Saturday 21 October 2017

Honeymoon will be short, so new leader may have to go courting

Varadkar will win but his patchy record makes it hard to predict if he will be any good

Willie O'Dea is a Fianna Fail TD for Limerick city. Photo: Tom Burke
Willie O'Dea is a Fianna Fail TD for Limerick city. Photo: Tom Burke

Willie O'Dea

For the past 12 months people have been asking my prediction as to who will win the Fine Gael leadership contest: Simon or Leo. I've been telling them all the same thing: Leo is a certainty.

Firstly, Leo Varadkar has been actively campaigning for at least two years. Simon Coveney appears to have been campaigning for only two months. Secondly, Leo has managed to convey to the public at large that he is not your typical politician. The reality of politics today is that the less you look like a politician, the more attractive you are to the general public.

Finally, Leo seems to have put together a savvy campaign team that was able to cleverly media manage a number of critical declarations when the campaign officially started. These manoeuvres contrived to make Simon's campaign look like a latter-day version of the Charge of the Light Brigade.

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