Simon Harris told the Fine Gael national conference: “We’ve fixed the Irish car, we’ve taken it out of the ditch, we’ve put it on the road, Now we’re ready for the next part of the journey. The last thing we can afford is to give the car back to the people who crashed it.” Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

In the past few weeks we have seen a shrewd and careful attempt by the senior Government party to frame the political context for the next election. H(...)

If Dr McDonnell is to have any hope of remaining at the helm, he must hold his South Belfast seat. Photograph: Bill Smyth/PA

There’s a sizeable rump in the SDLP which believes that this time next year the party will have a new leader. Current captain Dr Alasdair McDonnell mi(...)

Cameron and Tories look to voters
  • UK
  • October 6, 2014, 01:00

Last week’s Tory party conference, and British prime minister David Cameron’s speech, were all about putting the party on a war footing for next May’s(...)

Labour leader Ed Milliband accused British prime minister David Cameron of acting as a “cheerleader” for Pfizer  in its $106 billion efforts to acquire the second-largest British pharma group. Photograph: Andrew Winning/Reuters

How ironic that, as it squares up to the challenge of the anti-European Ukip in the forthcoming European elections, members of Britain’s Conservative-(...)

Deep in thought... Taoiseach Enda Kenny launches the Fine Gael Seanad campaign at the RHA Dublin last week. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

There’s no easing of toes back into the water for national politicians this week, rather an ungainly plunge into deep waters.All three big parties are(...)

While there is speculation overBoris Johnson and Cameron’s Tory leadership, Enda Kenny has been an incredibly firm leader. Photographs: Ben A. Pruchnie/Getty Images and Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

How safe is David Cameron as leader of the Tory Party? As safe as houses, you might think, with the proviso that all political houses tend to be made(...)

Len McCluskey (left), general secretary of Unite, talks to members of the media at an NHS 65th birthday party in Golden Hill Park, Urmston, Manchester. Photograph: Dave Thompson/PA Wire

Earlier this month a storm broke in the British Labour Party about its link with trade unions. It was caused by a row between the party and trade unio(...)