Labour and Independents expected to abstain from Taoiseach vote on Thursday

Labour and Independents expected to abstain from Taoiseach vote on Thursday

The Labour Party looks set to abstain from the vote on Enda Kenny on Thursday, Daniel McConnell, Political Editor with the Irish Examiner has learned.

It had been speculated during the weekend that Fine Gael attempts to woo Labour support had been successful.

However, that has now been ruled out with one source ruling out any "major shift in the party's position".

"There is no appetite to enter the fray at this stage," the source said.

The matter will be formally decided at a meeting on Wednesday.

Several Independent TDs have said they want to “see the colour of the money” of what a deal between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil would look like before they could support it.

A number of the TDs today indicated they may abstain from the vote for Taoiseach on Thursday in the Dáil, as such detail would not be ready.

Speaking to the Irish Examiner, Roscommon TD Denis Naughten, of the so-called Rural Five, said he needs to see the “ground rules” before he is willing to support.

“I am neutral at the moment, but I would need to see the ground rules before I give my support,” he said.

“Until we have those, we don’t know if we are even at the races at all,” he added.

Dublin Rathdown Independent TD and de-facto leader of the Independent Alliance Shane Ross said that his group will come to a quick decision once the two big parties reveal their final proposals to them.

“We will come to a speedy decision once we see the colour of their money,” said the Dublin Rathdown TD on the Pat Kenny show on Newstalk.

Mr Ross said a deal will not be reached before the vote for Taoiseach this Thursday.

“It will take beyond that, but at long last they are talking and good sense has prevailed.”

Waterford Independent TD John Halligan highlighted issues at Waterford Hospital as the key issues he would seek to have addressed in return for his support.

Speaking on Newstalk radio, Mr Halligan said: “Waterford has suffered disproportionally - it is the only hospital in the country without 24 hour cardiac care. If you have a heart attack after 4pm on Friday you will have to go to either Dublin or Cork. I hope it won’t come down to the hospital. I will make a decision based on what is happening with Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael.”

His Independent alliance colleague, Roscommon-Galway Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice said he welcomed the Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael talks, which will begin this evening.

“At least they’re talking now,” he said, adding that he expected an agreement for at least three budgets, but emphasised that neither side had said that.

“It is up to the Independents to decide who will lead this government. We have done everything as fast as we can,” he said on RTE’s Morning Ireland.

Labour and Independents expected to abstain from Taoiseach vote on Thursday

Kerry Independent TD Michael Healy Rae has refused to rule out the possibility of a Fianna Fáil-led minority government.

The Kilgarvan-based TD accepted such an option was unlikely, but added “I never say never”. He said: “It’s all up in the air until it comes down to the ground”.

The meeting between the Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil teams is expected to take place this evening in a meeting room between Leinster House and Government Buildings.

Neither side was willing to reveal whether an agenda has been agreed but discussions around Irish Water were unlikely to feature at today’s meeting, said one senior source.

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