Wednesday, January 03, 2007
John Deasy is certainly a chip of the old block. His father Austin put down at least one motion of no confidence in a Fine Gael leader. His comments today that Enda Kenny will face a leadership challenge if he loses the election - even narrowly - will infuriate the backroom people in FG. They have spent four years trying to build up Enda as credible Taoiseach material and feel that that could now be scuppered by an enemy within. What's surprising is that they were a bolt out of the blue, were apropos nothing at all. In his Examiner interview this week, Kenny demurred when asked would he continue to lead the party if it suffered a narrow loss. Maybe it came out of that.
Deasy is an individualist, sometimes stubbornly so, and does not hold back on venting his forthright views. Thus, the rebel and maverick tags he has acquired. His warning that Kenny will only have one shot at the prize has more or less done for any ambitions Deasy may have under a Kenny readership. He told RTE tonight that he would offer himself as a candidate. But realistically, Deasy knows that he couldn't hope to command much support. The most likely leading candidate is Simon Coveney, who will be moulded into the Fine Gael version of David Cameron, should the party lose a third term of office in a row.