Left-wing TDs have said they plan to vote for Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald for Taoiseach on the basis that she will not go into government with either Fine Gael or Fianna Fail.
The Dail vote for Taoiseach is set to take place this afternoon but is not expected to produce a conclusive result.
Solidarity-People Before Profit TDs told reporters today that they would back Ms McDonald for Taoiseach, a move which is expected to put her ahead of her rivals for the role.
But without the support of the 80 TDs needed for a government, no Taoiseach or government will be decided and the Dail is expected to be adjourned as parties continue to negotiate on forming a new coalition.
In a statement, TD Paul Murphy said: “Sinn Féin should be under no misunderstanding about the nature of my vote. Mary Lou McDonald will have the most votes for Taoiseach today because of my vote and that of other left-wing TDs. These are not votes to be used to strengthen their hand for negotiations with Fianna Fáil. They are votes for an alternative government, excluding Fianna Fail and Fine Gael."
But the left-leaning TD also warned:
“While voting for Mary Lou McDonald, I also say to her very clearly - if you form a government with Fianna Fáil, it will represent a betrayal of your voters, and I will oppose that government, because it will block the change we need.”
Ms McDonald has-to date-not ruled out working with the other two parties in government. Nonetheless, Mr Murphy said he hoped a left-wing new coalition could take on voter concerns:
Mr Murphy added: “People want an end to the cycle of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael rule and want a government which will improve people’s lives by returning the pension age to 65, cutting rents and increasing the minimum wage. The prospect of a return of either or both of these parties will generate anger which should be turned into protest on the streets.”