Last night’s debate among the five leaders had an average audience of nearly one million, more than twice that of the TV3 debate and was the second most trending topic on twitter worldwide behind Valentine’s Day. So we learned from a breathless Pat Kenny on his radio show this morning. RTE’s post debate commentary involved the various party handlers who were only ever going to serve up their own party lines. I would have preferred for five random members of last night’s audience to be brought over and asked their opinion. This would at least have had an edge in terms of a real rather than a rehearsed reaction.
It is gone now and the campaign rolls on. Election 2011 has a summary of the performance which comes closest to my own view, capturing particularly the moment where Enda got away with not knowing the answer on growth figures but was saved by Eamon’s politeness and Micheál giving him the prompt. Rude then of him to issue the only actual invitation to government to John Gormley and the Greens.
Fine Gael finally published their manifesto this morning. Not having time to gen up fully yet I will leave it to the twitter folk, including David Cochrane of Politics.ie who points out that a proposed website address for a street management idea is already taken and that company’s are to be invited to sponsor stretches of road in return for advertising rights along them. Hopefully Wonderbra won’t see this as an opportunity to revisit their *ahem* popular ‘Hello Boys’ campaign from some years back.
If you haven’t got time to absorb the manifestos let St Columba’s college in Dublin 16 take the strain. They have wordled the documents of the five main parties to give a snapshot of what they are about. Not particularly enlightening but diverting nonetheless.
Finally the Evening Herald Dublin poll has been interpreted as seeing a meltdown of Fianna Fail in the capital with the possible return of a single seat. I have had a look at a comparison with betting figures and can see five staying within the Parliamentary Party, not as many as Sinn Féin but a crumb of comfort for the one time soldiers of destiny.