Some time next month the Fine Gael party will take a decision to replace arguably their most successful leader, Enda Kenny.

Kenny who has become increasingly less sure footed is a political veteran of some 40 years, but its clear that his time is up. He feels somewhat hard done by and that his is an ungrateful party.

He has a point. To his credit his government rebuilt the Irish economy, albeit on the recovery model outlined by Brian Cowen and the late Brian Lenihan. He also was the first Fine Gael Taoiseach to be elected to a second term and now is the longest serving Taoiseach from that party too.

He has the hide of a rhinoceros and he has needed it. He very nearly didn’t make it as Taoiseach as at one stage his own parliamentary wanted to ditch him as leader. He survived their coup and showed that despite being a ditherer – he was tenacious. Kenny is an extraordinarily pleasant man, affable, good company and incredibly earnest.

While he is happiest out amongst the public, he never really won their affection in the way that Bertie Ahern did. Kenny feels his country needs him now as it faces the unique challenges brought about by Brexit. His parliamentary colleagues think otherwise. They may yet regret hounding him from office. But in truth the Taoiseach created this crisis on his leadership by his calk-handed “I will quit” pledge before the last election.

There’s a old adage in politics and its when you say you are going – you gone and that’s what has happened to Kenny. He has been living on borrowed time as Fine Gael leader and as Taoiseach. The resurgence of Fianna Fáil is in no small part due to the Taoiseach and if Micheal Martin has a wish list – the top item would be for Kenny to remain. His recent incompetences make Fianna Fáil look competent and they are in the best of all worlds with their confidence and supply agreement to the coalition government – they have power without responsibility.

But the Taoiseach’s problems are closer to home. His Tanaiste, Frances Fitzgerald – who bizarrely hasn’t given up her leadership ambitions against the two would be pretenders, Simon Coveney and Leo Vardkar, has presided over the greatest debacle perhaps in the history of the Irish State with the collapse in the operations, governance and confidence in the Garda Siochana.

Remarkably, both she and the Garda Commissioner remain in post. It’s a reflection on the moribund state of this coalition government that it can’t afford anyone to resign, no matter how serious the issue. It used to be said that a political career could only be ended if one was caught in bed with either a dead woman or live man. Given its fragility it would appear that this Irish government would forgive an erring minister even should they found in flagrante delicto with the head of the army in the bushes of Aras an Uachtarain.

Compare the current favourable indulgence of France Fitzgerald at the justice department by the Taoiseach to the political execution of former Fine Gael Justice Minister – Alan Shatter who was forced to resign in the previous government.

There is, however, common cause at the moment between Fine Gael and their arch enemies Fianna Fáil – neither want to face the electorate just yet.

So despite his obvious irritation at government incompetency, Micheal Martin is not prepared to unleash his attack dogs on the Fine Gael front-bench much to the annoyance of many Fianna Fáil backbenchers.

Fine Gael on the other hand can’t go to the polls until their new leader establishes him or herself – though no one seriously expects it to be a her. The two main contenders for Enda Kenny’s crown are Simon Coveney – scion of blue shirt royalty and the suave, new boy on the block, Leo Vardkar. Both have been circling the damaged Taoiseach for nearly twelve months like vultures who haven’t the courtesy for the corpse to present itself. Soon Fine Gael must choose. Vardkar is the bookies favourite and he certainly ticks all the boxes as the darling of the D4 lovelies and the liberal media. But what the ‘plain people of Ireland think’ may be another thing entirely. Interesting times ahead.