Micheál Martin, the Irish Government’s former Minister for Foreign Affairs, is the front-runner to win the position of leadership of the Fianna Fail party on Wednesday.
So far 19 TDs have pledged their support for Martin. The three other candidates are Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan, Minister for Social Protection Éamon Ó Cuív and Minister for Tourism Mary Hanafin.
On Sunday night a source from inside Martin’s campaign told the Irish Times that over half of the 71 Fianna Fail TDs have pledged their support for Martin. His rivals have conceded, privately, that Martin has a strong early lead. Several TDs have said that they expect Martin to be the victor.
The quota to win this vote will be half the total number (71) plus one. Martin is expected to win support in his Cork base and Munster. He has also gained support in Dublin TDs including Sean Haughey, Sean Ardagh and Chris Andrews despite the face that Hanafin and Lenihan are both Dublin-based. Former minister Willie O’Dea has also declared for him and Minister of State Dara Calleary is also expected to Martin.
Hanafin has asked her supporters not to declare themselves publicly. Cabinet Minister Pat Carey and Máire Hoctor are her only known supporters.
Lenihan has support from Ministers of State, Seán Connick and Martin Mansergh as well as Mary O’Rourke. Also Conor Lenihan is expected to support his brother.
Michael Kitt and Frank Fahey, both from Galway, and Sligo TD Eamon Scanlon have said they will support Éamon Ó Cuív. Ó Cuív is expected to perform strongly.