Which conservative brand will the new leader of Fine Gael follow?
The maverick Conservative MP Enoch Powell is often quoted when a politician is at his or her end: "All political lives, unless they are cut off in midstream at a happy juncture, end in failure, because that is the nature of politics and of all human affairs." Has Enda Kenny's political life ended in failure? It is too early to say, not least because it has not yet ended. The late Conor Cruise O'Brien's observation on Charles Haughey is relevant: "If I saw Mr Haughey buried at midnight at a crossroads, with a stake driven through his heart - politically speaking - I should continue to wear a clove of garlic round my neck, just in case."
This time, it really does appear as though the end is nigh. Well, in three months. Perhaps Kenny's political life is best summed up, to paraphrase Beckett, that he has failed better than others, which includes half his 13 predecessors as Taoiseach - no mean achievement, but not a great one either.