Enda Kenny and Joan Burton share a cuppa and a possible final farewell

Partners in power Enda Kenny and Joan Burton shared an early morning parting cuppa yesterday but whether they remain at the same table after the election is anyone’s guess.

Enda Kenny and Joan Burton share a cuppa and a possible final farewell

The respective leaders of Fine Gael and Labour seemed relaxed as they chatted over a cup of tea and a scone in Dublin’s Docklands yesterday morning.

As the public cast their votes today, it may not be such a piece of cake to form another Fine Gael/Labour coalition government. All the recent polls suggest they could be over 10 seats off.

Ms Burton may also struggle to retain her seat in Dublin West, which would leave the party leaderless — or at least in the hands of an interim leader — going into post-elections negotiations.

There was a defiant show of unity between both parties yesterday as they claimed the election campaign had been a positive one despite poor polling and the lack of any killer blows over the past three weeks. Mr Kenny even wore a coalition blue-and-red striped tie.

For more election news, analysis and general banter join us HERE

The final media briefing started badly for Mr Kenny, who was heckled by a passer-by. As the Taoiseach began speaking of the “great privilege” it had been to work with Labour over the last five years, he was shouted down by a member of the public.

“Enda ya rat,” shouted the man dressed in workman’s gear.

Mr Kenny said: “The passer-by is entitled to have their comment, I have been all over this country, we have had very few people heckling so in that scene I don’t mind at all.”

He said both parties had a “very professional working relationship” while in government, and he would like to see that continue.

Ms Burton agreed: “In terms of negotiations and decisions between myself and the Taoiseach, there has been 100% respect and parity of esteem, to use that term.

“Yes, we come from different backgrounds, yes, we come from different parties and from different life experiences, but we have focused relentlessly on one common purpose of trying to restore the country and recovering the country.”

Ms Burton said a “very small shift in voting intentions in terms of both parties” would return a “stable government” that would provide more jobs, invest in more schools, and develop a national primary care system.

She will need a shift in her favour to retain her own seat as she is likely to be battling it out for the fourth and final seat with Ruth Coppinger of the Anti Austerity Alliance/People Before Profit.

Ms Burton said: “I am asking people to think twice before they cast their ballot.”

For more election news, analysis and general banter join us HERE

Mr Kenny said he is focused on continuing the coalition with Labour and does not envisage going into government with Fianna Fáil.

“I have no intention of doing a deal with Micheál Martin. His party wrecked this economy after 14 years in power,” said Mr Kenny.

“We are now moving in the right direction after the government of fine Gael and Labour took on a very difficult mandate and we would hope to continue on with that.”

Looking back on the campaign, Mr Kenny said getting one up on Sinn Féin’s Gerry Adams was the pinnacle of the past three weeks. “I would think the president of Sinn Féin saying, ‘Who is Senator Cahill?’” he said, when asked.

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