Saturday 3 December 2016

We don't have to like our leaders, but it does help

Eoin O'Malley finds voters, whether at home and abroad, can quickly see beyond the myth of the masterful leader

Eoin O'Malley

Published 09/10/2016 | 02:30

Taoiseach and Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny. Pic: Tom Burke
Taoiseach and Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny. Pic: Tom Burke

After the 2014 local and European elections the Labour party, despairing at its poor performance, started a 'shove' - 'coup' seems too clinical - to remove Eamon Gilmore. He left quickly, albeit unwillingly.

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It was felt Gilmore was an impediment to the party's performance. Polls showed that Joan Burton was the most popular of senior Labour politicians.  She easily won the leadership contest, reshuffled some of the older, more comfortable ministers out, for younger, hungrier guys. The 2016 election came and Labour was annihilated.

Was it that Joan Burton wasn't the right choice? Perhaps she grated with the public once they got to know her? Or could it be something else?

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