Republic’s election could be skin tight

Stephen Coleman has been warning for a few weeks now that despite bouyant polling figures for the Republic’s government, they will need to score every bit as well as current polling figures indicate, plus the full extent of the Bertie factor on lower preference transfers before the status quo can be maintained. Today he has some intriguing permutations (subs needed) if they don’t come up to the mark.Firstly the Greens:

One option would be to bring the Greens into government as part of a three-party coalition. Given the emphasis of the Greens on carbon taxes that might prove difficult but it would not be impossible.

Fianna Fáil has already started to use some Green language and could certainly adapt itself to a moderate Green agenda. The PDs have also being playing up their Green credentials with Dún Laoghaire TD Fiona O’Malley laying heavy stress on alternative energy.

Everything would depend on the numbers and whether the Greens wanted to pursue a straightforward environmental agenda or a more aggressive anti-globalisation policy that would make it impossible to work with the other parties.

He doesn’t rate Labour’s capacity to easily get over its current nailed to the door cohabitational commitment to Enda Kenny and Fine Gael. And that could be Sinn Fein’s opportunity An option that:

…the Taoiseach has ruled out but which the Tánaiste, Michael McDowell, clearly believes is a real possibility. There is little likelihood of Sinn Féin joining a Fianna Fáil-led coalition but every prospect of the party voting tactically to make Mr Ahern taoiseach, in the event of a hung Dáil.

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty