[Updated] Deal reached for a FG led Minority Irish Government after agreement with FF…

Synchronised pressers from both parties as there have been throughout this period. Tonight it reads…

Both Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil have reached a political agreement to facilitate a Fine Gael led minority government. Both party leaders are now being briefed, extensive drafting has to be done and then both Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael will hold separate parliamentary party meetings to outline the details of the confidence and supply arrangement.

Update: Details suggest the document agreeing a confidence and supply arrangement will guarantee FF does not vote against the next three budgets and will abstain in votes of confidence. Outside this, FF is free to vote against the government on any normal piece of legislation.

And with sufficient support from other opposition parties, FF is free to engineer a government defeat on any piece of legislation it doesn’t like. It also gives the opposition an historic and unique power to initiate and sponsor legislation through to enactment.

Talks will now switch to bringing in a sufficient number of independents to get the government a working majority. 

  • Skibo

    Wonder who will be their partners? Will the six Independent Alliance be enough? will Labour be there too?

  • Lee

    You’ve been busy this evening Mick. Gearing up for the election no doubt!
    Hows about a wee predictions thread just for a bit of fun and to whet the whistle?

  • Declan Doyle

    The omens do not look good for the FG/FF coalition. Commentators are already suggesting it could fall within months if not weeks as homelessness, health and housing crises are now practically out of control.

  • Pasty2012

    Sinn Fein main opposition and then Government in the South in a few years time. All Ireland governed by the same party is a the basis of a United Ireland and a big step on the final part of the course.

  • mickfealty

    Coalition? On yer bike Declan!! That’s what those same commenters predicted and it hasn’t come to pass.

    Anyone seeking to bring a new government down after a few months over an issue like homelessness that will take years to put right is not serious about the issue of homelessness.

    Barring unforeseen difficulties, I’d give it three years before it starts getting really difficult.

  • Jag

    If FF has indeed reached a deal with FG (and there’s another potential slip between cup and lip with the deals needing to be ratified by the parliamentary parties, and I wonder in FF’s case, if a convention might be needed of party members?) then why does Enda need court the Independents.

    Here;s the maths:

    FG has 50 seats
    FF has 43 (+ 1 speaker who doesn’t generally vote)
    At least 80 TDs need vote for Enda to become Taoiseach.

    50+43>80

    The Independents can take their porkbarrelling conditions for support and stick them where the sun doesn’t shine (and I don’t mean Longford).

  • Jag

    I can think of a dozen issues which will lead to the minority government’s downfall within weeks:

    1. IBRC Inquiry
    2. NAMA Inquiry (FF had a Bill debated last September, FG is totally opposed)
    3. What happens to old water bills (refunds for payers or court for non-payers)
    4. Pressure on Central Bank to relax mortgage rules
    5. Pay increases in the general public sector especially for new entrants who are being shortchanged
    6. Pay increases in the public sector transport sector where Luas drivers are heading for Armageddon, and there are rumblings in the bus and rail companies.
    7. There are at least three Garda scandals looming on the horizon about failures to investigate. FG supports the Garda Commissioner. FF will want her head.
    8. Despite broad agreement on three budgets, there will be bunfights over the detail.
    9. Appointments to state boards
    10. Taoiseach’s 11 nominees to the Seanad due right now
    11.Spending on health, generally and particularly to deal with the elevated trolley crisis
    12.Moriarty Tribunal, and its failure to lead to prosecutions, something raised frequently by FF.

    FF’s rivals in Opposition are massing as we speak to exploit FF’s weaknesses in all these areas.

    But the main reason I think this minority government will fall is because FF won’t be able to stand 31 FGers holding ministerial and AG roles, earning around €150,000 each, and with all the perks of office, and especially the power.

  • mickfealty

    You’re still hooked on that grand coalition they’ve been putting in the political water for months now. That only works with FF.

    Without FF support, they could go into government but never get anything past an FF abstention.

    Including a vote of confidence. In other words there’s no point with independent support.

  • fralycis

    So after weeks of deliberately elongated courting, Enda Kenny just about manages to cling to the levers of power.
    If they get anything close to 50 seats next time at the polls, the Irish people will indeed have short memories…

  • Skibo

    I don’t see this ending up as the grand coalition. It will probably end up FG independent alliance and labour thrown in for good measure.
    FF will sit on the opposition to drown out SF while pulling the strings.
    It is quite a precarious position to hold for FF. Vowed they would not go into government with FG. Said they wanted to remove Enda and here they are prepared to prop him up and work him like a puppet.

  • chrisjones2

    Frustrated by democracy are we?

  • chrisjones2

    Yada yada ….. peak SF has been reached / passed. They promised much and delivered much less. We were told Gerry would be in power by now. Now its the next dail or the next or the one after that

  • fralycis

    Not frustrated by democracy, per se. More frustrated by the many egos at the top that needed massaging, resulting in these “negotiations” (games of courting) that the electorate as a whole will not be duped by.
    Very obvious that after the joint partnership deal was predictably rejected by FF, that the minority government was the only viable option. Again, I reiterate that big egos (particularly in FG, but some lurking in FF) would not want to head to the polls in fear of losing marginal seats to the left.
    Again, I’m happy that a settlement was reached, but I take issue with both parties holding the Dail to ransom for that long. FG/FF will of course spin the story by criticising the independents (the majority of them also predictably not wanting to air their support in any public sense towards either ‘big two’ party).
    It shall be an interesting 32nd Dail. The levers of power remain comfortably in FG hands with no FF rejection of budgets, but FF will be very strategic with the resultant ball of power firmly in their court to pull the rug when the time comes.

  • Declan Doyle

    Never mind the Spin !! Its a coalition in all but name.

  • mickfealty

    That’s the spin, which will create some considerable turbulence. But it’s also pure nonsense.

  • Declan Doyle

    It is not nonsense. FF stood on a platform to remove Kenny. FF are putting him back in as Taoseach. FF stood on a platform to abolish Irish Water and water charges. But, instead we get a nine month suspension and a commission. FF are putting Kenny and FG back in government and supporting them for as you suggest at least three years. That is a coalition in everything but name and Arch Fianna Fail cute hoorism in all its rancid glory. Lets hope the left skin them on a daily basis in the house.

  • mickfealty

    Yes, after trying (over a very. Long period) and failing to get the support of others in the Dail.

  • Declan Doyle

    Fianna Fail will always ultimately serve themselves and their Brown envelope buddies, and anybody who has any knowledge of Southern politics will know that the party has proved that time and time again. They have manufactured a situation so they can be in government and in opposition at the same time, and as pointed out on the late debate tonight Fianna Fail have again broken a promise by refusing to oversee the abolition of Irish Water and water charges. Independent TDs are on record as saying at no point during their talks did they believe Fianna Fail and MM were in any way sincere (John Halligan TD, Vincent Browne Show).

  • mickfealty

    You’re missing the point though. SF (for its own strategic reasons) effectively put Enda back in by abstaining from the votes for Taoiseach.

  • Declan Doyle

    You really have to twist the wool a fair bit to come up with that design. A left wing party voting to support a right wing party in government? No, those days are gone and people deserve a clear choice when they go to the ballot box. It’s that very type of convergence that has damaged politics across Europe and beyond. SF, SD, PBP/AAA were right to stay out of it. They did not get the numbers – better luck next time.