Senior members of the Green Party have said this week’s vote to go into government is “too close to call” with ballots already beginning to arrive in at party headquarters.
The party is to hold a webinar tonight which will see Hollywood actor Mark Ruffalo take part in a final push to win over the support of the membership for the programme for government.
Among those supporting the deal is Waterford TD Marc Ó Cathasaigh, who acknowledged the threshold of a two-thirds majority will be a big ask, especially when so many of the party members from Northern Ireland are likely to vote no.
“I think it is a very close call. We issued a letter this weekend that are outside Dublin and we have support from 27 of the 31. But I think it will be very close. A majority of our members in the North, who have a vote on this agreement, appear to be coming out against the deal,” he said.
“I am hoping we have enough votes to get us over the two-thirds supermajority level that is needed,” he said.
Defending the deal, he said it is the best deal the Greens could hope for after almost six weeks of negotiations.
“This is a radical transformative deal. There is a lot of change in this document. I spent five-and-a-half weeks with this document and I am very proud of what we have achieved,” the Waterford TD said.
His party leader Eamon Ryan has described the programme for government as a “left-wing document” and the best approach for getting the country back working.
Mr Ryan acknowledged that the Green Party would be going into government at one of the most challenging times possible and that there would be risks and uncertainties.
Mr Ryan also admitted that the vote by Green Party members on the programme for government could be very close, but he was hopeful that members would sign off on the document.
The new coalition government will need to invest in public housing, public health, public transport and climate action which will require the State to be “bigger”, he said.
“In the particular crisis at the moment, the best approach to get the country back working again is actually to borrow and invest in stimulus and employment. The programme for government says we're going to do that for the next two or three years.”
Following that there would need to be a review and the books would have to be balanced again in the long run.
“But even then there's an agreement that we would try to balance the current account, we would continue to borrow for capital investment.”
Mr Ryan said he did not know what would happen if the Green Party rejected the deal. “If we say no, I think it would be very hard for us to go back to the negotiating table.”
Mr Ryan and the pro-coalition wing of the party is to hold a webinar with party membership and Hollywood actor Mark Ruffalo.
Mr Ryan and deputy leader Catherine Martin announced that Mr Ruffalo - who received Oscar nominations for his roles in The Kids are Alright and Foxcather and also played the Incredible Hulk in the Marvel movie of the same name – would take part in the web livestream to discuss fracking and the programme for government.
Mr Ruffalo has spoken in Ireland on such matters in recent years.