Sunday 25 September 2016

The 2016 Rising

Resurgent Fianna Fáil will be key to 32nd Dáil

Kevin Doyle, Philip Ryan and Niall O’Connor

Published 29/02/2016 | 03:36

Fianna Fáil’s Dara Calleary and Lisa Chambers celebrate her win at the expense of Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s running mate, outgoing TD Michelle Mulherin, at the Castlebar Count Centre in Mayo. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Fianna Fáil’s Dara Calleary and Lisa Chambers celebrate her win at the expense of Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s running mate, outgoing TD Michelle Mulherin, at the Castlebar Count Centre in Mayo. Photo: Gerry Mooney

The country faces the prospect of being run by a caretaker government for months as Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil struggle to deal with the fall-out of an unprecedented election result.

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The deposed Coalition, including ministers who were dumped by voters, will meet as early as tomorrow to discuss how to continue in power despite their losses.

A stalemate situation is developing as Taoiseach Enda Kenny attempts to buy time for his leadership, and a resurgent Fianna Fáil assesses whether it should risk supporting a minority government.

Strategists

Senior strategists in both parties accept a new government will not be formed by the time the Dáil meets

on March 10 to elect a Taoiseach.

Mr Kenny and Tánaiste Joan Burton spoke by phone yesterday and agreed to hold an urgent Cabinet meeting, that will include James Reilly and Alex White, who have lost their seats. 

Fine Gael will be the largest party in the new Dáil with 52 seats, followed by Fianna Fáil which is likely to finish on 43.

The Labour Party will have just seven TDs, including Ms Burton, who held on in Dublin West but now faces serious leadership questions.

Many Fine Gael members are also privately saying Mr Kenny “has to go” after the party lost 20 seats on its last general election result.

Non-party candidates are on course to make up one-tenth of the Dáil as a raft of new Independent TDs prepares to enter Leinster House for the first time.

Counting was continuing in five constituencies late last night, but it is expected that the full make-up of the 32nd Dáil will be known by this afternoon.

Irish Independent

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