And meanwhile… the Republic still has no government.

Lest we forget, Oireachtas TV is covering the resumption of the Nomination of Taoiseach this afternoon at 2.30pm. If you are confused (and you probably should be) here’s Pat Leahy’s take on the current state of affairs…

There is an ever-present fear in both the big parties that the Independent TDs are not sufficiently serious about actually doing a deal with them that would stick through the inevitable vicissitudes of life in government.

They might want to be in government, goes the argument, but are they actually capable of it?

The big party honchos read the reports of the blood-curdling threats of industrial action emanating from the Garda conferences on

Tuesday and wondered: Are the Independents really going to hold the line if the gardaí are demonstrating at their doors?

According to one outgoing Minister: “I’d welcome the gardaí if they came protesting. It might keep the water protesters away.”

on Morning Ireland this morning two Independents from different groups gave the distinct impression they were not going to buy into any Taoiseach without a briefing of what has transpired between Fianna Fail and Fine over the weekend and after.

Leahy’s precised view of where things stand…

Ultimately, Kenny must accomplish two things: He must agree a framework under which Fianna Fail will co-operate with a minority government and then he must get the support of at least seven more TDs to give him the crucial 58 votes that makes a majority if Fianna Fail abstain. After today we should know where he stands on both of these.

Even that limited arrangement might not work. If not, another General Election?

Nobody wants it, least of all the Independents. The odds are still – just about – that the framework will be agreed with Fianna Fail, and a deal supported by enough Independents to give Enda Kenny a makeshift majority with Fianna Fail abstention.

But with tension high and tempers frayed after weeks of fruitless negotiations, it’s a precarious business, the whole thing. And in politics, as in life, lots of things happen by accident.

Concurrent election campaigns on both sides of the border? Now that really would be interesting.

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  • Brian Walker

    What’s the rush? Compare Belgium October 2014 From the Economist.( Just think of what it would be like in a united Ireland.

    JUST five months after May’s election Belgium has a new government. Set against the 18 months that it took in 2010, that is fast work. Charles Michel, the 38-year-old leader of the French-speaking liberals, will lead a four-way coalition consisting of his party, the Flemish liberals, the Flemish Christian Democrats and—for the first time—the Flemish nationalist N-VA party. As the largest party, the N-VA, led by its bullish leader, Bart De Wever, is now Belgium’s dominant political force. And that shreds nerves among those fearful of the country’s possible break-up.

    Founded on a platform of separatism, the N-VA has long exploited the deep cultural and linguistic chasm in Belgium. The people of the two biggest regions, Flanders and Wallonia, tend to see themselves as Fleming or Walloon first and Belgian second, if at all. The divide is entrenched in a political system that splits into Dutch- and French-speaking parties.

    A lattice of federal, regional and municipal governments binds Belgium together, but economic forces are pulling it apart.

  • Or, indeed, Spain – which might be a better comparison.

    Having gone to the polls on 20 Dec 2015, I think they have until 2 May before dissolution and new elections.

  • Anglo-Irish

    Makes Ireland look positively straightforward by comparison. : )

    I don’t think the delay is a problem, getting it right is more important.

    As they say, marry in haste, repent at leisure.

    The parties may get a shock if they decide on another election. Most people expect a bunch of people who make a living by talking, negotiating and compromising when necessary to be able to sort something workable out.

    Asking the electorate to go again, with all the cost and inconvenience involved may end up with both FG and FF losing out.

    In my view both Labour and SF would probably gain if it comes to that.

    Like the Liberals here in Britain Labour in Ireland have attracted a certain amount of sympathy post election as they probably got a bigger backlash than maybe they deserved.

  • chrisjones2

    Looks more and more like Belgium!

    Almost 100 years old and a nation divided on which colour of angels should stand on the pinhead so the people can mock them

  • barnshee

    The schools remain open- The sick are treated after a fashion– the pubs and supermarkets appear to remain open who has noticed an absence of “government”

  • barnshee

    The sooner the “green elephant” gets its hands on the tiller and steers the ship into the nearest rocks the better.

  • John Collins

    What exactly does Bar(a)nshee mean?

  • Anglo-Irish

    No one really knows, but whatever it is you can wager that it’s anti-Irish.

    At least he has spared us his views on Catholic birthrates thus far.