The week the election results were all done and dusted Derek Mooney, a former government adviser, stated on the Friday Forum that under no condition will there be a grand coalition between Fianna Fail and Fine Gael and that continues to be the case.
This afternoon at a press conference on the plinth at Leinster House Michael Martin, the leader of Fianna Fail, stated that he had contacted the acting taoiseach Enda Kenny. In it he stated that they would have talks with Fine Gael should a government not be formed by Wednesday. But unless the acting Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan, can put some sort of spell on the Independents it looks highly unlikely anything will come out of that.
Obviously, Mr. Martin would love to lead a minority himself but no matter how you look at that he just hasn’t got the numbers, which mean that the only way to solve it is to have a Fine Gael minority government supported by Fianna Fail but a veteran Fine Gael TD completely dismissed it as unworkable.
The other factor in this equation is that while Fianna Fail TD’s would more than likely investigate a grand coalition they know fully well that their grassroots certainly wouldn’t.
About the only unique thing that came out of today’s developments is that Michael Martin took the initiative in calling the taoiseach but that’s about it!
There certainly isn’t much optimism around Leinster House today about a new government being formed as talks between Fine Gael and the independents proceed at a snails pace. Scepticism is the tone of the day.
Should time run out for agreement by Wednesday week the taoiseach must go to meet President Higgins and tender his resignation, however, it’s highly unlikely that the president will accept it and will tell him to try with some one else that some one else being Fianna Fail. But the general feeling is that Fianna Fail is not interested in going into an alliance of any description so it would seem likely that we could easily see another general elections being called for between June and September.
That’s how it’s look right now!
Today is the second day back for the Dail and after all the splash and excitement of the first day back when the new TD’s had their families with them today was decidedly quiet. There were no Leaders Questions nor Questions for Taoiseach so there weren’t any journalists in the media gallery.
There was even a muted tone in relation to a government being formed next Wednesday when the Dail meets again. However, the one thing that seems abundantly clear is that there will be no grand coalition between Fianna Fail and Fine Gael. While one can take it for granted that anyone connected directly with the negotiations would be tight lipped, on the face of it, it seemed that there was no deal on the table.
Should the Taoiseach have to present himself to the president next Wednesday with no government in place it would be then up to the president to accept his resignation or tell him to go back and try again. But at this juncture it would seem impossible to form a government.
Are we witnessing the serious courting of Fine Gael with Fianna Fail? To many it would appear so. Why? Fundamentally, the average voter can see no difference in them so what is left is the two of them to argue over how different they might feel themselves. To a large degree it’s somewhat akin to a couple haggling over a pre-nupital with one of the couple very aware that they have more assets than the other who is struggling to stay afloat.
Anyway, it is time that both of them got over the post civil war animosity and realize that there are very few people are concerned with the far away past
Despite the victory for the no side in the Scottish referendum the United Kingdom looks as if it’s coming to an end, at least, in the form that it has been in for the last 3 or 4 centuries. Obviously, the mess could have been avoided had London reacted quicker to the emergence of the yes but it seemed to fall asleep at the wheel.
The next step now is a general election in which it’s most likely a coalition government will be returned but with Nigel Farage’s UKIP also fielding candidates it will be interesting to see how they campaign with so much money going to Scotland, anyway, if it is a Tory led one it has no option but to call for it’s promised referendum on staying in Europe in which case the likely outcome will be for a pull out. Scotland won’t be happy as they are probably most pro-European in all of the UK, in which case they could call for a referendum on getting out of the union.
The other factor is how the rest of England will react to the deal that Scotland got for a no vote and certainly that in itself is not got to help the rift that exists between the north of England and the south never mind Wales.