarding this;
    as much property as possible should have been bought by the state when prices were low, x amount sold on again for a profit to the private sector and with the remaining stock going to people who would be afforded the property at cheap rental prices so long as they worked.

    Or something.

    Or at the very least people should be made to go to mandatory home economics courses or skills courses 2-3 days a week so long as they’re claiming benefits.

  • Dan

    loads of boxes ticked anyhow….

  • the rich get richer

    Angel Merkel ain’t bothered either way…..

    Both will do as instructed………

  • Robin Keogh

    Good point

  • AstralWeeks666

    Let’s not forget Ted Heath.

  • Robin Keogh

    The unemployment rate is going through the floor. There is a handful of people who could work but cannot get the kind of job necessarry to cover the crazy costs of rent and childcare.

    The level of fraud is miniscule and there already are dozens of staff in Leo’s department charged with catching and punishing offenders. Virtually Zero staff investigating blue collar tax dodging.

    Those immigrants working in low paid jobs are crammed into one room living spaces, many cannot afford to have their spouses and kids come live with them.

    The state had in its hands thousands of properties under NAMA which were packed up and sold off to the lowest bidding vulture funds, who are now evicting Families en masses.

    SF have been calling for two years. For a vacancy tax to force landlords and vulture funds to free up homes and space for housing, but Leo and Simon are not inclined.

    Everybody on jobseekers allowance have to sign up with the state training managers turas nua. If u don’t sign up u lose ur allowances, if u fail to show up for courses or classes your payments are cut, no excuses.

    I work in a constituency office, it surely has become a witch hunt and people are really struggling, waiting months for claims to be assessed, forced to live in Poor standard conditions, forced onto courses etc with no child care provisions or indeed transport assistance.

    Its a mess. The economy is simply rocketing past the people with an entire cohort left behind. The wealth is flying out of the country, we have the worst housing, homelessness, health and child poverty crises. In the history of the state. And now Leo wants to sow divisions and suspicion between those who have and have not. It’s a mess.

  • Jag

    You’re right! Leo would be the second prime minister of a major country that was gay. Looking at wikipedia, there have been gay prime ministers in Iceland and Luxembourg also. So, the Belgians, our biggest export partner, beat us to it, but still, having a gay Taoiseach, just 24 years after homosexuality was decriminalised, is major progress.

    Hopefully in another decade or two, no-one will even notice whether a prime minister is gay or not. But for now, it’s still novel and isn’t it great that it’s happening in Ireland.

    Having said all that, Leo’s a bit of a twat, failed to get a handle on health (in fairness, he didn’t have any budget), failed to reform transport where public sector transport is still a mess and made a bit of a balls of chasing the Toryboy image in recent times.

  • Patrick Mac

    The granting of ‘rights’ to homosexuals damages the traditional, Western, Christian family unit – Discuss.

  • Robin Keogh

    Lol, good luck with that.

  • Katyusha

    Discuss.

    Nonsense. The traditionally “Western” “Christian” family unit is secure enough to endure in the face of whatever goes on in the wider European an d international cultural sphere. The idea that people have liberty to practice their own sexual freedom does not impact in the integrity of the family in the slightest.

    Now, lets move on. There is no commonly accepted Western definition of family. Nations which have a traditionally Catholic background, place emphasis o community and family, and therefore the family unit includes the extended family including grandparents and cousins. Also, there is a significant variation in sexual morality across Europe, with significant variation in the age of consent. As such, there is no common “Western” standard of family veles ior sexual morality. The Christian, or Catholic, standards around sexual morality are seldom adhered to even by the supposed disciples of those faiths, and have little bearing on international law. Therefore the conception of a “Western” family unit is a misnomer . Discuss.

  • Katyusha

    Merkel has an election campaign to fight, She doesn’t have time to concern herself with “instructing” foreign heads of state.

  • El Daddy

    Solid economic ideology? So basically privatising everything?

  • Patrick Mac

    So he’s very happy then. Gay means ‘happy’, right ?

  • Zorin001

    I’m sorry I can only give that one like

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    I agree with you regarding the NAMA properties, that was a golden opportunity to level the playing field.

    I how ever agree with a strict policy regarding course attendance.

    I am not unsympathetic to the people trapped at the bottom Robin;
    A year ago or so I was walking through st Stephen’s green. I was asked for money by a woman (20th time that day).
    Long story short I ended buying her a bag of groceries only credit card, not a feast but enough spuds, bacon, onions and butter to get the kids through a couple of days.

    She stared at me blankly when I offered the recipe. She didn’t know how to boil potatoes.
    That can’t be fixed by throwing money at the problem. She needs to be frog marched into a class and shown ad nauseum how to boil (and then pan fry with sauted onions and seasoning) potatoes.
    Just ‘giving’ her stuff won’t solve the problem.

    There’s a sliding scale of cases.

