Tuesday 6 December 2016

Celebrations will be short-lived... we're going back to the polls soon

The biggest risk to government stability is from FF - it is clearly preparing for an election

Eoin O'Malley

Published 08/05/2016 | 02:30

Shaky ground: Taoiseach Enda Kenny is congratulated as he leaves Leinster House after his historic re-election Photo: Paul Faith
Shaky ground: Taoiseach Enda Kenny is congratulated as he leaves Leinster House after his historic re-election Photo: Paul Faith

And so we got there. Only just, but Enda Kenny got over the line. He made history as the first Fine Gael leader to be re-elected Taoiseach. There won't be much time for celebration though. I doubt any parties have stood down their election plans.

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What will really trouble TDs was the way it got over the line. It was pretty ugly. Last-minute haggling and Independents wrestling with their consciences won't inspire confidence that the Government will last much longer than it took to form. Neither will that be lost on them that four TDs backed out last Friday morning. Some of them, like Mattie McGrath, were never going to sign up - they were enjoying all the attention. But others pulled out because they couldn't accept a deal they'd spent over a month negotiating.

What's to say that even the eight who signed up won't struggle with their conscience all the time? Shane Ross was always regarded as flaky by Fine Gael, and his announcing his appointment to Cabinet before the formal introduction in the Dail must have added to their anxiety. Now they'll be depending on him and others, some of whom have little political experience. And one who has experience, Finian McGrath, was part of one of these deals before and reneged as soon as the road got rough.

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