Wednesday 26 October 2016

Will the new Government last two years?

Published 05/05/2016 | 11:45

Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny
Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny

Enda Kenny could finally be re-elected as Taoiseach in the coming hours. Political Editor Kevin Doyle looks at the chances of the new government last two years.

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Five Reasons This Government Will Last:

1.       Fianna Fáil has got a good deal

Micheál Martin’s party might have the best of both worlds: sitting in Opposition while controlling government policy. If it works they may be in no rush to pull the plug.


2.       Fine Gael are scared of the electorate

After five years nurturing a wrecked economy back to health Fine Gael still got a kicking at the polls. They don’t want to rush into another election for fear things could get even worse.


3.       Independents need time to get things done

The Independent TDs who sign up to government will want to have tangible results for their constituents before another election. They need time to show that they didn’t make a misjudgement backing Fine Gael.


4.       New politics     

It seems unlikely but all side of the Dáil have been arguing that we need ‘new politics’. The government won’t have total control over the Dáil agenda meaning that Opposition TDs have a better chance of being heard. If all parties actually engage then maybe things have changed.


5.       The need for stability

The economy is continuing to grow at the fastest rate in Europe but the Brexit referendum is looming. Nobody thinks it would be a good idea for us to in a state of flux at a time when the markets are likely to nervous.


Five Reasons This Government Will Not Last: 


1.       Opinion polls

Politicians tell us all the time that they don’t pay any heed to opinion polls – but the truth is they are obsessed with them. If Fianna Fáil start to pull ahead of Fine Gael they will think twice keeping Enda Kenny in power.


2.       Surprises

The deal struck between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil has a ‘no surprises’ clause, meaning Enda Kenny has to warn Micheál Martin of any nasty shocks or controversies on the horizon. But anything from an adverse weather event to a health scandal could push Fianna Fáil over the edge.


3.       Independents feel the heat

A Cabinet consisting of Independent TDs will be very different from what we are used to. Normally ministers step forward to defend their party colleague in times of need – but will the Independent fully nail their colours to the Fine Gael mast. Collective responsibility will be put to the test.


4.       Enda Kenny

Fine Gael ministers and backbenchers are in almost unanimously agreement that Enda Kenny’s second term as Taoiseach will be short-lived. A rowdy battle for leader of Fine Gael between Simon Coveney, Leo Varadkar, Frances Fitzgerald and possibly others could have a destabilising affect on the government.


5.       Endless chaos

The Dáil is more diverse than ever and the government will have a tough time getting new legislation passed. While Fianna Fáil will abstain on financial measures this doesn’t apply to social issue or even the return of water charges. The situation may reach the point where Fine Gael feel there is no point in being in government if they can’t implement any policy.

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