GE16 - Government Formation Watch


The clock is not ticking, but how long and what kind of government are we going to end up with?

**Keep it on topic and to the relevant events. **

GE2020 - Government Formation Watch

Way I see it there are three possibilities in order of likelihood:

  1. Fine Gael minority, propped up by Fianna Fáil. FF don’t take seats, insist on some changes, but don’t vote against the government. FF/FG try to squeeze independents and hold an election within two years.

  2. Fine Gael / Fianna Fáil coalition. Rotating Taoiseach. FG with one more cabinet seat than FF. Runs full term.

  3. Fine Gael / Labour / Sinn Féin. All but impossible, but mathematically it adds up, and wouldn’t be very different to the rainbow government of the mid-nineties.


I was shouting loudly that FG+SF was the smart money - then they both underperformed drastically compared to projections, thus ruining what I thought was an altogether excellent prediction.


It’s a poison chalice at the moment - FG+FF will cause trouble for both parties, FG propped up by FF will cause trouble for FG. I think the smart move now would be for FG+FF to extend an olive branch to SF. That way everyone’s in it together and SF aren’t waiting in the wings. As much as FG and FF aren’t that different, SF aren’t wildly different either. Certainly there would be some clashes on income tax and the like, but I think they could find enough to agree on (solving housing, health, education issues, water, etc) that it could work, especially if FG realise how sticky a situation they’re in (sounds ridiculous, given that they’re the majority party, but unless they play this very carefully they won’t be next time, and they must surely know that).

Won’t happen, of course, but my preference now is for a rainbow FG+FF+SF (leaves no opposition, but I think there’d be enough opposition within government that that could work itself out!)

Agree with obese_cat that the 1 and 2 outlined are the most likely.


Any FG leadership going into govt. with sinn fein will be wiped off the face of the earth in the next election. The majority of that 25% that voted FG last friday will be waiting for them.


if the economy is improving then it might pay off to be in govt. FG won two seats in both dublin bay south and dun laoghaire, places where, for sure, there is a recovery.
i read that as a sign of same again please.

FG + FF , both want the same thing therefore no real compromises needed, both parties would find it difficult to distinguish themselves.

FG + SF + whoever is a non-runner given the personalities involved.

FG minority/rainbow
FG + Lab + SD + Rossies + Indos + Grn , (50 + 7 + 3 + 6 +2 = 70) , need some of the other independents perhaps as a rural block

if FF abstain, the magic number is 57. In principle FG + Lab I dont think anyone would be happy with that , though could have FG + Grn + Soc Dem + Rossies (50 + 3 +2 + 6 = 61)

The FF minority/rainbow

FF + SF + Lab + Soc Dem + Indos : 44 + 23 + 7 + 3 = 77 + Indos (could have grn here)

if FG abstain then the magic number is 54

FF - Lab- Soc Dem + Indos = 54 + Indos


Fintan OToole has spent his adult life waiting for the Dail to line up the way it has. He’s written a million words pushing for a FF/FG vs the Rest realignment. It took FF one day to sweep the whole idea away. As soon as they announced their Dail reforms for an age of minority governments the ragtag army were entirely preoccupied by the details. No more grand plan.
I really wish I’d thought of that.
FF are just so much better at politics than the rest. It doesn’t matter that there’s no competition, it’s the joy of watching someone at the top of their game. LIke Tiger or Mike Tyson in their prime.

Despite the enormous pleasure of the Longford Westmeath count (thanks Julianne Pigott and Anne Norris) the importance of the seven seats for Labour seems hard to understand. Surely, with Shane Ross and Alphabet Soup on six each, the first item of Dail reform will be to reduce the magic number by one?

For the next week everyone just moseys towards putting their man up for Taoiseach on Wednesday. All of whom will be voted down because the parties that would need to abstain can’t. They have to wait until they’ve been promised something in return for their abstention and real negotiations haven’t begun yet.

