Friday 18 August 2017

Kenny has the upper hand now - but overconfidence could be his downfall

The Taoiseach needs to learn from his mistakes and put his pride to one side if he wants to avoid an election this year

Taoiseach Enda Kenny. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Taoiseach Enda Kenny. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Eoin O'Malley

Happy New Year, Fine Gael. Enda Kenny is refusing to rule out leading Fine Gael into the next election. In March 2016, in the aftermath of the election, he was considered past his sell-by date. It looked like he could be dumped within weeks.

Even after he was re-elected Taoiseach, it was predicted Kenny would be gone by the end of the summer, then before the Budget, then after the Budget. By Christmas, definitely. And now we're here in the New Year, and he could be going on indefinitely.

But Kenny's ability to put together a government gave him the upper hand. He created no new enemies in his Cabinet formation - not serious ones anyway - and it didn't help either of the main rivals for his job to get too far ahead of the other.

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