All eyes will be on Fine Gael’s special parliamentary party meeting this afternoon where TDs and senators will discuss their views on plans to repeal the Eighth Amendment and allow unrestricted access to abortion up to 12 weeks of pregnancy.

However, within the meeting, more than a few concerned glances will be shot towards Fianna Fáil’s offices as it becomes clear that both parties — and therefore individual constituency rivals — are leaning opposite ways on an issue that could prove crucially to securing local support for swing seats at the next general election.

An Irish Examiner poll of all Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil Oireachtas members over the weekend has found that while there is a slow but growing support for a repeal vote among Fine Gael representatives, the view among Fianna Fáil could not be more different.

Among Fine Gael TDs and senators, 24 (18 TDs and six senators) are now in favour of repealing the Eighth, five are publicly opposed (three TDs and two senators), with the remaining 40 (29 TDs and 11 senators) yet to express a view.

Similarly, on the likely introduction of a law to allow for unrestricted access to abortion up to 12 weeks pregnancy in the event of a repeal decision, 19 (15 TDs and four senators) are in favour, 11 (eight TDs and three senators) are opposed and the remaining 39 (27 TDs and 12 senators) are undecided.

However, among Fianna Fáil representatives, the split is different for those who have decided a position. Among the party’s TDs and senators, nine (six TDs and three senators) are in favour of repeal, 22 (18 TDs and four senators) are opposed, and the remaining 27 (21 TDs and six senators) have no view.

And on the 12 week question, just seven (four TDs and three senators) Fianna Fáil representatives are in favour and a notable 27 (23 TDs and four senators) are opposed, with the remaining 20 (14 TDs and six senators) yet to decide their position.

The divergent views come early in what will be a long referendum campaign, the first real shots of which will be fired this week.

What is clear is that despite growing disquiet within Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, there should be enough numbers in the Dáil to carry the referendum bill to hold a vote to repeal the Eighth.

What is less clear is what will replace it. There is a split in Fianna Fáil regarding support for unrestricted access up to 12 weeks and flaky support in Fine Gael.

Leo Varadkar, who like Micheál Martin is one of those still undecided TDs, came in for criticism last week when he suggested the 12-week limit may be “a step too far”.

And, while the public may or may not agree, among politicians he has a point.

A repeal vote and 12 week unrestricted abortion access may be what the country ultimately wants, but how it impacts on crucial seats in the Dáil and Seanad at the next election is the last thing TDs and senators trying to decide where they stand while keep an eye on their constituency rivals really need.

Where Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil politicians stand

FINE GAEL TDs

¦ Maria Bailey: Repeal: Yes; 12 weeks: Yes

¦ Sean Barrett: Did not

respond

¦ Pat Breen: Did not respond

¦ Colm Brophy: Repeal: Yes; 12 weeks: “I support the committee’s views”

¦ Richard Bruton: No view until after this week’s debates

¦ Catherine Byrne: Did not respond

¦ Ciaran Cannon: Repeal: No view until after this week’s debates; 12 weeks: No

¦ Marcella Corcoran Kennedy: Repeal: Yes; 12 weeks: Yes

¦ Simon Coveney: No view until after this week’s debates

¦ Michael Creed: No view until after this week’s debates

¦ Michael D’Arcy: Did not respond

¦ Jim Daly: No view until after this week’s debates

¦ John Deasy: Did not respond

¦ Pat Deering: Did not respond

¦ Regina Doherty: Repeal: Yes; 12 weeks: Yes

¦ Paschal Donohoe: Repeal: Yes; 12 weeks: Yes

¦ Andrew Doyle: Repeal: No; 12 weeks: No

¦ Bernard Durkan: Repeal: Yes; 12 weeks: Yes

¦ Damien English: Did not respond

¦ Alan Farrell: Repeal: Yes; 12 weeks: “Uncertain... a limited, qualified term limit may be required”

¦ Frances Fitzgerald: Repeal: Yes; 12 weeks: Yes

¦ Peter Fitzpatrick: Repeal: No; 12 weeks: No

¦ Charlie Flanagan: Repeal: Yes; 12 weeks: Yes

¦ Brendan Griffin: No view until after this week’s debates

¦ Simon Harris: Repeal: Yes; 12 weeks: Yes

¦ Martin Heydon: Did not respond

¦ Heather Humphreys: No view until after this week’s debates

¦ Paul Kehoe: No view until after this week’s debates. However, he is understood to have raised significant concerns at last week’s cabinet meeting and referenced his Catholic faith

