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Friday 2 December 2016

Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael coalition 'inevitable' says Ivan Yates

Martin Grant

Published 22/09/2015 | 13:08

Ivan Yates
Ivan Yates

Former Minister for Agriculture and radio presenter Ivan Yates believes a Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael coalition is “inevitable”.

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The Wexford native was speaking at the National Ploughing Championships and told those gathered in Ratheniska, County Laois, that very little divides the two political parties nowadays.

“There will be a change in government. The only block that can form a government is Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil. Nothing divides them whatsoever, they have the same culture," said the Newstalk presenter.

“If you talk to them, they are in denial. This is inevitable. This has happened on councils where there was a surge of Independents and Sinn Féin, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael got together.

“The farm vote is divided between Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael. Labour and newer parties have not been active outside of cities."

Mr Yates went on to say he believes such a coalition could bring about a change in leadership.

Read more: Ploughing Championships: Traffic 'heavy' but weather promising on first day

“It’s important for Fianna Fáil not be to seen as the mudguard.

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“It’s a three-horse race between Leo Vardakar, Simon Coveney and Frances Fitzgerald.

"If it (leadership contest) was held after the general election, they might want someone more mature and that might favour Frances.

“If Fine Gael were going into opposition they would definitely go for Leo. Timing will dictate it. I think Enda Kenny would prefer Frances.”

The Breakfast presenter said that Fianna Fáil will rebuild.

“I can see the day coming again that Fianna Fáil will be the largest party, but not beyond 30 pc.

“Fianna Fáil’s problem is the east coast. They are very weak in Dublin, but maintain support across the country.

“For the two oldest parties, every decade you go their core vote is dying.”

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