Nah. It’s not going to happen.
But the theory surrounding her candidacy is fascinating. It goes like this:
If she is offered the job, Cowen rids himself of a recurring headache in Cabinet – her poor and unauthotitative performance as Tánaiste.
Her move to Brussels would also tick the gender balance box.
Thirdly. Agriculture will be one of the key portfolios on offer. Who better than the politician who cann deem herself a success in that job.
But what about the by-election? Didn’t Seamus Kirk’s elevation to Ceann Comhairle put paid to any TD getting the job?
Well. Yes, but…. Couglan is from Donegal and her constituency Donegal South West is unusual in this respect. There is already a vacancy in the three-seater following Pat the Cope Gallagher’s ection as an MEP.
If Couglan was appointhed, we would have a brand new animal in electoral history, a by-election for two seats in one constituency.
There would be only one election. Under our STV PR system, byelections for one seat are held exactly like multiple seat elections. That would mean one election for two seats. That would mean the FF candidate would require to win 33 per cent of the votes plus one vote rather than 50 per cent plus one in a one seat election.
Doable, say some. If Pearse Doherty romps home FF will benefit from his surplus more than Fine Gael.
It’s not going to happen, in my view. Coughlan will stay put. Cowen knows that even in Donegal 33 per cent may be too much to ask given the Government’s unpopularity.
Pat Cox is my guess on the basis that he has been instru
ental in steering Lisbon through. Maire Geoghegan Quinn has been too long away from the public gaze.