  • Jag

    Speaking of the gayness, and sadly it is still a novelty, how many of the 90 MLAs in the Assembly are gay? Estimates vary, but there seems to be some consensus that around 5% of the population is gay, so, if the 90 MLAs were representative, there would be five who are gay. But, am I right in saying that not one single MLA is gay? I can name a couple of gays amongst the 460-odd councillors, but nowhere near the 25-odd you’d expect if they were representative.

    Maybe the estimates are wrong, or maybe there’s just a bloody big closet in Northern Ireland.

  • Zorin001

    I’ve no doubt there are a few in the assembly who are deeply closeted, knowing that being seen as homosexual is inimical to their standing in the assembly.

    I’ve heard it likened to showing yourself to be religious in the States, if you don’t profess to believe in some sort of faith you have no chance of being elected. I know there are rumours of senior figures in both parties who are less than devout but have to keep up appearances.

  • mac tire

    No, it means Good As You. 🙂

  • the rich get richer

    They are not running for Irish President yet………

    They are uber obedient….they don’t need instruction…….

  • Patrick Mac

    Interesting. You focus solely on the Catholic Church but ignore other denominations.

    I get a strong sense from your ramblings that you harbour a dislike/hatred for the RCC and, possibly, would use an agenda driven ‘issue’ like gay rights to diminish its role in the world.

  • Paul Culloty

    Indeed, says a lot about social progress that he’s mostly criticised for being a Thatcherite neoliberal!

  • mac tire

    If an issue like Gay rights; diminishes the role of the Catholic Church in the world, perhaps it needs to reassess its role then. The role of the Church in the world has nothing to do with being pro or anti Gay.

  • Philip Murphy

    There’s nothing traditional about the middle eastern Abrahamic death cults that Europe imported for some odd reason. The sooner they die out the better for all concerned.

  • Katyusha

    I very much agree on both points. I know some people who worked with Coveney during his time as Minister for Agriculture, and heard nothing but good things about his tenure there – extremely capable, with a thorough understanding of his brief and unafraid to take positive action, and a clever operator at the European level, knowing exactly which channels to use in order to elevate Ireland’s statues and influence well beyond what it realistically deserves (vital for the Agriculture brief).

    If Leo continues with his mix of neoliberalism and superficiality, Sf will have a golden opportunity to make hay. The big question is how long will Fianna Fáil permit him to continue in office.

  • Fred Jensen

    Solid pro-business ideology. So the shinners will not be his biggest fan.

  • El Daddy

    I’m no shinner, and healthy competition is fine for most things. Transport, health, education and one or two other things are too important to leave to them though.

  • Patrick Mac

    The normalisation of homosexuality within the media, educational and political spheres places our children and young people in direct danger – discuss.

  • Katyusha

    You couldn’t be further from the truth. I’m a devout catholic. The reason I talk solely about the Catholic Church is because a) it is the only faith I have a sufficient working knowledge to discuss the theology of, and b) I consider Catholic theology to be correct. I don’t really see the merit in arguing the theology of heathen faiths that I don’t buy into and have no impact on my beliefs. I don’t care what other denominations believe other than from mild curiosity.

    What I want to do is ensure that the Church is free from influence of the state, and vice versa. The catholic church is a massive worldwide organisation, with over 1.2 billion members worldwide, and influence and power surpassing all but the most powerful nation states, including a tiny island in the north Atlantic that still thinks it runs an empire. If you think that the Church’s role in the world is reduced by letting gay men file registry papers at Belfast City Hall, then you must have a very low opinion of the Church.

    I oppose the conflation of the statutory definition of marriage with the religious one, or indeed with any actions that risk conflating the role of the church and the state and therefore risk making the church subservient to the state. The Church is a separate institution in its own right and its followers must be free to practice their beliefs and follow the Church’s teaching without interference. The way to ensure this is to ensure that everyone can freely practice their spiritual faith and beliefs.

    I would not like the government of x, y or z to tell me what I can and cannot do because of the tenets of some religion I don’t believe in (take Islam as a a good example), and I don’t see why others should have to live with the same.

  • Gaygael

    No ‘out’ MLAs in our 90 seater Assembly. Continuing to have never had an ‘out’ MLA. The closet is huge. The UK treasury estimates are between 6-10%.
    The ONS puts it at much lower than that but many LGBT orgs will dispute their reporting.

    This may be very interesting. Times are rapidly changing.
    https://yougov.co.uk/news/2015/08/16/half-young-not-heterosexual/

    3 out Cllrs in Belfast. Mary-Ellen Campbell of SF, Julie-Anne Corr Johnston of the PUP and Jeff Dudgeon of the UUP. Outside Belfast there is Andrew Muir of Alliance in North Down and Ards borough Council.

    There are certainly others still stuck in their closets. Smash the doors down is what I say.

  • Gaygael

    Delighted that Varadkar as an out gay man is in the running.

    Shame he is a Tory and will continue with cuts and an economic policy that will disproportionally impact on his queer siblings.