To state the even more obvious, FG seem to have figured out that minority govt would destroy them. They’re trying to throw the pressure back on FF by talking up coalition. Presumably so an FF refusal means FF shoulder the blame for another quick election. (And of course when Enda tried to launch this grand coalition initiative on Tuesday he made a balls of it the first time round)

The only interesting thing out there is FF talking up a FF minority govt which, of course, they have to.
If any party could manage it it’s FF - get the country used to FF in power again, hand out goodies, rob Right2Water of their raison d’etre overnight, spend a year reeducating the electorate that it’s big parties that actually do the things small parties promise to get done and finally, FF could get to… drum roll …“Keep the recovery going”.
Maybe. But I don’t see it. It’s too smart for its own good and pretty dangerous. Not as dangerous as it would be for FG but still dangerous.
Nonetheless it’s fascinating to watch the effect of the idea of a FF minority on the dynamics of what’s going on.
Who really knows what’s going to happen. (Apart from the death of Fintan’s hopes and dreams.)

This is Captain Obvious passing it back to the studio.


The thread title is rather optimistic. The junta will continue until 2017


I dunno, I think you’re being a bit optimistic! :wink: BD


Great summary

I enjoy watching FF and FG being baited with questions like, “what about the national interest???”


I believe that if we don’t have a government before November then the next budget can only be 80% of the previous one (maybe some constitutional scholars have a source for that?)

You’d imagine swingeing 20% cuts to every department might result in a bit of backlash…


Leo Varadkar currently on Radio1. “If there is a government, it is our intention to lead it”
Not ruling out working with FF


I’m hoping the paralysis will be such that the Troika will be forced to step back in and we can move to direct rule. :smiley:


Michael Healy Rea and Michael Fitzmaurice went on news talk this morning to tell all that their phones were on!! The message was loud and clear “The independents are willing to talk the phone are on, call us!!!” Michael Martin has been talking to him, Enda has not, but the phone is on!!!

Healy Rea has been on the airwaves quite a bit recently, and I have to admit I am warming to the fella. There is something kind of endearing about him.


In a bare knuckle catfish hunting marry your cousin sort of endearing?


… and this thread is swerving all over the road… what next, going he wrong direction on a motorway lane?

Back on topic.


Well there is a deadline today. Posters are supposed to be down by this evening. (7 days after polling)


Thinking along these lines myself. That would keep water charges off the agenda too. How long would it last though?


Very quiet here waiting for Thursday.

On Thursday something is going to happen which to my mind seems absurd although It could just be me.

Under Article 28.11.2 Enda Kenny holds the office of Taoiseach until his successor has been appointed.
On Thursday when he loses the vote to be Taoiseach many believe that in accordance with Article 28.10 he must go up to the Park and tender his resignation. It is expected that that is what he will do.
However going back to Article 28.11.2 again, he will still hold the office (and will represent us abroad as Taoiseach on St Patricks Day)
I don’t get the point of the trip to the Aras. Common sense would seem to say it should just be ignored.

I’m not the only one to find this absurd. On the only previous occasion when the Dail failed to elect a Taoiseach (June 1989) Charlie Haughey was the outgoing occupier of the office. After losing the vote in the Dail he demurred at the idea of going up to the Park. People ran around the dail in a tizzy waving the constitution at him and finally the AG told him he had to take the trip and he went.

To be fair to the AG, the constituion does make tendering the resignation seem automatic (even if it’s pointless).
To be fair to Haughey, there must be a legal principle that says absurd directions don’t have to be obeyed. The principle of Ix- nay on the Absurdit-ay

Looking forward to being shown the error of my ways

Here are the relevant articles.

*28.10 The Taoiseach shall resign from office upon his ceasing to retain the support of a majority in Dáil Éireann unless on his advice the President dissolves Dáil Éireann and on the reassembly of Dáil Éireann after the dissolution the Taoiseach secures the support of a majority in Dáil Éireann.

28.11.1 If the Taoiseach at any time resigns from office the other members of the Government shall be deemed also to have resigned from office, but the Taoiseach and the other members of the Government shall continue to carry on their duties until their successors shall have been appointed.

28.11.2 The members of the Government in office at the date of a dissolution of Dáil Éireann shall continue to hold office until their successors shall have been appointed.*


It is inconsistent, isn’t it?
28.10 and 28.11.1, taken together say that the Taoiseach has resigned and no longer holds office, but still carries out the duties of the office, which is fair enough, but 28.10 and 28.11.2 taken together say that he has resigned the office, but remains Taoiseach (not just that he carries out the Taoiseach’s duties) until a successor is appointed.

So, after resigning, and until a new Taoiseach is appointed, he simultaneously is and isn’t Taoiseach.


A bit like Sepp Blatter…