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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: June 16, 2010 @ 4:39 pm

    Charlie Flanagan

    Harry McGee

    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.


    • Desmond FitzGerald says:

      If Richard wins, I hope he has a plan for when the media turn on him too and start the West Brit / academic /out of touch farming millionaire / home made jam jokes and start to notice he wears velvet jackets with padded elbows and then there’ll be the eye watering interview on the Late Late Show and the silence when asked about what books he likes or movies or singers, my God when you’ve heard him singing Milord by Edith Piaf you really will wish you were dead and you won’t care if you go to heaven as you die and the noise stops!

      More importantly I hope there is an answer when Fine Gael isn’t at 50% in the next proper poll when things settle down – how’s he going to explain how Fine Gael intend to get the ratings of The Two Ronnies when there were 3 channels in a world of X factor and 999 other channels to pick from.

      I think the sheer folly of his actions and the timing and the damage he has done to Fine Gael will leave a legacy the party will find it hard to paper over.

      Enda Kenny might be lacking in certain skills and Richard might have those skills but Richard does not have the skills that it is accepted Enda does have and I think a lack of technical skills is far easier to solve with a good team around you than a lack of people skills when you are having a good team around you and I don’t see Richard travelling to constituencies or giving fire in your belly speeches and I see a lot of people meeting Richard in the flesh and coming away distinctly unimpressed. “Very nice guy and decent and sincere but my God, what were they thinking?”

    • Fergal says:

      It looks as though the closer a member of the FG parlliamentary party is to Enda, the less likely they are to vote for him. The figures suggest that almost 60% of the front bench are against him, over 50% of FG TDs are against him, but Enda has a majority of senators (more dependent on his patronage) and all of the MEPs. The latter two groups don’t have to face a General Election under him of course. His already low credibility with the public will be even lower after this.

      In the last week of the next election campaign, the Irish people will decide they don’t want a lurch to the left, they don’t want their taxes raised any further and they don’t want to endanger the economic recovery. They will be nervous about Gilmore and they will not believe Kenny has the goods. Reluctantly, and almost not believing it themselves, they will place their number 1 beside their FF candidate. Sure you know what you are getting with them anyway, and isn’t he a good worker for the constituency? The result: FF/Lab with safe majority.

    • Examiner reported that O’Donnell plumped for Bruton… ?

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