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Fine Gael Leadership: Contest or Coronation?

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  • 17-05-2017 8:24pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 3,398 ✭✭✭


    My tuppence worth (as someone who is not an FG fan)

    Simon Coveney is the classic, polished frontman.

    Leo Varadkar is the classic fixer/enforcer/henchman. (& with the breadth of intellect for Finance)

    A marriage (ahem!) made in (political) heaven?

    Would like to see an agreed coronation.

    D.

    Ps. Then Varadkar assumes the crown in 5 years, or whatever.


«134

Comments

  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Politics Moderators Posts: 14,482 Mod ✭✭✭✭johnnyskeleton


    Dinarius wrote: »
    Simon Coveney is the classic, polished frontman.

    Leo Varadkar is the classic fixer/enforcer/henchman. (& with the breadth of intellect for Finance)

    I would be inclined to think the opposite. Coveney is the party insiders choice and would appeal to most FGers as maintaining the consensus or soft leadership style of Kenny.

    Varadkar would be a much more popular leader and would be more inclined to make statements and be the face of FG.

    I would think Varadkar would be better because people want a strong leader in these uncertain times, but Im resigned to the fact that FG party members are still shaken from their 2002 electoral collapse and will be very conservative.

    So Coveney will almost certainly be elected as party leader in my view. The only possible spanner in the works for him to then go on to be Taoiseach would be the Dail vote, but Im not sure FF would hold it up over the leadership battle!


  • Registered Users Posts: 683 ✭✭✭conditioned games


    Leo Varadkar is a spoofer. Can't see myself voting fine gael if he was leader.


  • Registered Users Posts: 71 ✭✭MySandwich


    It's surely going to be Covney, the farmers love him


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,336 ✭✭✭Mr.Micro


    MySandwich wrote: »
    It's surely going to be Covney, the farmers love him

    They sure do. He could not do enough for them. He is just Enda lite....a yes man IMO with no plan. Varadkar is not great either. In fact no real personality in FG to lead the party or give it a boost. The new leader would get a big boost by dealing with the festering Garda issue.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,398 ✭✭✭Dinarius


    Mr.Micro wrote: »
    They sure do. He could not do enough for them. He is just Enda lite....a yes man IMO with no plan. Varadkar is not great either. In fact no real personality in FG to lead the party or give it a boost. The new leader would get a big boost by dealing with the festering Garda issue.

    ....and water, and housing, and Brexit, and take your pick...


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  • Registered Users Posts: 20,397 ✭✭✭✭FreudianSlippers


    I would be inclined to think the opposite. Coveney is the party insiders choice and would appeal to most FGers as maintaining the consensus or soft leadership style of Kenny.

    Varadkar would be a much more popular leader and would be more inclined to make statements and be the face of FG.

    I would think Varadkar would be better because people want a strong leader in these uncertain times, but Im resigned to the fact that FG party members are still shaken from their 2002 electoral collapse and will be very conservative.

    So Coveney will almost certainly be elected as party leader in my view. The only possible spanner in the works for him to then go on to be Taoiseach would be the Dail vote, but Im not sure FF would hold it up over the leadership battle!
    +1

    Coveney is very much seen as a continuation of the status quo - a slightly-left-of-centre economic view point with a fairly traditional right-of-centre social view.

    Varakdar is probably the most centrist economic politician (or the furthest right in terms of FG) that we have in this country; however, he's still firmly within the Irish version of centre (i.e. fairly leftist) so that works for FG. I'd say Varadkar's main problem in FG is his socially liberal views and (IMHO) for FG his sexuality will play a part regardless of what they say in the voxpops.


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 22,596 Mod ✭✭✭✭bk


    I'd say Varadkar's main problem in FG is his socially liberal views and (IMHO) for FG his sexuality will play a part regardless of what they say in the voxpops.

    You aren't wrong about any of that and it is also why FG badly needs him as leader!

    FG really need to appeal to the younger generation of urban more socially liberal people of Ireland.

    FG staying a rural party will end up wiping the party out. Ireland's demographics are quickly shifting to urban areas. Ireland is now undergoing the urbanisation that happened all across Europe more then 50 years ago (England, France, etc. populations are now 90% urban) and there is little that can be done to stop it, it is just what happens to modern, service oriented Western countries.

    FG desperately needs to re-invent itself to appeal to an increasingly urban, liberal population, sticking to their rural roots is a losing proposition IMO.

