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Micheal Martin Enda Kenny Eamon Gilmore John Gormley Gerry Adams

Solid TV performer. An expert at compassionate head nodding -- even when abuse is being hurled at him -- the new leader speaks softly in earnest tones.

But his ever politeness can make him hesitant about interrupting others and adopting aggressive positions, and this could cost him in the future.

Enda Kenny

  • Not his strongest suit by a long shot. Continually drawing on anecdotes and name-checking voters gives him an air of the everyman in touch with the people. But a tendency to pound tables while steadying his very distinguished Mayo accent and a habit of getting tripped-up on the forensic detail of policy is commonplace.

Eamon Gilmore

  • Smooth TV operator. Having pitched himself as 'Mr Angry', he is a master of the snappy soundbite and bringing debate back to the "people at home". But he is visibly more comfortable when on the offensive and attacking the Government than on the defensive when articulating some of his party's policies.

John Gormley

  • Can sometimes let the mask slip. Adept at steering the debate back to policy issues with "green fingertips" all over them, Mr Gormley often plays up the honest do-gooder and planet-saver. But he can easily get drawn into bad-tempered arguments -- making for good TV but distracting from his political ideas.

Gerry Adams

  • Terrible TV performance in 2007 when up against Michael McDowell. Always tries to immediately show why he is different.

But his long verbiage on economic polices, delivered in his renowned heavy Belfast accent, can become tiresome when it's the same script repeated over and over.

Irish Independent