Could Micheál Martin be the next leader on these islands to be handed his cards as party leader?
When he was inspecting destroyed blocks of flats in Kyiv, the Fianna Fáil parliamentary party met demonstratively without him.
The regular meeting had been canceled in the Fuhrer’s absence, but a few malcontents let it be known that they would be in the party rooms anyway to exchange ideas.
No fewer than 30 TDs and Senators showed up. Whining about the leader was immediate, with many concluding that he simply wasn’t focused on the party’s chances in the next election.
The Taoiseach has been party leader for more than 11 years – politically an eternity. He was a cabinet minister in the last century. He vowed yesterday to run as prime minister in the next elections, but most believe it would be fair to step down in five months when Leo Varadkar takes over as prime minister. Meanwhile, his upcoming week-long trip to Japan and Singapore looks like a swan song.
So, as the Tories prepare for their sweepstakes, who’s in the Fianna Fáil parade ring? Here’s the early betting.
Micheál Martin’s running mate at Cork South Central would be the continuity candidate and has represented himself on Leaders’ Questions. There is no doubt that he is competent and articulate, but he has rarely shown fire in his gut. Charisma issues, but if he can find some unique selling propositions, he should lose.
Odds: Even’s favorite
The man Sinn Féin fears. Lively and combative, O’Brien brings plenty of no-nonsense Northside dub to his briefing. Elections are increasingly won in the cities and especially in the capital. Probably a dark horse to many, the omens for the Fingal standard-bearer are promising.
Popular throughout the party, he wasn’t at the exclamation mark this week. Promptly resigned as Agriculture Secretary via Golfgate, although he only made one speech and left. Has
long at the closet table, but his inexperience here might work against him, along with his rural roots.
One of those guys who keeps his powder dry like he’s born to rule. Can be too “noble” for many of the common folk and seems consumed by loftier things. The Senior Counsel is now impishly talking about a referendum on the Special Criminal Court – hardly a priority.
The Waterford TD has impressed since becoming Minister of State at the Department of Health, where she has often outshone her boss Stephen Donnelly, who doesn’t even come under the starter’s orders. A tough guy and former retail executive who always asks the tough questions.
The brother. Under a Napoleonic code he would have had great chances of promotion, but might have brought too much reality to the “political turnaround”.
The surname is more of a hindrance than a help these days, but it doesn’t lack ambition and courage. His mouth could run away with him sometimes.
Eamon O Cuiv: Although he was second to Micheál Martin last time out, at 72 he is too old.
Lisa Chambers: One to watch in the future, the Mayo attorney is currently stuck in the seanad, a fatal circumstance.
Anne Rabbitte: Almost her time, but the Disability Minister could use a little more profile. Was an able Fianna Fáil negotiator in government formation talks.
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/politics/is-micheal-martin-on-his-last-lap-here-are-the-contenders-who-might-replace-him-as-leader-of-fianna-fail-41823522.html Is Micheál Martin on his last lap? Here are the contenders who could replace him as leader of Fianna Fáil