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New FF leader has to hit the ground running

The new Fianna Fail leader's in-tray demands urgent attention on 10 points.

1. Urgently appoint a director of elections: The new leader needs to appoint an experienced party figure with a strategic mind to take command of operations.

2. Urgently conclude all conventions: Micheal Martin must immediately seek final assurances that all sitting TDs are committed to the imminent battle. Remaining conventions must be wrapped up and all candidates listed by Tuesday.

3. Appoint frontbench spokespeople who will become opposition attack-dogs: With the Cabinet reduced to seven ministers, the new leader needs to appoint frontbench spokespeople with specific portfolios.

4. Decide what to do with the three other leadership contenders: Ensuring they are given prominent roles in the election will be an important show of unity and harmony.

5. Construct an honest and humble election slogan: The new leader needs to set an appropriate tone with the election theme, staying clear of anything comical like 'Let's finish what we started'.

6. Get media preparation for leaders' debates: The live TV leaders' debates will play an unprecedented role in the campaign. Preparation is key; scrutinising the opposition's policies is crucial.

7. Call all party leaders at council level and cumann chairmen to a meeting on local strategies: Mobilise local councillors to knock on doors and argue the case for the "tough decisions" taken.

8. Decide on election strategy and whether to play up another Tallaght Strategy: Martin has to decide whether it is worth opposing the new Government for opposition sake.

9. Crank up fundraising: Fianna Fail is massively in debt and will need to crank up its online and local fundraising.

10. Organise meetings with all candidates and insist on face-to-face time.

Irish Independent