Government 2016 – Nobody Wants to Go in With Anyone – Though They All Have Choices

The only clear opponents in the General Election are Fine Gael and Sinn Fein, and neither will go in with the other after the election results are in. Fianna Fail have ruled out those two, and while Micheal Martin would be hopeful of that, his party would choose to go in with either (preferably Sinn Fein, if Gerry stepped aside for Mary Lou), and either of the two parties would go in with Fianna Fail.

As today went by, politicians (except Enda Kenny) were distancing themselves from the possibility of being in government with Independent Michael Lowry. Lowry was a former Fine Gael Minister, and the rest is history.

Labour. Well…..what can you say about Labour? They’ll be so depleted after it’s all over, that their few numbers could come in handy for the bigger parties wanting power.

Choice is available to everyone, writes David Flynn. Fianna Fail could opt to go in with either Fine Gael or Sinn Fein, but they will look to see what is in the rest of the mix first, ie Renua, Social Democrats and Shane’s Ross’s Independent Alliance, and some other Independents. FF will first look to see if there are any Independents elected from their gene pool, ie ex-FF. Fine Gael will look at all of those options too, but not Sinn Fein. Sinn Fein will do likewise, but not with Fine Gael.

The only thing that will save the leaderships of Micheal Martin and Joan Burton is if they are able to negotiate a position in the next government.   Remember that’s what saved Albert Reynolds in 1992, after he led Fianna Fail to a defeat of nine seats in that years November election. He negotiated with Dick Spring’s Labour and they made a government that lasted two years.

Enda Kenny and Gerry Adams leaderships are safe for the foreseeable future.

At this remove, (RTE’s Micheal Lehane tweeted earlier today that there are rumours the election will be on Thursday, February 25th) it is hard to see who will be in with who. But as said earlier they all have choices. However my early prediction is Fine Gael/Labour/Renua and Shane Ross and a handful of his Independents to lead after this election.

Betting on for February 26th

Enda Kenny did decide last Autumn not to hold the General Election on November 20th, which was the preferred date of his advisors, and most of the national media. Time has moved on fast, and now we are near the end of January 2016.

At this time, the Labour party percentage continues to stall in single figures, but they are holding their party conference this weekend in Mullingar, Co. Westmeath. Joan Burton will figure heavily in the media over the weekend, as did Taoiseach Enda Kenny last week, and Michael Martin of Fianna Fail the week before.  Rumour has it that Kenny will go to Aras an Uachtarain a day or two after Labour leaves Mullingar to ask President Higgins to dissolve the Dail to facilitate a General Election. The expected date is Friday, February 26th.

He will probably look at Fine Gael’s secret poll figures, and if have plunged down into the twenties (they are currently on 31%), he could hold off for a week or two.  But all bets are on February 26th, writes David Flynn.

As soon as the election is called, the media coverage goes into lockdown, and all the parties, and Independents are supposed to get an equal slice of the coverage. Therefore if a party conference was to take place during an election campaign, the leader of the party couldn’t expect the blanket coverage that they would get if it wasn’t election time. On the surface, it would appear that Sinn Fein are the party being left out of that loop, because they aren’t holding their conference until April. However they might be as well off, because at the end of the day, the real folk impressed with the party talk at conferences, are the party folk themselves.