A Mathematical Destiny


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Sinn Féin and Fine Gael.

Together – on graph paper – at last.

The crucial thing is the maths. In the next Dail, a potential Government needs about 80 seats to form a majority and clearly neither FG, SF nor FF can form a Government on their own.

Converting this week’s poll figures into seats would go as follows: FG at 47, Independents and others at 42, SF at 33, FF at 31, Labour at 4 and Greens at 1.

If you combine FG and SF, you get the magic 80. Otherwise, a combination of FF and FG would come close to it, but, despite their similarity, this would be an almost impossible coalition to imagine, given the historical differences and utter resistance by the memberships of both parties.

However, there are few other feasible alternatives. FG is still saying publicly that it wishes to continue governing with the Labour Party, but given the latter’s decimation, this would be almost impossible, unless there were other elements in the coalition. And it is difficult to see SF sharing power with Labour, or vice versa. There is an equal antipathy between rival Republican parties FF and SF, of course…

Don’t rule out an Enda Kenny and Gerry Adams government after election (Eamon Delaney, Irish Central)

Yesterday: What Gerry Wants

36 thoughts on “A Mathematical Destiny

    1. Jordofthejungle

      Fine Gael are not going to be decimated in the same way as befell Fianna Fáil. They’ll lose a few seats but that’ll be it. That is a given barring some catastrophic economic collapse between now and the election. The bulk of the electorate will remain centre/centre-right. Sinn Fein will do well but not as well as opinion polling showing. The big question remains the fate of the independents, Lucinda’s niche “we’re not *all* hardline social conservatives” motley d-list crew and of course Labour.

    2. Jimmy 2 tones

      Yes they will. Dont forget FG wanted more money spent when FF were in charge, they were right behind the whole thing.

  1. bisted

    …hasn’t Gerry done a pre-emptive strike on this saying he’s not good at maths…anyway, the troika of FF/FG/LAB will come together…in the National interest…

    1. read twice

      Agreed. A Grand Coalition of anything-but-the-shinners.
      FF-FG Civil war history? Water under the bridge (finally!)
      Policy differences? Ha! Yeah right! (right)
      Distribution of ministerial roles? Create more ministries/junior ministries (everyone’s a winner!)

      1. bisted

        …Labour could have and should have precipitated this situation last time but their greedy leadership betrayed the people who voted for them and opted for power and pensions instead.

        1. Dubloony

          Last time the options was to put FF back in power in some configuration. That was n’t going to happen given that they collapsed the country.

  2. Just sayin'

    Nonsense from Delaney. FG will certainly form a coalition with FF before SF. There’s a hierarchy of hatred there.

  3. Soundings


    FG+SF=80, sure but FF+FG=78 based on the latest opinion poll, and traditionally, SF’s actual poll numbers are lower on the day because their core constituents are sat at home watching Jeremy Kyle. It’s really going to be FG+FF and if perchance SF does inch forward in the polls, it will be FG+FF+a couple of the Independents or micro-parties (thinking the Shane Rosses, Stephen Donnellys and Lucinda Creightons)

    Of course, there’s a year to go and remember the effect the “envelopes” had on Sean Gallagher’s presidential campaign in 2011, but at this stage, it looks like FG and FF, though they’ll naturally diss talk of any coalition to maximise their individual votes.

    1. newsjustin

      I think you’re right.

      The thing is, SF would probably relish this outcome. Allows them (likely) to be the main party of opposition.

      1. Soundings

        Trust me, no party wants to be in opposition going forward, and every party, including SF, the Greens, Labour and the socialists would sell their grannies if it meant they were in power. SF will show plenty of leg regardless of the outcome next year (I think we can all agree no party looks like it will get an overall majority), and there will be some horsetrading ahead of forming a government, it’s just when the dust settles, FF and FG is an infinitely better fit, Enda will be Taoiseach, McGrath will be finance minister with Noonan turning 74, Micheal Martin will be in health, Varadkar in foreign affairs, Coveney in justice, O’Cuiv in agriculture or he’ll walk, Harris in public expenditure and reform, Donohoe still in transport if he’s reelected. There’ll be double the number of FFers, so there’ll be some new faces. And same old, same old, the show must go on.

        1. Ciarán

          if you ae playing a long game (which I think SF are) then there is so value to being in opposition at the right time

          1. Ciarán

            jesus, that’s what I get for eating and typing….

            if you are playing a long game (which I think SF are) then there is some value to being in opposition at the right time, don’t you think?

          2. Soundings

            Name me one party ever, anywhere, which voluntarily went into opposition. I’m sure in 2016, Labour will regret their decision in 2011 to get wedded to FG, just as the Greens did in 2011. But going forward, those regrets don’t play any part, and who knows, in addition to being in power, you could conceivably improve your prospects for the following election.

            SF will stick themselves in the Amsterdam window next year, after the preliminary election results come in and flash the red light to anyone and everyone. It’s just FG and FF are more compatible bedfellows and barring some huge event over the next year (and it won’t be water charges, referendum issues or the economy), get ready for Taoiseach Kenny and Tanaiste Martin.

  4. Chuckie

    Well, would FG or FF consider the long game (for their own benefit, no the country’s), because surely nothing would destroy SF’s support quicker than if they had to actually govern?
    (based on the assumption that the next government will be as despised as the previous two have been)

    Maybe, SF would have the smarts to stay in opposition?

  5. Mr. T.

    All this gas bagging about SF and FG is a ploy by FG to confuse SF voters. And outraged Michael Martin is all just an act.

    What IS going to happen is a FF/FG coalition because they will do anything to stop SF getting into government.

    The old guard of FF and FG is in fact two heads of the same monster and it is the greatest political lie told to the Irish since 1922.

  6. Eoghany

    Is it not looking like there could be a left leaning government? Sin Fein, Socialists, AAA, People before profit, independents, etc? Are there not enough lefties to pull that together?

    1. Soundings

      In theory yes, I’d guess 25% of the 30% in the “Others” opinion poll are left-leaning. SF would get around 20% and Labour around 5%, maybe a tad more in both cases. In practice, there are just two many non-party lefties this time around, and corralling them into a workable coalition just wouldn’t be feasible based on current poll predictions.

      You never know of course, and who knows for the following election.

      1. Dubloony

        “non-party lefties” has huge variations withing that category, ranging from ex-Labour to bring on the revolution socialists.

        I’m willing to bet that the next government will be short lived.

        Overall its a depressing set of choices based on who would be least worst rather than the best candidates.

    2. Bonzor

      Despite the endless, blanket coverage of the AAA, SP, PBP left they still only poll about 1% collectively. I’m not getting my hopes up that the long-promised common left platform ever materialises, but if it did I think they might be able to pull in about 5%. So they might have a role to play, but the left is far less relevant in real life than the echo chamber of social media and sites such as this might suggest.

  7. Frilly Keane

    I still see the Shinners/ the eFFers and a few Indos meself.

    Those Fine Girl ya are numbers look good to me.
    Maybe Edna could be talked inta calling a General now

  8. Kieran NYC

    It’s the Irish Central. Is anyone surprised?

    Read by the kind of people who funded the IRA during the Troubles.

  9. Elrond Hubbard

    Why aren’t the Greens lumped in with ‘Others’? AAA have 3 seats at the moment to pick one example. I’m not a member of AAA but it’s really getting on my wick.

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