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Greens' growth puts party in line for coalition

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Green Party’s Eamon Ryan. Photo: Gareth Chaney, Collins

Green Party’s Eamon Ryan. Photo: Gareth Chaney, Collins

Green Party’s Eamon Ryan. Photo: Gareth Chaney, Collins

Wiped out in 2011 after an ill-starred coalition with Fianna Fáil, the Green Party looks set to emerge in a pivotal position for many coalition options.

The party's performance in Election 2020 was eclipsed by the historic gains by Sinn Féin. But as counts continued last night, it was clear it would significantly increase its number of TDs, giving the party its best ever Dáil election.

Party leader Eamon Ryan was one of the early TDs declared elected, retaining the seat in Dublin Bay South he first won in 2016. His deputy Catherine Martin also retained the seat in Dublin Rathdown she surprised many by winning in 2016.

As counting continued, she looked set to be joined in Dáil Éireann by her husband, Francis Noel Duffy, who was on course to be elected in Dublin South West. And possible success for her brother, Vincent P Martin, in Kildare North, made this election a real family affair.

In Dublin Fingal, Joe O'Brien, who won the party's only by-election victory there on November 29 last, was set to hold his seat.

The Green Party needs a two-thirds majority of its members to endorse participation in any coalition and some of its newer and younger members may be resistant to the idea. But it is clear most of the other parties will be keen to engage with the Green Party and the Dáil arithmetic may well dictate it may be needed for many of the government-making permutations.

Mr Ryan has made it clear throughout the election campaign that he and many of his colleagues are open to the idea of coalition participation.

He has also said his party had an obligation to speak with every other grouping at Leinster House. Final numbers for the Green Party will emerge today, but it will make big gains.

Irish Independent