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Enda the road? Even Gormley turns on more TV viewers than Kenny

FINE GAEL leader Enda Kenny has suffered an embarrassing defeat at the hands of embattled John Gormley.

Despite being one of the country's most unpopular politicians, Green boss Gormley landed more TV viewers than Kenny when he made his conference speech on Saturday.

If proof were needed that car-crash TV attracts viewers, the Green Party have provided it. Amazingly, more than a quarter of a million people tuned in to hear Mr Gormley praise his members for propping up the beleaguered Fianna Fail Government.

According to official figures released by RTE to the Herald, 253,900 people watched Gormley explain how "Government isn't for the faint-hearted".

The viewership figures will make abysmal reading for Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny who attracted almost 10,000 fewer people the week before.

It seems hard-pressed taxpayers were more interested in hearing the Greens explain why they are keeping Brian Cowen in the Taoiseach's chair, than hearing why Enda Kenny wants to be the next leader of the country.

A total of 244,600 people turned on to watch Mr Kenny, representing 16.79pc of the available audience between 8.30pm and 9pm 11 days ago.

Mr Gormley achieved 18.61pc of the available audience on Saturday evening last.

Fine Gael pointed out that their leader's speech from Killarney was competing with the final game of rugby's Six Nations Championship between France and England. But Mr Gormley had to contend with a bumper edition of Premiership Soccer Saturday on RTE Two, which included highlights of Chelsea v Aston Villa and Bolton v Manchester United.