¦ Enda Kenny: Did not respond

¦ Sean Kyne: Repeal: Yes; 12 weeks: Undecided, but has “a number of concerns”

¦ Josepha Madigan: Repeal: Yes; 12 weeks: Yes

¦ Helen McEntee: Repeal: Yes; 12 weeks: Yes

¦ Tony McLoughlin: Did not respond

¦ Joe McHugh: Declined to comment. However, he is understood to have raised significant concerns at last week’s cabinet meeting

¦ Dara Murphy: Did not respond

¦ Eoghan Murphy: Repeal: Yes; 12 weeks: Yes

¦ Hildegarde Naughton: Repeal: Yes; 12 weeks: Yes

¦ Tom Neville: Did not respond

¦ Kate O’Connell: Repeal: Yes; 12 weeks: Yes

¦ Mary Mitchell O’Connor: Did not respond

¦ Patrick O’Donovan: Did not respond

¦ John Paul Phelan: Repeal:No; 12 weeks: No

¦ Michael Ring: Did not respond

¦ Noel Rock: Repeal: Yes; 12 weeks: Yes

¦ David Stanton: No view until after this week’s debates

¦ Leo Varadkar: No view until after this week’s debates

¦ Fergus O’Dowd: Repeal: Yes; 12 weeks: No view until after this week’s debates

¦ Peter Burke: No view until after this week’s debates

¦ Joe Carey: Did not respond

FINE GAEL SENATORS

¦ Colm Burke: No view until after the referendum bill and 12 weeks legislation is published

¦ Paddy Burke: Did not respond

¦ Ray Butler: Repeal: No; 12 weeks: No

¦ Jerry Buttimer: Repeal: Yes; 12 weeks: Yes

¦ Tim Lombard: Did not respond

¦ Gabrielle McFadden: Repeal: Yes; 12 weeks: “Conflicting views”

¦ Michelle Mulherin: Did not respond

¦ Catherine Noone: Repeal: Yes; 12 weeks: Yes

¦ Maria Byrne: Did not respond

¦ Maura Hopkins: Did not respond

¦ Frank Feighan: No view until after this week’s debates

¦ Paudie Coffey: Did not respond

¦ Martin Conway: Repeal: Yes; 12 weeks: “I will be supporting whatever the Government propose”

¦ Paul Coghlan: Repeal: No; 12 weeks: No

¦ Kieran O’Donnell: Did not respond

¦ John O’Mahony: Did not respond

¦ James Reilly: Repeal: Yes; 12 weeks: Did not respond but is understood to support the plan

¦ Neale Richmond: Repeal: Yes; 12 weeks: Yes

¦ Joe O’Reilly: No view until after this week’s debates

FINE GAEL MEPs

¦ Brian Hayes: Did not respond

¦ Sean Kelly: Did not respond

¦ Mairead McGuinness: Did not respond

¦ Deirdre Clune: Repeal: Yes;12 weeks: “Surprised” at recommendation but has no view until after this week’s debates

FIANNA FÁIL TDs

¦ Bobby Alyward: Repeal: No; 12 weeks: No

¦ John Brassil: Repeal: No; 12 weeks: No

¦ Declan Breathnach: Repeal: No; 12 weeks: No

¦ Mary Butler: Repeal: No; 12 weeks: No

¦ Jackie Cahill: Repeal: No; 12 weeks: No

¦ Dara Calleary: Did not respond

¦ Pat Casey: Did not respond

¦ James Lawless: Repeal: No; 12 weeks: No

¦ Sean Haughey: Repeal: No; 12 weeks: No

¦ Pat ‘the cope’ Gallagher: Repeal: No; 12 weeks: No

¦ Sean Fleming: Did not respond

¦ John Curran: Did not respond

¦ Jack Chambers: Did not respond

¦ Shane Cassells: Repeal: No; 12 weeks: No

¦ Marc Mac Sharry: Repeal: No; 12 weeks: No

¦ Michael McGrath: No view until after this week’s debates

¦ John McGuinness: Did not respond

¦ Aindrias Moynihan: Repeal: No; 12 weeks: No

¦ Eugene Murphy: Repeal: No; 12 weeks: No

¦ Kevin O’Keeffe: Repeal: No; 12 weeks: No

¦ Fiona O’Loughlin: Repeal: Yes; 12 weeks: No, “I am grappling with the 12 weeks issue”

