Never Mind the Ballots: Saoirse McHugh goes off-script; FG top on Twitter

Fine Gael was the most talked about political party on Twitter in the first full week of the election campaign.

Never Mind the Ballots: Saoirse McHugh goes off-script; FG top on Twitter

Takeaway 1

Fine Gael was the most talked about political party on Twitter in the first full week of the election campaign. There were over 30,000 tweets mentioning Fine Gael, with Sinn Féin the second most referenced at 23,000 and Fianna Fáil in third place with over 16,000.

Fine Gael’s election hashtag #LookForward outperformed Fianna Fail’s #AnIrelandforAll with 3,600 mentions compared to almost 2,100 for the latter, according to research by media marketing firm Sprout Social.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar was the most talked-about party leader on Twitter, followed by Sinn Féin’s Mary Lou McDonald, and then Fianna Fáil’s Micheal Martin.

Takeaway 2

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan must have choked on his evening salad while watching Tuesday’s Prime Time. The party’s Mayo candidate, Saoirse McHugh, bluntly told the programme that a carbon tax isn’t going to “nudge you anywhere except to turn off the light and turn off the heat and sit in the cold”.

The Greens manifesto proposes increasing the tax annually until it reaches €100 per tonne.

But Ryan, at a transport launch today, seemed indifferent, saying members could have “different views”. So much for red lines.

Takeaway 3

What a fickle and superficial little nation we are. Leo Varadkar released a video of the most googled questions about him.

Set to happy cheery music, a de-jacketed Leo sits on a stool not answering questions about important policy matters of State.

Top of the list was “Where is Leo Varadkar from?” He replied with “Castleknock, but not from the expensive end. I do not live in Dublin 4 even though people think I do.” Another tough

question asked “Does he have any brothers or sisters?” To which he replied, “Two sisters. I am the only boy and the youngest just in case that wasn’t obvious already.”

Who said he’s not human?

Well said

Put your flags away, you’re leaving... and take them with you... goodbye!

- To loud applause, acting chair Mairead McGuinness delivered this barb to the Brexit Party MEPs after they broke out into an ad-hoc rendition of Auld Lang Syne.

Good day

Tánaiste Simon Coveney had to concede “people are sick to the teeth” of talking about Brexit. But yet he still insisted on taking over a childcare briefing and talking for almost an hour about it.

But thankfully the message is hitting home.

Bad day

Mary Lou McDonald and her party’s €22bn manifesto lay in tatters as all other parties dismissed it as “dangerous” and deeply damaging to the economy.

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