Saturday 21 April 2018

Calls for 'presidential' FG election no guarantee it won't descend into an ugly, bare-knuckle battle

Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar. Photo: Frank Mc Grath
Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar. Photo: Frank Mc Grath
John Downing

John Downing

In the inevitable nasty game of "pass-the-parcel" after Fine Gael's 2016 big election fall, a huge dollop of blame was with some justification allotted to Enda Kenny.

But there are others who got off rather lightly - not least the two luminaries, Leo Varadkar and Simon Coveney - now deemed the frontrunners to succeed Mr Kenny. This is among the factors which could play in to what will be a very keenly fought battle for the party leadership which carries the additional prize of the most senior job available in all of Irish politics.

It will be a very presidential-style head-to-head battle. The party chairman, Martin Heydon, and some key headquarters officials have amassed a big stock of "yellow cards" to prevent campaign tactics that damage the Fine Gael image as a responsible party.

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