¦ Sean O’Fearghail: Did not respond

¦ Eamon Scanlon: Did not respond

¦ Brendan Smith: Did not respond

¦ Michel Martin: No view until after this week’s debates

¦ Barry Cowen: Repeal: No view until after this week’s debates; 12 weeks: “I have concerns there”

¦ Darragh O’Brien: Repeal: No view until after this week’s debates; 12 weeks: No

¦ Stephen Donnelly: Repeal: Yes; 12 weeks: Yes

¦ Robert Troy: Repeal: No view until after this week’s debates; 12 weeks: “I have reservations”

¦ Michael Moynihan: No view until after this week’s debates

¦ Timmy Dooley: Repeal: Yes; 12 weeks: Yes

¦ Jim O’Callaghan: Repeal: Yes;12 weeks: No

¦ John Lahart: No view until after this week’s debates

¦ Margaret O’Mahony Murphy: Repeal: No; 12 weeks: No

¦ James Browne: Repeal: No; 12 weeks: No

¦ Lisa Chambers: Repeal: Yes; 12 weeks: Yes

¦ Billy Kelleher: Repeal: Yes; 12 weeks: Yes

¦ Eamon O’Cuiv: Repeal: No; 12 weeks: No

¦ Niall Collins: No view until after this week’s debates

¦ Thomas Byrne: No view until after this week’s debates

¦ Willie O’Dea: No view until after this week’s debates

¦ Charlie McConalogue: Did not respond

¦ Anne Rabbitte: Repeal: No; 12 weeks: No

¦ Niamh Smyth: Repeal: No; 12 weeks: No

FIANNA FÁIL SENATORS

¦ Mark Daly: No view until after this week’s debates

¦ Paul Daly: Repeal: “I believe in the right to life of the unborn other than in lifethreatening circumstances”; 12 weeks: No

¦ Aidan Davitt: Repeal: No; 12 weeks: No

¦ Robbie Gallagher: Did not respond

¦ Gerry Horkin: Did not respond

¦ Lorraine Clifford Lee: Repeal: Yes; 12 weeks: Yes

¦ Catherine Ardagh: Repeal: Yes; 12 weeks: Yes

¦ Jennifer Murnane O’Connor: Repeal: No; 12 weeks: No

¦ Denis O’Donovan: No view due to his Seanad cathaoirleach position

¦ Ned O’Sullivan: Repeal: Yes; 12 weeks: Yes

¦ Diarmuid Wilson: Repeal: No; 12 weeks: No

¦ Keith Swanick: Did not respond

¦ Terry Leydon: Did not respond

OTHER PARTIES

¦ Sinn Féin (23 TDs, six senators): Repeal: Yes; 12 weeks: Currently unable to support this due to party policy. However, this may be changed at a still unscheduled normal ard fhéis before the referendum

¦ Labour (Seven TDs, three senators): Repeal: Yes; 12 weeks: Yes

¦ Solidarity-People Before Profit (Six TDs): Repeal: Yes; 12 weeks: Yes

¦ Social Democrats (Two TDs): Repeal: Yes; 12 weeks:Yes

¦ Greens (Two TDs, one senator): Repeal: Yes; 12weeks: Yes

¦ Independents4Change (Four TDs): Repeal: Yes; 12weeks: Yes

¦ Independents (17 TDs, 16 senators): Repeal: (19 yes, seven no, 11 undeclared)


Lifestyle

Aileen Lee meets Christina Kenny - co-founder and design director of Lamb Design - to talk about her work and inspirations.Christina Kenny of Lamb Design: ‘I love bringing the outside in and inside out’

Tyrone designer Sharon Wauchob on her career and the worth of luxury fastion. By Paul McLachen.From Marc Jacobs to her own label, Tyrone designer Sharon Wauchob on her life in fashion

The recent sentencing of two teenage boys for the murder of Ana Kriégel has once again brought the issue of pornography into public discourse. The details of the case, which are finally coming into public knowledge, illuminate some very worrying trends that are pervasive in the modern adolescent world and as parents and indeed as a society we can no longer languish in complacency.Learning Points: Hardcore porn can pollute our children’s minds

If children are confident in interacting with others it takes away so much stress and social anxiety for them. Not too long ago, my daughter Joan and I were out with friends at a restaurant and we wanted extra water and a few other bits and Joan volunteered to go up and ask the waiter for them. My friend was really surprised at this and said that none of her children would willingly do that.Mum’s the word: We should look for chances to strengthen our kids’ social skills

More From The Irish Examiner