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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