Thursday 26 April 2018

Five things to watch as the Dail sits this afternoon

Barry Lennon

DAIL EIREANN has reconvened for just the third time since the General Election and the country still has no Government after over a month of discussions.

Deputies will vote for a Taoiseach again but it is unlikely to produce a result with the numbers stacked against acting Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Fianna Fail's Micheal Martin.

Here are five things to look out for as the afternoon progresses: 

Who Independents will vote for as Taoiseach

Most Independents are likely to abstain in today's vote after discussions with the two biggest parties ended inconclusively.

Roscommon-Galway's Denis Naughten appeared to give up on power saying that it would be better for Fine Gael and Fianna Fail formed a government this morning.

Party leaders Enda Kenny and Micheal Martin
Party leaders Enda Kenny and Micheal Martin

If you were a betting person you’d bet your house on Enda Kenny getting 51 votes and Micheal Martin getting 43.

Ruth Coppinger hopes to make history

The Anti-Austerity Alliance hope to make history by putting forward Ruth Coppinger as a nomination for Taoiseach.

This will make her the first woman to be put forward for the role.

This follows the party's symbolic gesture of putting forward Richard Boyd-Barrett for the role when the Dail first again met last month.

How long will Enda Kenny and Micheal Martin spend talking tonight?

All eyes will be Mr Kenny and Mr Martin after today's formality of voting for Taoiseach.

The pair still have agreed a time or location for the meeting, which isn’t a good sign after their previous spat over text to set up a meeting last week.

Independents will be keen see how much of their discussions have inspired any agreements made between the two leaders.

How long they talk tonight could be telling.

Where this leaves water charges?

Both Fianna Fail and Fine Gael are at odds over the issue. Fianna Fail have proposed scrapping the charge but Fine Gael are adamant that charges will remain. 

How both sides line up after today's events could be crucial to keeping water charges.

Is the Dail changing the way it does business?

A Dail committee is bringing forward ideas for new ways of doing business in the parliament. 

Expect plenty of grandstanding as the proposals are debated this evening.

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