    An economically centerist (for Ireland), socially liberal leader and party is exactly what the majority of younger, urban people have been waiting for IMO.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,398 ✭✭✭Dinarius


    bk wrote: »
    You aren't wrong about any of that and it is also why FG badly needs him as leader!

    FG really need to appeal to the younger generation of urban more socially liberal people of Ireland.

    FG staying a rural party will end up wiping the party out. Ireland's demographics are quickly shifting to urban areas. Ireland is now undergoing the urbanisation that happened all across Europe more then 50 years ago (England, France, etc. populations are now 90% urban) and there is little that can be done to stop it, it is just what happens to modern, service oriented Western countries.

    FG desperately needs to re-invent itself to appeal to an increasingly urban, liberal population, sticking to their rural roots is a losing proposition IMO.

    An economically centerist (for Ireland), socially liberal leader and party is exactly what the majority of younger, urban people have been waiting for IMO.

    Given the state of political stasis that has paralysed politics since the election, can either candidate gain by winning the leadership now?

    Or do they risk losing out by not being in, so to speak?

    Is an FF/FG grand coalition inevitable?

    D.


  • Registered Users Posts: 39,679 ✭✭✭✭Itssoeasy


    Dinarius wrote: »
    Given the state of political stasis that has paralysed politics since the election, can either candidate gain by winning the leadership now?

    Or do they risk losing out by not being in, so to speak?

    Is an FF/FG grand coalition inevitable?

    D.

    I don't think it is inevitable as I remember when it was been talked about during the last election and I'd know a good few FG members both young and old and it really wasn't very popular.


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,748 ✭✭✭✭Inquitus


    The bookies seem to differ from the sentiment in this thread, the 3 quoting odds have:

    Varadkar 1/10
    Coveney 11/2


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  • Registered Users Posts: 37,854 ✭✭✭✭eagle eye


    I'm very surprised at how good it looks for Varadkar. I'm of the opinion that if he gets the leadership that support for Fine Gael will drop massively. There were a lot of voters who voted against gay marriage and before we even think about those who voted in favour of it you have to accept that almost all of those who voted against will not vote for a party led by a gay man.

    Coveney looks like a safe bet to me for the next five/ten years.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,061 ✭✭✭irishfeen


    The current declared voting intetions according to RTÉ, With 65% of the vote, the 73-member Fine Gael parliamentary party will have the biggest say in who the new leader is.... 32 Members yet to declare.

    VARADKAR: - 27/73

    TDs - Brendan Griffin, Josepha Madigan, Helen McIntee, Joe McHugh, Peter Burke, Eoghan Murphy, Richard Bruton, Michael D'Arcy, Sean Kyne, Colm Brophy, Noel Rock, Pat Deering, John Paul Phelan, Ciaran Cannon, Alan Farrell, Mary Mitchell O'Connor, Paddy Burke, Heather Humphreys

    Senators - Ray Butler, Maria Byrne, Martin Conway, Frank Feighan, Maura Hopkins, Michelle Mulherin, Catherine Noone, Neale Richmond

    MEPs - Brian Hayes

    COVENEY: 14/73

    TDs - Simon Harris, Damien English, Dara Murphy, Maira Bailey, Kate O'Connell, David Stanton, Marcella Corcoran Kennedy,

    Senators - James Reilly, Tim Lombard, John O'Mahony, Gabrielle McFadden, Colm Burke, Jerry Buttimer, Paudie Coffey



    Looking like a landslide tbh..


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,405 ✭✭✭✭Beechwoodspark


    irishfeen wrote: »
    The current declared voting intetions according to RTÉ, With 65% of the vote, the 73-member Fine Gael parliamentary party will have the biggest say in who the new leader is.... 32 Members yet to declare.

    VARADKAR: - 27/73

    TDs - Brendan Griffin, Josepha Madigan, Helen McIntee, Joe McHugh, Peter Burke, Eoghan Murphy, Richard Bruton, Michael D'Arcy, Sean Kyne, Colm Brophy, Noel Rock, Pat Deering, John Paul Phelan, Ciaran Cannon, Alan Farrell, Mary Mitchell O'Connor, Paddy Burke, Heather Humphreys

    Senators - Ray Butler, Maria Byrne, Martin Conway, Frank Feighan, Maura Hopkins, Michelle Mulherin, Catherine Noone, Neale Richmond

    MEPs - Brian Hayes

    COVENEY: 14/73

    TDs - Simon Harris, Damien English, Dara Murphy, Maira Bailey, Kate O'Connell, David Stanton, Marcella Corcoran Kennedy,

    Senators - James Reilly, Tim Lombard, John O'Mahony, Gabrielle McFadden, Colm Burke, Jerry Buttimer, Paudie Coffey



    Looking like a landslide tbh..

