Comment: If Simon really wants to win, it's time he took those gloves off
Many of us wonder why this carry-on is still going on. Why wait nine more days? I mean Leo Varadkar has left his opposition stuck in the traps.
Like most of the Leinster House inmates, I did very wrongly believe, in what seems like a lifetime ago, but in fact was less than a week ago, that this contest would be tight enough and run quite a bit longer.
But it is all over, bar the Fine Gael activists wanting to get a few good nights out.
Absolutely nothing wrong with a good night out - but why involve the rest of the nation?
Simon Coveney and Mr Varadkar had, and still have, their various strengths and weakness which can be argued up and down. But it's clear that Mr Varadkar had done the homework and worked the TDs and senators, giving them the attention they are so often starved of, especially when a party is in government.
Increasingly, even Mr Coveney's supporters will privately concede that the seeds of this one were set in the term July 2014-May 2016, when Mr Varadkar was health minister.
Many backbench TDs and senators recall a man called John Carroll, a ministerial adviser who assiduously responded to their constituency queries on behalf of Mr Varadkar.
It is clear that Mr Coveney was not perceived as accessible and responsive.
He may have been busier pursuing the affairs of the nation.
It may be a thumbnail of Irish clientelist politics at most levels within the system. It also recalls the Charlie Haughey leadership coup in late 1979.
The soon-to-be Fianna Fáil leader and taoiseach was minister responsible for both social welfare and health matters. In an office over Dublin's controversial Bus Áras building, Mr Haughey received a procession of backbenchers and delivered hope for their constituents seeking income and health cover.
Clearly, Mr Coveney had to stand his ground for the Cork rally.
The muttered-about withdrawal from the fight last Saturday afternoon just could not happen on his home turf. It would have fed "second city syndrome" and risked his never again raising his head in his home base.
But he still struggles to explain why he has not conceded.
Mr Coveney clings to claims that he will get the half dozen parliamentary members who are undeclared, and "turn" another half dozen "Varadkarites".
It's an alibi to keep him in the race.
But if he truly wants to win, he must take the gloves off and fight dirty.
'Each week on the Floating Voter, INM's political team discuss the main issues affecting Irish politics, bursting the bubble that surrounds Leinster House.'
Fine Gael parliamentary party endorsements for leader
The Fine Gael parliamentary party makes up 65pc of the total electorate.
That makes each of the 73 members' votes worth 0.9pc of the total ballot.
Of the remaining electorate, 230 party councillors account for 10pc, while the remaining 25pc is rank and file members.
|Richard Bruton -Minister||Simon Harris - Minister|
|Frances Fitzgerald - Minister||Damien English - Minister|
|Michael Ring - Minister||Dara Murphy - Minister|
|Eoghan Murphy - Minister||David Stanton - Minister|
|Sean Kyne - Minister||Marcella Corcoran Kennedy - Minister|
|Joe McHugh - Minister||Kate O'Connell - TD|
|Helen McEntee - Minister||Maria Bailey - TD|
|Charlie Flanagan - Minister||Sean Barrett TD|
|Paul Kehoe -Minister||Hildegard Naughton - TD|
|Patrick O'Donovan - Minister||Peter Fitzpatrick - TD|
|Regina Doherty - Minister||Tim Lombard - Senator|
|Mary Mitchell O'Connor - Minister||Jerry Buttimer - Senator|
|Paschal Donohoe - Minister||Paudie Coffey - Senator|
|Heather Humphreys - Minister||James Reilly - Senator|
|Pat Breen - Minister||Colm Burke - Senator|
|Catherine Byrne - Minister||John O'Mahony - Senator|
|Andrew Doyle - Minister||Paul Coghlan - Senator|
|John Paul Phelan - TD||Gabrielle McFadden - Senator|
|Noel Rock - TD||Deirdre Clune - MEP|
|Tony McLoughlin - TD|
|Alan Farrell - TD|
|Michael D'Arcy - TD|
|Tom Neville - TD|
|Josepha Madigan - TD|
|Pat Deering - TD|
|Jim Daly - TD|
|Brendan Griffin - TD|
|Ciaran Cannon - TD|
|Colm Brophy - TD|
|Peter Burke - TD|
|Fergus O'Dowd - TD|
|John Deasy - TD|
|Joe Carey - TD|
|Neale Richmond - Senator|
|Catherine Noone - Senator|
|Paddy Burke - Senator|
|Martin Conway - Senator|
|Michelle Mulherin - Senator|
|Maura Hopkins - Senator|
|Ray Butler - Senator|
|Frank Feighan - Senator|
|Maria Byrne - Senator|
|Joe O'Reilly - Senator|
|Kieran O'Donnell - Senator|
|Brian Hayes - MEP|
|Enda Kenny - Outgoing Party Leader *||Martin Heydon - Party Chairman *|
|Michael Noonan - Minister||Michael Creed - Minister|
|Bernard Durkan - TD||Sean Kelly - MEP|
|Mairead McGuinness MEP|
* Outgoing leader Enda Kenny and party chairman Martin Heydon will not make an endorsement