FORMER government minister Ivan Yates has said that Micheal Martin's "best and last shot" at government could be as Tanaiste in a Fine Gael-Fianna Fail coalition.
In his new column in the Irish Independent today, the former Fine Gael minister and Newstalk anchor says political mathematics suggests the two major parties could get 80 seats in the next Dail, which would give them a majority in the 158-seat chamber.
"In the final days of the last election, Phil Hogan appealed to disaffected FF voters, 'Loan us your vote' ... the next appeal may be 'lend us your party,'" writes Mr Yates (pictured).
The idea was dismissed by most political commentators as 'summer school spin', but according to Mr Yates the numbers now add up for just such a move in Irish politics – and it will be hastened by the collapse in support for Labour.
He now believes that the dynamic of Irish politics is "set fair to shift" towards the sworn political foes of the two major parties combining to keep Sinn Fein out of office.