Sligo Champion

| 14.2°C Dublin

Time for an election or SF to be part of talks?

Editor's view

Close

No deal yet........FF leader Micheal Martin and Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar

No deal yet........FF leader Micheal Martin and Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar

No deal yet........FF leader Micheal Martin and Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar

It has become a right Lanigan's Ball as regards Government formation talks with the latest twist being Fianna Fáil getting the hump that Fine Gael were making behind the scenes plans to see how a General Election could be held in the midst of the Covid-19 crisis. It seems pretty obvious to many commentators, this one included (from early on), that forming a Government which the figures threw up from the election on February 8th was nigh on impossible given the stances taken by some of them.

There was no outright winner and there were too many permutations to make it possible for a stable government. What we have is a mish mash of possible outcomes that doesn't bode at all well for a government of five years' duration.

Fianna Fáil, on 38 seats, has left Sinn Féin with 37 seats out in the cold, leaving Fine Gael (35 seats) as the only alternative but the combined total leaves them well short of the magical 80 seat overall majority..

So, with the Labour Party wisely opting for the opposition benches to rebuild and the Social Democrats also not interested that leaves the Green Party, seen as being very keen on power as a likely coalition partner.

However, FF, FG and the Greens are currently engaged in a painstaking process of trying to draw up a programme for government which they will need to get past their respective party conventions.

It's clear now that there are hurdles to be overcome hence the news at the week-end that FG was putting in place plans of how an election could be held in the midst of the Covid-19 crisis should surprise no one.

The plan is understood to detail how voting in an election could be held over a number of days, with cocooners getting a postal vote.

Fianna Fáil are upset and perhaps now is the time to bring Sinn Féin in from the cold and seek to form a Governmnet that will include a few independents as well. FF and Sinn Féin have a combined 75 seats and need five more, seven or eight to be sure from the pool of 21 independents.

By going into coalition with FG and the Greens, Fianna Fáil will be facing an electorate pasting in a few years with the big winners then being Sinn Féin. The public won't stomach more green taxes or FG austerity.

One thing is for certain, the government formation talks have dragged on for too long now. It'll be four months soon since we went to the polls.

Sligo Champion