Tuesday 21 February 2017

Julien Mercille: Grand coalition: an option that leaves FF and FG facing a crucial strategic dilemma

Julien Mercille

Published 26/02/2016 | 02:30

Micheál Martin (left) and Enda Kenny (right)
Micheál Martin (left) and Enda Kenny (right)

There has been much talk about the possibility that Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael will enter into a coalition government following the election. The issue can be summarised neatly as a dilemma - choosing between short-term hunger for power vs. longer-term strategic patience.

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The former involves immediate electoral gains but also high risks to the historical political dominance of the two parties by strengthening the Left; on the other hand, the latter option means relinquishing immediate gains in order to preserve the parties' dominance in the long run.

The cleverest politicians, of which Leo Varadkar seems to be one, have recently signalled that this is how they understand the situation as well.

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