Voter appeal is key as Fine Gael power shifts to the next generation
'Let the games begin," said Enda Kenny on Wednesday night when he announced his retirement as Taoiseach. And, after a decent interval to allow for the inevitable tributes to Fine Gael's longest-serving leader and Taoiseach, the games certainly commenced in earnest yesterday.
It quickly became obvious that there would be only two contestants when Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald and Education Minister Richard Bruton said they were staying out of the fray.
They were wise to do so as the party needs to skip a generation at the top if it is to broaden its appeal to a more diverse and volatile electorate. Fine Gael needs a younger leader's face on the posters for the next election. And that face will be from one of the two capitals of Ireland - Dublin or, as it regards itself, 'The Real Capital' of Cork.