A week to go

17th February, 2011

The momentum of the campaign is firmly with Fine Gael. This is no accident. There are three reasons why we are leading the pack.

The first is Fine Gael’s positivity. We have attacked the other parties’ plans, sure. But we have also spelled out an alternative plan for the future. The negative ads placed by Labour in the papers are not, I think, having the impact they had hoped. With their poll numbers sliding and the “Gilmore for Taoiseach” posters looking silly, I hope the last week of the campaign sees them talk about their positive plans for the future, rather than attack our plans to get the public finances in order.

The second is the hard policy work undertaken by Fine Gael in the years leading up to this election. At the cost of unpopularity, Enda and the front bench have taken difficult decisions and policy viewpoints that might have seemed odd at the time- abolition of the Seanad, ending compulsory Irish, public service reform, social welfare changes- but are now shown to have been right.

And the third is undoubtedly the quality of the team. The front bench – and back benches- have the making of a great cabinet. We are electing a government, not a President.

A week to go. One last push.