Taxi for Shane Ross? Watch out minister, it’s all about playing the percentages in Irish politics

Sentiment already turning against the new Minister for Transport in Paddy Power's latest Red C opinion poll


The voters continue to love Enda in the way that no other Taoiseach has been loved in the history of the state.
They want Enda to go in the same way that Oliver Cromwell wanted the rump Parliament to go.
Ultimately, though, the politician in greatest trouble from Paddy Power’s Red C poll is Independent Alliance TD & new Minister for Transport, Shane Ross.

Few politicians have played a more cunning game since Ross decided at the end of 2015 that he quite fancied a spell in the cabinet as his last political act. However, new government in place for just over a week, the political piano wire is already stretched across the road waiting for Ross.


The clearest result in Paddy Power’s Red C nationwide poll is that the voters really do appear to prefer it if our Independents stay out of government and shout from the sidelines.

Be it Sinn Fein, the Greens or the Social Democrats; all of those politicians who refused to get their hands dirty with the manure shovelling that goes into government formation, have risen in popularity.

By contrast, Independents, who have been closely associated, correctly or not, with attempts to create a government have taken a major hit in the percentages game.



The security of the Coalition Government will not have been improved by this latest poll.

Whatever about Ross, the Independent Alliances’ Blackadder, the testicular fortitude of his two Baldricks, namely Finian McGrath and John Halligan will not have been enhanced by its findings.

Already, they and Ross too, must be wondering if like the PD’s, the Greens and Labour before them, the Independent Alliance is about to fall foul of the iron law of Irish politics and be devoured because of the sins of their Fine Gael and Fianna Fail masters.

Still at least Michael Fitzmaurice has nothing to fear having gotten out early enough.


The question a nervous Ross will have to ask is whether Fitzmaurice is the beginning of the end of the departures or merely the end of the beginning? Will he soon be hearing the plop plop plop of more furry bodies hitting the water?

By contrast when it comes to Enda, perhaps we should start getting used to his status as the cat they couldn’t kill.
Enda the line, Enda to go now? They’re all forming an unorderly queue behind with Leo Varadkar the front-runner in the latest betting.

But Frances Fitzgerald and Simon Coveney will have plenty to say about that when the time comes.

What do you think?