Fine Gael – where both sides are at now…
Last night I had calls and texts from both camps claiming they had the numbers.
Both claimed they were in the 30s with the other side lagging behind.
There are over 10 fence-sitters or waverers (or people who won’t say what side they are on).
The fact that it’s a secret ballot makes it problematic. A few have declared publicly for one candidate but the other side believe they have them in the bag, albeit in secret.
So here’s where I see it now.
SOLID KENNY -
Phil Hogan; Joe Carey; Bernard Allen; Pj Sheahan; Dinny McGinley; James Reilly; Alan Shatter; Catherine Byrne; Sean Barrett; Paul Connaughton; Jimmy Deenihan; Tom Sheahan; Dan Neville; James Bannon; John O’Mahony; Enda Kenny; Michael Ring; Shane McEntee; Frank Feighan; John Perry; Paul Kehoe; Liam Twomey; Paddy Burke; Frances Fitzgerald; Joe O’Reilly; Ciaran Cannon; Maurice Cummins; Jim Higgins; Mairead McGuinness; Sean Kelly; Gay Mitchell
Bernard Durkan; Charlie Flanagan; Paudie Coffey;
KENNY TOTAL: 34
Michael Creed; Simon Coveney; Joe McHugh; Richard Bruton; Olivia Mitchell; Lucinda Creighton; Brian Hayes; Leo Varadkar; Ulick Burke; Olwyn Enright; Michael Noonan; Fergus O’Dowd; Damien English; Denis Naughten; Tom Hayes; John Deasy; Michael D’Arcy; Billy Timmins; Andrew Doyle; Paul Bradford; John Paul Phelan; Eugene Regan; Nicky McFadden.
Jim O’Keeffe; Pat Breen; Paschal Donohoe;
ANTI-KENNY TOTAL: 26
CLAIMED BY BOTH SIDES/WAVERING/REFUSAL TO SAY:
Seymour Crawford; David Stanton; Deirdre Clune; Terence Flanagan; Padraic McCormack; Kieran O’Donnell; Noel Coonan; Jerry Buttimer; Fidelma Healy Eames; Paul Coghlan
NON-COMMITTED TOTAL: 10
On that basis Kenny is a little ahead though both sides claim they are ‘turning’ key parliamentary party members or have some of the waverers ‘in the bag’.
He will also have a front bench of ‘substitutes’ that will inspire the same confidence as Justin McCarthy’s second string Limerick hurling team facing into their Munster championship encounter next weekend.
The lobbying today is going to be fierce. At this moment in time, I put Kenny marginally in front. However, he’s going to have to win big if he’s going to survive. A narrow win for him could mean a fresh heave against him whenever the next opinion poll is published.