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55% don't want election if Lenihan runs country and Cowen goes now

3203 Views 19 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Boba Fett22
Lenihan is willing to accept leadership

TDs hoping Cowen will stand down voluntarily to avoid damaging battle


Sunday September 19 2010

MINISTER for Finance Brian Lenihan is willing to immediately take over from Taoiseach Brian Cowen should he resign after his notorious "hungover" radio interview, the Sunday Independent has reason to believe.

Mr Lenihan, who has cancer, is nevertheless prepared to succeed Mr Cowen if there is agreement among members of the Cabinet and a majority of the Fianna Fail parliamentary party that he should do so.

This weekend, the Minister for Finance remains open to discussion with members of the Cabinet, and to talks with Fianna Fail TDs and senators, on how best to proceed after what was the most controversial week in the political career of the Taoiseach.

While there is some loose talk among a few backbench TDs that a motion of 'no confidence' in Mr Cowen be tabled, it emerged from authoritative sources this weekend that a majority of Fianna Fail TDs and senators want to avoid such a move.

The disclosure today that Mr Lenihan, even though he is in ill-health, would be willing to step up to the position of Taoiseach, is now expected to provoke a flurry of activity which may, depending on the attitude taken by Mr Cowen, culminate in the speedy departure of the Taoiseach. The overwhelming feeling within the Fianna Fail parliamentary party is that a direct challenge to Mr Cowen for the leadership should be avoided at all costs, but that he might be persuaded that he should resign after more than two years as Taoiseach.

"He must be encouraged to voluntarily step down," a senior and respected TD told the Sunday Independent yesterday.

"If he were to be convinced of the merit in that, then everybody would be satisfied. Nobody wants to see him humiliated."

Yesterday, Mr Lenihan refused to be publicly drawn on his intentions.

But he conceded that the controversy surrounding Mr Cowen this weekend had done "real damage" to Fianna Fail and had been an "unwanted distraction" for the Government.

Three other members of the Cabinet -- Foreign Affairs Minister Micheal Martin, Justice Minister Dermot Ahern, and Tourism Culture and Sport Minister Mary Hanafin -- also have been implicitly critical of the Taoiseach in recent days.

Mr Martin has emerged as an early favourite in media reports to succeed Mr Cowen.

However, the disclosure today that Mr Lenihan, without wishing to precipitate the downfall of the Taoiseach, is willing to take over, will serve to concentrate minds in Fianna Fail.

In any decision it may take, the Fianna Fail parliamentary party will next week take into account the results of a Sunday Independent/Quantum Research opinion poll today which found that a huge majority would prefer Mr Lenihan to Mr Martin as a potential Taoiseach should Mr Cowen resign.

Asked if Mr Cowen did step down as Taoiseach, who they would prefer to replace him, respondents said: Brian Lenihan (70 per cent), Micheal Martin (30 per cent).

The telephone poll of 500 people nationwide also found that were Mr Cowen to be replaced as Taoiseach, a majority would prefer his successor to continue in government rather than a General Election. Asked what a new Taoiseach should do, 55 per cent said he should be allowed an opportunity to solve the country's economic problems and 45 per cent said a General Election should be called immediately.

Almost three-quarters (70 per cent) of those polled believed Mr Cowen was "hungover" during his controversial interview on Morning Ireland last Tuesday, while 30 per cent believed he was not.

The poll also found that a huge majority (77 per cent) felt Mr Cowen was wrong to socialise until 3.30am the night before the scheduled interview, while 23 per cent felt he was right to do so.

Another interesting finding came when the opinion of respondents was sought on the decision of Fine Gael TD Simon Coveney to tweet that the Taoiseach was "somewhere between drunk and hungover" in the radio interview: 35 per cent said he was right to do so, but 65 per cent said he was wrong.


Sunday Independent

I expect a resignation any day now. Game's up, damage done. Backbenchers have the knives out according to news this morning. Fianna Fáil never let you down by not letting you down.

The poll itself says more about the opposition then the Government IMO basically saying "we don't trust this lot but we trust you even less!"...which is extraordinary given the amount of ammunition they have been given in the last two years with which to attack the Government and not only on the economy.
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Lenihan seems to be the glue holding the cabinet together, which is unfortunate given his health.

Should Cowen resign as Taoiseach, I'd imagine that an election would follow shortly afterwards (we only have around 18 months left until the next election is due anyway) regardless of who is his successor. If Lenihan does become leader, he should produce health reports (á la John McCain) showing he is fit for the job - horrible thing to say, but we need a leader who isn't distracted.

Apparently the Irish Times will have a poll out on Friday (Thursday night before the 21:00 news on RTÉ) and the Sunday Business Post this weekend. These results will be crucial for Cowen.

The more worrying question is who would become the new Minister for Finance? Coughlan? :crazy:
An election now is the last thing the country needs, and the last thing a new government needs. Let them bring in their budget, and then call for a new election in the new year.

Anyway, FFers aren't going to cause a heave. It'd be like turkeys voting for christmas!!!
Just seen on FF's Tom Kitt (who Brian Cowen sacked) apparently will call for a meeting of the Parliamentary Party to discuss the leadership. Surely the ball is rolling. Oh please God may this be it - I still reckon he could be gone by the end of this week. Anything to get rid of this mob.

