Kenny survives confidence vote

As RTÉ reports Enda Kenny has survived the vote of confidence as leader of Fine Gael. Fine Gael parliamentary party chairman Padraic McCormack said the motion was carried after a very thorough and full debate. He said the decision had been made not to disclose the vote results and that the ballot papers would be ‘shredded’. Mr McCormack said the party was damaged in the short-term but will recover and will come stronger out of this episode. The problem is, … Read more

What is the contest in Fine Gael about.

The contest in FG is not urban or rural as Elaine Byrne suggested but between the politics of “what” and “how” as compared with the politics of “who, and where and when”. There is not inconsiderable number in Irish politics across the party divide for whom the intoning of the party name is the answer to all questions. This is great stuff at the time of an Ard Fheis when rallying the troops but holds less water when faced with more practical problems as we are now.

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Fine Gael must find a story and stick to it…

Enda has pulled out a lot of stops including, perhaps, pulling in the odd favour from an old friend. His big mistake was trying to take out his capable deputy, Richard Bruton (though to be fair, he may not have had much choice by that stage). In parts it carries the smack of desperate injustice, or at least a very bad metropolitan dose of inveterate culchie hating… Kenny managed not only to pull together a party decimated by under the leadership of Michael … Read more

What are the prospects for a smooth change in FG?

I suspect that it is obvious at this point that the possibility of a change at the top of FG has increased in the last 48 hours and I suspect, despite the way things are being played in the media, the likelihood of this change over being a smooth and relatively bloodless one has increased too. I believe that Enda Kenny knows that his race as currently constituted has been run and a significant change in approach is needed. It would seem plain to me that neither he nor the party at large simply can’t overcome the incorrect perception of him that has fixed itself in the mind of the electorate. I say this as a fan of the man, I believe he would be a superb Taoiseach but too large a portion of the electorate can’t see that and no matter what we do we appear to not be able to make the electorate see that. So the key question then becomes what do we do about it?

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Fine Gael’s impending crisis of leadership…

For understandable reasons tomorrow’s news in Northern Ireland and Britain will be dominated by the long awaited arrival of Lord Saville’s long awaited (and stashed for politically motivated reasons) report on Bloody Sunday. We will no doubt be doing our best to  bring you the coverage. But the big events in Irish politics may be happening south of the border. Part the first: the full meeting tomorrow morning of the Fine Gael parliamentary party who are thought to have been … Read more