The general election is long over and a new government has been formed, but the battle for political supremacy now turns to inter party politics as the Labour Party must decide on a new leader after the resignation of former Tánaiste Joan Burton.
The party will now turn their attentions to a much needed rebuilding process, which they hope will give them a better outcome in the next general election. The battle for top dog is now underway with three high profile TD’s expected to contest for the coveted position. Even though the former minister for Public Expenditure Brendan Howlin is yet to officially confirm himself as a contender, the party looks set to have a three horse race for the leadership position.
Although initial reports suggest the main players are already ruling out the possibility of Howlin being elected as their new leader with many wanting a younger candidate to take charge. Sources close to the party say that it is already a close call with many backing either Seán Sherlock or Alan Kelly.
Nominations for the position are to open next week, and Mr Howlin has revealed he is open to the possibility of challenging for the position, whilst Mr Kelly is expected to throw his hat into the ring when appears on the Late Late Show tonight. Sources also say the majority of councillors within the party are in favour of a contest.
According to Cllr Mick Dollard from Longford-Westmeath the “gods of the parliamentary party” should not be allowed make the decision alone. “The days of Pat Rabbitte, Ruairí Quinn and Brendan Howlin, for that matter, are gone. We need someone young to lead the party to a younger generation. I think Seán Sherlock would be a good person to lead the party. It shouldn’t be left to those who happen to be elected to the Dáil to decide. The grassroots should have their say”
Meanwhile Cllr Kevin Byrne from Kildare North said he “wouldn’t mind Alan Kelly”, but his support is leaning towards Mr Sherlock. “He was a good junior minister and he is an unassuming, talented politician. I think Kelly needs to drop his quest for water. That is a dead duck.”
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