Also I would have thought it was in FF's interest NOT to go into the next election with the current incumbant as leader.
Very true, but it'd would seem diificult for them to elect a 3rd leader without calling for an election almost immediately, which isn't in their interest either. Even with a new leader their chances are still terribly diminished. Besides, Mary and Connor will put their foot in it and ruin Lenihan's public perception.
The best they can hope for is that the economy isn't as utterly shit by the time 2012 comes around
A guarantted two years of salary is better than unemployment for all the gobshite FF backbenchers.
Interesting to see Tom Kitt calling for the meeting. He's actually one of the few decent people in FF, along with Mary Hanafin, and they both got shafted. I believe he's not running in the next election, so his actions may result in Dublin South not having any FF representatives if an election was called tomorrow.
It was tentatively suggested on RTE radio that if Cowen does not go in the next 24hrs then the backbenchers will turn on whilst some of the ministers may appear to be closing ranks it may not be up to them to put up a challenge.

However two of the idiot wing of the Independent TD's said they would not support a new nomination for Taoiseach if Cowen was forced out. They are Micheal Lowry and Jackie Healy Rea which is fcuking typical of those gombeen men. And that matters because of the narrowness of the Government's majority.
hmmm, interesting times.
As much as I dislike Cowen, I can't help but feel somewhat sorry for him. He's evidently a broken man. Am I the only one who can see a man whose confidence has been completely knocked???
I have to say I've been surprised by him as a leader. He's far weaker than I ever thought he would be. His arrogance has taken a severe hammering, and it's apparent that from day one he has let the comments about his appearance and general communication skills get to him. This is the man who once thought he had a chance with Liz O'Donnell (a well known secret within FF), I'd say he'd barely be able to get up the courage to chat up Mary O'Rourke or Mary Harney these days...

The poor arrogant, self-interested misguided fool, but still he has to go. Quite possibly the weakest leader the country has ever had!!!
Interesting to see Tom Kitt calling for the meeting. He's actually one of the few decent people in FF, along with Mary Hanafin, and they both got shafted.
On a related note, apparently Cowen is terrified by Hanafin (in that he feels very threatened by her). I always thought that she would make a good party leader and possibly the first female Taoiseach (the only thing I would be wary about is her connection to SPUC through her father). Shame she was demoted the way she was (while that tool Coughlan is allowed to continue as Tánaiste) earlier in the year.
On a related note, apparently Cowen is terrified by Hanafin (in that he feels very threatened by her).
Yeah she is compotent, and has half a brain unlike most of the FF party. It's no wonder he feels threatened by her!!!

Even though I'd never vote for FF, I agree she'd make a good Taoiseach.
Cowen and Lenihan in show of unity, so it looks like the coup has failed.
Are you one of the 11% who support the Government!?

Interview damaged Cowen's credibility - Poll
23 September 2010 22:47

The first national opinion poll since the controversy over Taoiseach Brian Cowen's Morning Ireland interview shows that 71% of voters believe he has lost credibility as a result.

However, an even larger majority said they will not change their voting intentions.

The poll also shows a large swing in support to Labour, which emerges as the party with the largest support.

The Millward Brown Lansdowne poll for TV3 News shows that a majority, 56%, believe the controversy over last week's interview with Mr Cowen does not matter and 88% say it will not change their voting intentions.

1,000 voters nationwide were questioned on Tuesday and Wednesday for the poll.

40% said Mr Cowen should continue as Taoiseach, while 52% said he should not.

In terms of party support, compared to the last Millward Brown Lansdowne poll in February, support for Fianna Fáil is down 5% to 22%; Fine Gael is down 4% to 30%; Labour up 16% to 35%.

The Green Party is unchanged at 2%; Sinn Féin down 4% to 4%, and Independents and others are down 2% to 8%.

Commenting on the poll, Government Chief Whip John Curran said: 'This poll mostly reflects trends already reported by other companies in the seven months since Millward Browne last published a poll.

'Our position on bad polls is exactly the same as it is with good polls; they are interesting but have nothing to do with getting on with the business of taking the right choices for the country's future.'


11% lol! - At least now we know what percentage of the population are stupid people.
Lenihan is the worst! We dont want him!!!
I am for that 55% group..
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I remember a teacher in school used always say Cowen had a face for the radio, and it appears his comments were warranted. The truth is (whether it's right or wrong) that his sloppy image is harming his public image considerably.
Anybody think the personal attacks are a bit, I don't know, on the harsh side?
I think the references to his appearance have been on the harsh side, and somewhat uncalled for. It's a sad reflection on today's media that pics like the one's above have further demeaned the country's leader. I know they've also been a sore point for his wife and kids, which is also regrettable.
I've said it before, it's obvious he's a broken man. His confidence appears to be shattered as seen when he tries to poisture and cover his bald patches in desparation when it's windy.
However, I don't feel sorry for him in anyway in terms of the portrayal of his conduct in politics and in his private life. He was/is a deeply arrogant man, and he put himself up for the role, so he deserves little sympathy. He is along with another handfull of people responsible for the demise of this country, yet he still clutches on to power, which is the ultimate slap in the face to the average Irish voter.
He is quite simpy a disgrace. Until he resigns and acknowledges his part in bringing down the country, he deserves all the flack he gets.
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He helped us. Wasn't he the man who got us that IFSC thing (or whatever it's called).
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