Sunday 24 September 2017

Two knock-out blows from Labour put the major party in its place

Alison O'Connor

THE presidential election has certainly been an object lesson for the TDs and senators of Fine Gael: if your winning election formula ain't broke, don't try to fix it.

Enda Kenny will prove himself exceptionally restrained if he manages not to say "I told you so" to the members of his parliamentary party who, against his wishes, chose Gay Mitchell as their candidate.

Yesterday was a really bad day for the major government party. Losing a presidential election so badly, similarly a by-election and possibly a referendum -- on the one day -- is a serious shock to a party that had gotten used to winning. Therein, of course, lies the nub of the issue -- the party made arrogant assumptions about the electorate and suffered as a result.

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