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Could Enda Kenny's Euro 2016 Related Blunder Cost Him The Election?

Could Enda Kenny's Euro 2016 Related Blunder Cost Him The Election?
By Conor Neville
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Fine Gael is slipping in the polls and their leader's media performances are becoming more and more shaky. The prospect of the Fine Gael-Labour coalition returning to power appears non-existent.

How different it all could have been.

In late 2007, Gordon Brown shot ahead of David Cameron's party in the polls and speculation was rife that the Labour leader would seek to capitalise on his honeymoon period by calling an election.

He lost his nerve, the narrative turned and his bounce evaporated.

Appearing on Off the Ball tonight, the Sunday Independent's Declan Lynch discussed the 'uneasy' relationship between politicians and sport - many incidents which we have previously written about were cited - and made an ingenious point.

Cast your mind back to November. Ireland were battling Bosnia in the Euro 2016 playoffs and the nation's pol cors were on red alert waiting for the Taoiseach to head for the Aras and call the election.

But Kenny, perhaps assuming that the week after Ireland had lost to Bosnia in a European championship qualifier would be a bad week to hold an election, held off til the new year.

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However, events panned out differently and the national mood was buoyant for a short while. People momentarily forgot about water charges and the like.

As Lynch noted this evening, the populace, in a fit of giddy contentment, might well have waved him back into office with a healthy majority.

Hell, he may have ridden Jon Walters' coattails all the way to an overall majority. How come no political correspondents are grappling with this question?

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Enda hesitated til February.

There are precedents for this. In the 2006 Michigan gubernatorial race, incumbent Democrat Jennifer Granholm was struggling against Dick De Vos as the economy tanked.

However, just as Granholm was in danger of being unseated, the Detroit Tigers unexpectedly dispatched the Yankies and then demolished the Oakland Athletics to claim the World Series.

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Fulminations of the state of the economy were set aside for a time as the city celebrated its victory. Granholm's numbers improved dramatically and she was re-elected easily.

Listen to the discussion here.

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Read more: Michael Collins' Hatred Of Soccer And 5 Other Times Sport And Irish Politics Mixed

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