Government talks: Fine Gael reach out to smaller parties to win support of 60 TDs

Fine Gael have reached out to smaller parties as they believe they need the support of at least 60 TDs to form a stable government.

Enda Kenny’s party are seeking the support of their former coalition partners Labour along with other small parties and Independents to form a minority government.

The Fine Gael leader also made it clear in the Dáil yesterday that he was willing to continue with talks on minority government with Fianna Fáil.

A number of Fine Gael sources last night said there is now an appetite to work through the weekend and into next week with Fianna Fáil to hammer out the terms of a minority government.

After Mr Kenny failed in his third attempt to be elected Taoiseach, Fine Gael appear to be changing strategy slightly by asking the Labour party, the Green Party and the Social Democrats to join them.

It comes after 14 of the 15 Independent TDs who had been involved in protracted government formation talks with both Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil made the combined decision to abstain from voting to nominate a Taoiseach yesterday.

Government talks: Fine Gael reach out to smaller parties to win support of 60 TDs

Katherine Zappone was the only Independent involved in talks who backed Mr Kenny’s nomination. Tipperary Independent Michael Lowry also supported Fine Gael’s nomination.

This brought to 52 the number of TDs who voted in favour of Mr Kenny as Taoiseach, while 77 deputies voted against the motion.

The party believe they will need the backing of at least another eight TDs to form a stable minority government.

Speaking last night acting Health Minister Leo Varadkar said: “We need to get to about 60 to be viable, we will need to bring Independents and maybe other parties on board to make that a viable and stable government that can start to do the business of government which has now been suspended for the best part of 10 weeks.

Mr Varadkar added: “It is important from our point of view that we can still discuss the composition of the next government with them [Independents] and with other parties too, Labour, Greens, potentially the Social Democrats because the support of Fianna Fáil or Fianna Fáil abstaining isn’t enough.”

Speaking yesterday Simon Coveney said: “Parties are being asked to do things now they have not done before and we will continue our efforts between now and next Wednesday to try to get a conclusion to that process.”

More on this topic

Water charges 'will be collected'; Joan Burton expected to step down as Labour leaderWater charges 'will be collected'; Joan Burton expected to step down as Labour leader

Independent Alliance say FG will have to agree to 'radical proposals' for a govt by ThursdayIndependent Alliance say FG will have to agree to 'radical proposals' for a govt by Thursday

Talks with Independent Alliance could delay govt formation; SF says FF have 'lost credibility'Talks with Independent Alliance could delay govt formation; SF says FF have 'lost credibility'

Leo Varadkar's govt formation comments 'misleading and self-serving', says Michael McGrathLeo Varadkar's govt formation comments 'misleading and self-serving', says Michael McGrath


Lifestyle

The singer is no stranger to sporting an array of pastel nail polishes.7 times Harry Styles had the perfect manicure

Gareth Cotter-Stone explores the magical city on the west coast of Ireland.Why you should visit Galway, European Capital of Culture 2020

More From The Irish Examiner