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Government formation redux – or a soft return to 2016? January 27, 2020

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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Pat Leahy on the IT politics podcast last week had a fair point, that the carefully constructed FF/soft left coalition that appeared to be moving inexorably towards power prior to the calling of the election was now – well, if not off the table, certainly sliding towards the edge. Why so? Because SF’s vote has held up so strongly, FF’s vote is not as strong as it needs to be to get well into the 60s, let alone the 70s in terms of seat numbers, and the LP vote is static, or declining. Indeed one could throw in the thought that the GP, still likely to make significant gains, is not quite as strong as was thought.

And so we get a reverse 2016! One where FF is in government and FG is offering the…erm…. support. Step up to the plate rural independents, your day may come again. Or perhaps some are ruing the fact the Independent Alliance is no longer a functioning entity. And that by the by is a thought in itself. Did the options on the independent side pull a couple of percentage points away from SF in 2016? It only needed to be one or two.

Thing is, without the Brexit glue how long does any confidence and supply arrangement last? A year, two? Before FG pulls the plug. And let’s not even talk about who will be leading FG by then. So M. Martin may yet become Taoiseach, but for how long?

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1. CL - January 27, 2020

FG is less adamant than FF re coalescing with SF.

Post-election, depending on the numbers, as FG begins negotiating with SF, pressure will increase within FF to modify its stance.

SF and FF no longer differ on partition or on entering the Dail. Time to heal the split of 1926.

SF should insist on Doherty for finance, and Ó Broin for housing. All the rest is negotiablel.
(Source: leaked memo from back room, Felons Club)

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2. Jim Monaghan - January 27, 2020

“Step up to the plate rural independents, your day may come again.”. So more Healy-Raeism. More vanity projects, more patronage and clientilism. I can imagine, with dread, the list of stupidities demanded as a price of support. Exemptions for rural people from all restrictions on drink driving etc.

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3. roddy - January 27, 2020

You’ve jumped the shark this time Jim.Healy Raeism only demands that you be allowed to take 3 pints and drive home at 30 mph in 3rd gear!

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4. dermot - January 28, 2020

Assuming an FF led govt:

What chance of it lasting as long as this one? Not strong IMHO. No Brexit to hide behind (I suspect Martin’s statesman-like behaviour in propping up Enda and Leo more motivated by FF’s craptacular poll numbers rather than the mythic ‘national interest’.) A case of wanting what you have instead of having what you want.

FF going into the teeth of a new election in a year or two if (when) the next crisis arrives (scandal / recession / both) could come out of the other side even weaker than 2011. In govt. they’ll be hostages to fortune – and I don’t think it’ll take them very long to remember the earthly delights of corruption. Hard to see a Coveney led FG allowing the inevitable FF skullduggery to go unchecked for long. Leopards and spots.

If SF do poll well this time and under-perform in seats due to lower candidate numbers (say high 20s), a second election in the short term could give them a do-over in the not too distant future – I doubt they’d have to wait the best part of 4 years for another go.

Also to SFs advantage in that situation: their main enemy (FF) would be the outgoing govt. party, a much happier hunting ground than the current one where they’re jostling with FF for the throne of real opposition. They could jostle Labour out of existence, bonus points.

Of course, SF might negate the above, do a Gormley-Gilmore and go in with FF, if they’re feeling a wee bit thick. But they’ve never struck me as short-term careerists, we’ll see.

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