Alan Kelly makes grab for Labour power
Tipperary TD viewed as best shot for a 'fight-back'
Alan Kelly is in pole position to take over the leadership of the Labour Party as TDs and senators go in search of a consensus candidate.
There is a growing view within the party that the Tipperary TD is the best option for a 'fight-back' after Joan Burton announced her resignation.
Ms Burton said she will step aside as soon as a successor is chosen - but that could take more than six weeks if there is a contest.
None of the party's TDs would confirm yesterday whether they will seek a nomination for the leadership but several expressed a wish to avoid a lengthy battle for power.
One senior party source said: "The idea that Kelly wasn't the right person for the job is changing. He has performed very well since the election."
Asked about his leadership ambitions, Mr Kelly said: "The executive will make the process known very soon and once the process is announced I'll make my intentions very clear."
However, he has already lined up an appearance on RTE's 'Late Late Show' this Friday night.
Brendan Howlin is understood to be interested in the job but is not keen on a contest, while Sean Sherlock would struggle to compete with Mr Kelly in a ballot.