Who will be the next Taoiseach?

Madam Taoiseach?

Madam Taoiseach?

One of the curiousities of the current government is that many of its members are very much from the Garrett years, and of a certain, shall we say, vintage.

As a result of that, and assuming that it is not unreasonable to think that the govt could win a second term, the question of Enda’s replacement is a valid one. Enda, whilst not being an intellectual powerhouse, isn’t a dope either. The savvy move would be to lead his party to an historic second term (something they have never achieved) and then to head off to the Aras when Michael D’s term is up, walking off into the sunset as FG’s most successful leader ever, and first ever FG president. As for his successor?

We all know the names. Hayes, Varadkar, Coveney, but if I had to put money on one longshot, I’d put money on Lucinda Creighton. She’s a savvy constituency operator, good communicator, and most importantly, seems to have a vision as to what FG should be for. Varadkar has all that too, but is in serious danger of being this govt’s Michael McDowell, assuming Alan Shatter doesn’t beat him there first.

Creighton, on the other hand, has got that Thatcher thing going, and to people who tell you that Ireland will never elect a Margaret Thatcher, just wait until the Irish people have had five years of tax rises, and we’ll see about that. I’m not a fan of her social conservatism, but on Europe she has shown an absolutely excellent control of her brief, and the means to communicate it. To be honest, I feel a bit safer that she’s with Enda.

Creighton has got a political gut instinct, and if she plays her cards right, she’ll be the first woman to visit President Kenny to announce her new cabinet.

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