    Lot of ppl to declare yet


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,061 ✭✭✭irishfeen


    Lot of ppl to declare yet
    Oh yeah of course there is but I would be amazed if Coveney won it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,599 ✭✭✭matthew8


    bk wrote: »
    You aren't wrong about any of that and it is also why FG badly needs him as leader!

    FG really need to appeal to the younger generation of urban more socially liberal people of Ireland.

    FG staying a rural party will end up wiping the party out. Ireland's demographics are quickly shifting to urban areas. Ireland is now undergoing the urbanisation that happened all across Europe more then 50 years ago (England, France, etc. populations are now 90% urban) and there is little that can be done to stop it, it is just what happens to modern, service oriented Western countries.

    FG desperately needs to re-invent itself to appeal to an increasingly urban, liberal population, sticking to their rural roots is a losing proposition IMO.

    An economically centerist (for Ireland), socially liberal leader and party is exactly what the majority of younger, urban people have been waiting for IMO.

    Your view of Fine Gael is outdated by around 15 years. Fine Gael did perfectly well in urban/suburban areas in 2016. In fact, their losses were far, far worse in the countryside and they even managed to gain a seat in a Dublin consituency (Dublin North West) where they didn't win one in 2011.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,540 ✭✭✭Leonard Hofstadter


    matthew8 wrote: »
    Your view of Fine Gael is outdated by around 15 years. Fine Gael did perfectly well in urban/suburban areas in 2016. In fact, their losses were far, far worse in the countryside and they even managed to gain a seat in a Dublin consituency (Dublin North West) where they didn't win one in 2011.

    Absolutely, it was rural Ireland that turned its back on Fine Gael in the 2016.

    FG barely lost any seats in Dublin, in wealthy South County Dublin especially they more than held their own.

    I still want Leo to win, though, about time FG shook things up and got rid of their staid and boring image.


  • Registered Users Posts: 41,017 ✭✭✭✭Annasopra


    Dinarius wrote: »
    My tuppence worth (as someone who is not an FG fan)

    Simon Coveney is the classic, polished frontman.

    Leo Varadkar is the classic fixer/enforcer/henchman. (& with the breadth of intellect for Finance)

    A marriage (ahem!) made in (political) heaven?

    Would like to see an agreed coronation.

    D.

    Ps. Then Varadkar assumes the crown in 5 years, or whatever.

    I don't think Coveney is "polished" at all. He isn't a great public speaker. When he speaks I get too distracted by his blandness and all the "um", "eh", "ah" in the midst

    It was so much easier to blame it on Them. It was bleakly depressing to think that They were Us. If it was Them, then nothing was anyone's fault. If it was us, what did that make Me? After all, I'm one of Us. I must be. I've certainly never thought of myself as one of Them. No one ever thinks of themselves as one of Them. We're always one of Us. It's Them that do the bad things.

    Terry Pratchet



  • Registered Users Posts: 3,398 ✭✭✭Dinarius


    I'm surprised Varadkar appears to be such a shoo-in. Would have expected it to be closer.

    May be indicative of the ever increasing urban/rural divide in this country.

    Speaking personally, throughout their entire existence, FG have been a disaster for culture and the arts. While I detest FF, just about anything of cultural and artistic significance, in the last 100 years, has happened under their watch.

    If Varadkar becomes leader, I hope it presages a change in outlook in this area at least.

    D.

    (Urban) wife's view is this: "Mná na hÉireann will vote for Coveney, not Varadkar. (The short odds on Varadkar) is the boys (in FG) thinking they're getting it right, and they'll be proved wrong at the election."

    Think of it like this: Given our increasingly personalised approach to politics (it's the Theresa May battle bus, not the Conservative Party battle bus - very presidential) who are Joe and Josephine Public more likely to go for, Varadkar or Martin? I'm not sure.


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,405 ✭✭✭✭Beechwoodspark


    Dinarius wrote: »
    I'm surprised Varadkar appears to be such a shoo-in. Would have expected it to be closer.

    May be indicative of the ever increasing urban/rural divide in this country.

    Speaking personally, throughout their entire existence, FG have been a disaster for culture and the arts. While I detest FF, just about anything of cultural and artistic significance, in the last 100 years, has happened under their watch.

    If Varadkar becomes leader, I hope it presages a change in outlook in this area at least.

