Now take your pick - do you want 'caring Simon' or 'up-early Leo'
It's still mighty hard to see Leo Varadkar being overtaken after his first barnstorming week. But Simon Coveney is getting points for just refusing to cave in.
The pair arrived at the Red Cow Moran Hotel, on the for-once-at-least sun-soaked edge of Dublin, for their first face-off.
Coveney, so far down the field, did have the luxury of being able to go for broke. And that is just what he did with a few side-swipes at his opponent and then a head-on attack.
For Coveney, this was clearly more than an address to the 21,000 Fine Gael members who account for 25pc of the vote. It was an effort to address the undeclared members of the all-important parliamentary party and an effort to give a semblance of credibility to the far-fetched notion that he can "turn" up to half a dozen "Varadkarites".
So no great pressure faced him. Just stay alive and maybe, just maybe, inch back into the contest.
Varadkar, apparently all but home and hosed, needed to avoid self-harming gaffes. Since this one is his to lose, it was a fair bet that safety would surely trump the need for big gains.
At 8.06pm the party chairman, and self-appointed referee, Martin Heydon of Kildare South, declared proceedings and handed over to the moderator Gavin Duffy.
The lottery meant that Varadkar went first and he opened with a very creditable message in Irish which showed he is, so far at least, serious about learning the language.
He played a safe and low-key game, cleverly appealing directly to the membership, with plenty of emphasis on his own experiences pounding the beat and hopelessly losing his first council election.
He had a strong and clear message which he kept very concise. Fine Gael needed to broaden its support base - but it cannot be all things to all people.
Varadkar did not back off his message about the need to support those who "get up early in the morning."
His Fine Gael must be about middle Ireland and the coping classes - beyond that there would "a threshold of decency" to support the less well-off and "a catch-up plan" to spread economic recovery.
It took all of 13 minutes and was well received. Then it was over to Coveney.
Like his opponent, Coveney delivered ritual messages about the need for party unity and praise for the outgoing leadership. But he skipped the folksy stuff about being out on the canvass trail and quickly "went national."
Fine Gael members were also picking a new Taoiseach and they should think hard.
There was a clear swipe at Varadkar's poor showing as a negotiator in the 70 days of government making last year. Coveney got a round of applause as he recalled that he would know how to keep a minority coalition together since he helped put it together.
In fact his hearty delivery really drove his supporters as he spoke of the need for a "Just Society." In a less subtle dig at Varadkar, he said it was not enough to slightly expand the party base around the coping classes.
Coveney wanted to support those who get up in the morning. But he also wanted to extend support to those who could not get up early through poor circumstances or lack of motivation.
'Each week on the Floating Voter, INM's political team discuss the main issues affecting Irish politics, bursting the bubble that surrounds Leinster House.'
The man in the sleeping bag may never vote Fine Gael - but the party still had an obligation to help him.
In fact he was "deeply concerned" about the direction Varadkar wanted to take Fine Gael.
So now they will repeat the performance in Carlow, Ballinasloe and Cork. As decision time looms closer into view, the choice remains: "caring Simon" or "up-early Leo".
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