FG faces poll hammering over leadership election


Fine Gael will have a new leader by the end of the day and his first job will be to quell grassroots unrest within the party. What could make matters worse, is that the dissent will be over his appointment.

Fine Gael
Mr Jonathan Newman (left) with Mr Colm MacEochaidh and Mr Raymond O'Rourke at a meeting calling on Fine Gael to hold back on electing a new party leader, which was held in the Gresham Hotel, Dublin, last night

However, a postal ballot of members is needed to ratify the proposal and the parliamentary party believe the process would take too long, effectively paralysing them as a political voice throughout the Summer.

With Seanad elections set for the end of the month, outgoing Seanad members will cast a vote today meaning the party's new senators, who will not be elected until the end of the month, will not have a say.

There are 49 TDs, senators and MEPs entitled to vote using the Proportional Representation method. Transfers will be crucial in deciding the outcome. The meeting to select a leader to replace Mr Michael Noonan is due to begin at 2.30 p.m. Four candidates have put their name forward with Mr Richard Bruton and Mr Phil Hogan considered close second favourites to Mayo TD Mr Enda Kenny. Mr Gay Mitchell is also seeking the position.

A result is expected before 6 p.m.