    D.

    (Urban) wife's view is this: "Mná na hÉireann will vote for Coveney, not Varadkar. (The short odds on Varadkar) is the boys (in FG) thinking they're getting it right, and they'll be proved wrong at the election."

    Think of it like this: Given our increasingly personalised approach to politics (it's the Theresa May battle bus, not the Conservative Party battle bus - very presidential) who are Joe and Josephine Public more likely to go for, Varadkar or Martin? I'm not sure.

    I interact with a lot of people throughout the country on a daily basis and honestly can say Varadkar is not half as popular as the media bubble would have you believe. Bit of emperors new clothes about him. Although I must say I'm not too enthused about coveney either.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,213 ✭✭✭mattser


    Inquitus wrote: »
    The bookies seem to differ from the sentiment in this thread, the 3 quoting odds have:

    Varadkar 1/10
    Coveney 11/2

    Get on 11/2 as fast as you can. Coveney is going to grow impress in the next 16 days. Bookies don't get it wrong too often, but that's a ridiculous price in a two horse race that's just beginning.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,398 ✭✭✭Dinarius


    I interact with a lot of people throughout the country on a daily basis and honestly can say Varadkar is not half as popular as the media bubble would have you believe. Bit of emperors new clothes about him. Although I must say I'm not too enthused about coveney either.

    So, we agree then? :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,398 ✭✭✭Dinarius


    mattser wrote: »
    Get on 11/2 as fast as you can. Coveney is going to grow impress in the next 16 days. Bookies don't get it wrong too often, but that's a ridiculous price in a two horse race that's just beginning.

    Very good point.

    D.


  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Politics Moderators Posts: 14,482 Mod ✭✭✭✭johnnyskeleton


    eagle eye wrote: »
    I'm very surprised at how good it looks for Varadkar. I'm of the opinion that if he gets the leadership that support for Fine Gael will drop massively. There were a lot of voters who voted against gay marriage and before we even think about those who voted in favour of it you have to accept that almost all of those who voted against will not vote for a party led by a gay man.

    I dont think so. Most if not all of the campaigners made the point that they were against changing the law on marriage, not that they are against gay people. Moreover, even if they are against gay people, Irish people vote for the local candidate rather than based on the party leaders.


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,405 ✭✭✭✭Beechwoodspark


    Dinarius wrote: »
    So, we agree then? :)

    Yep. Leo has his support base for sure. I just don't think it's as all encompassing as the media would have us believe


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 22,596 Mod ✭✭✭✭bk


    matthew8 wrote: »
    Your view of Fine Gael is outdated by around 15 years. Fine Gael did perfectly well in urban/suburban areas in 2016. In fact, their losses were far, far worse in the countryside and they even managed to gain a seat in a Dublin consituency (Dublin North West) where they didn't win one in 2011.

    But wasn't their 2016 defeats in rural Ireland led by a lad from rural Mayo and a big GAA supporter?

    What more could they do to appeal to rural Ireland? Perhaps they might be more successful trying something different, maybe our assumptions about what rural Ireland want are wrong?


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,845 ✭✭✭✭loyatemu


    I don't think Leo being gay will make that much of a difference if he becomes leader.

    A lot of the people who voted against the marriage referendum would be older FF or FG supporters, they tend not to switch parties - they'll just keep voting for their local TD because he fixed the roads or whatever.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,398 ✭✭✭Dinarius


    Took 6/1 on Coveney; a tiny (and I mean tiny!) punt to maintain my interest in the campaign.

    Satisfies the contrarian in me! :)

    D.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,336 ✭✭✭Mr.Micro


    I just get the feeling that many would like to vote Varadkar but will opt for the bland Coveney as the safer option. We need another candidate, a real one.


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,845 ✭✭✭✭loyatemu


    Mr.Micro wrote: »
    I just get the feeling that many would like to vote Varadkar but will opt for the bland Coveney as the safer option. We need another candidate, a real one.

    who exactly?


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 697 ✭✭✭wordofwarning


    I don't think Coveney is "polished" at all. He isn't a great public speaker. When he speaks I get too distracted by his blandness and all the "um", "eh", "ah" in the midst

    I agree. He can barely go 10 seconds without you thinking is he lost?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g_UvPK8xYyA

    Leo is a good public speaker. He can get his point across. He gets it across maybe too curtly. But at the end of the day, he is a Dubliner. Dubliners aren't going to waffle on for 10 mins when you can say it in 2 mins


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