Counting of Green Party member votes for a proposed government pact with Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil have begun, with a yes result set to give the go-ahead for a new coalition or instead sink the deal if it is a no.
Almost 2,000 members have voted and auditors Mazars are supervising the count as votes are opened at the party's HQ in Dublin city centre at noon today.
If the result is close, there may even be a recount.
Unlike the 50% vote necessary for Fine Gael or Fianna Fáil to back the deal, the Greens need over 66.6% of members to support the proposed programme for government.
While party leaders Eamon Ryan, Micheál Martin and Leo Varadkar remain in talks today about the roles and department make-ups of the new administration, all eyes are on the Green vote as a rejection of the proposed deal would likely collapse the coalition effort and set back the prospect of a new government potentially for weeks or more.
While some Greens are more than optimistic predicting even a substantial majority, the actual result will not be known until after 6pm.
The Irish Examiner understands that as voting gets underway, names on envelopes posted in are being cross checked to ensure they come from a member of the party entitled to vote.
Outer envelopes are being opened and what are described as privacy envelopes are being removed with actual ballot papers inside them.
The votes are then being sorted into yes and no groups as well as doubtfuls, the latter being adjudicated on.
The count is being live-streamed to a small select group of people nominated by members of the parliamentary party to observe the process.
This includes both yes and no voting members.
However, it is not expected that there will be a running tally of results. The results will be announced publicly by the party later this evening at the same time as those for Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil.