Wednesday 7 December 2016

Kenny is in a weak position, both in the Dail and within Fine Gael

Fine Gael may allow him to become Taoiseach while ceasing to lead the party

Eoin O'Malley

Published 06/03/2016 | 02:30

Tough: Enda Kenny (centre) with Richard Bruton, Simon Harris, Paschal Donohoe, Leo Varadkar, Frances Fitzgerald and Michael Noonan at an election news conference Photo: Tom Burke
Tough: Enda Kenny (centre) with Richard Bruton, Simon Harris, Paschal Donohoe, Leo Varadkar, Frances Fitzgerald and Michael Noonan at an election news conference Photo: Tom Burke

Fine Gael's election performance was dire. The party can spin it - "we're still the largest party" - but Enda Kenny delivered a result that was much closer to the 2002 'disaster' result than the 2011 result. In 2002, the then party leader, Michael Noonan, took responsibility for a result 'beyond our worst fears' and immediately resigned.

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Kenny has taken responsibility for the result, but his conclusion is that his responsibility compels him to open talks with Fianna Fail about forming a new government.

This was hardly a surprise. Enda Kenny is desperate to be re-elected Taoiseach. He would become the first Fine Gael leader to achieve this.

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