THOUGH a date for the general election has not yet been announced, various party campaigns to win enough seats to form the next government — or be a thorn in its side — are well under way.
Despite this small detail on timing, all Dáil hopefuls are under starter’s orders and ready for a full-blown election campaign.
That is already an exciting, or disheartening, prospect, as it will quickly become an auction, combined with a slagging match.
All efforts, no matter how determined, to appeal to the electorate’s higher instincts, will hardly survive the first opinion poll.
Yesterday’s announcement by Taoiseach Enda Kenny that he will not serve in office beyond the next government adds another layer of excitement to the contest.
Should Mr Kenny realise his ambitions and be elected to lead another Fine Gael-Labour coalition — though the Labour part of that idea is flexible — he will be the first Fine Gael leader to be re-elected Taoiseach.
Mr Kenny has been derided and underestimated since he became Fine Gael’s leader but whoever succeeds him will inherit an economy on the upswing.
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