Kieran O’Donnell, one of the undecideds, plumped for Kenny at lunchtime.
Then Charlie Flanagan announced a short while ago that he was going to support the motion of no confidence in Kenny. Flanagan expressed support for Kenny over the weekend but has obviously changed his mind since then.
The hint that he was backing Bruton came from the nine dissidents who suggested one or two others. Flanagan refused to say anything when cornered by media afterwards other than to say he was going for his lunch. That changed his status from strong Kennyite to soft.
His statement is a major coup for the Bruton camp and gives them more momentum on a day when the dynamic has changed in their direction.
If you look at earlier list (I’ve added it in below) , I would say that the majority of those will opt for Bruton though Jerry Buttimer, Terence Flanagan and Padraic McCormack are imponderables.
If Kenny got those three he would still squeeze home. But then you have to look at those who have declared for him who might be getting windy about the party’s prospects with such divisions. The Front Bench will also be vulnerable from day one, parodied and scoffed at by Fianna Fail and the Greens as a second-string outfit like the Limerick Senior hurling team.
I suspect there’s been a good bit of choreography to the Bruton camp today and they have played it more cleverly than the Kenny camp (for the first day since the campaign began). Yesterday and last night I would have said that the Kenny camp was slightly ahead. Now, I think it’s slipping over to the other side.
It’s not game over yet. But Bruton’s side have the wind behind their back.
Here’s the earlier list: Charlie Flanagan and Kieran O’Donnell have obviously declared for Bruton: So that makes it 33 to 28. Kenny’s pledges are not as solid as those for Bruton.