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Naughten says he's made no decision on how he will vote in motion of no confidence in Murphy

A motion of confidence in Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy is being heard in the Dáil tomorrow night.

The former communications minister says he has not decided what way to vote tomorrow.
The former communications minister says he has not decided what way to vote tomorrow.

TD DENIS NAUGHTEN has said he has made no decisions about what way he will vote in tomorrow’s vote of no-confidence in Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy.

The Social Democrats tabled the motion of no confidence in the minister due to the government’s “failure to solve to the housing crisis”, according to party co-leader Róisín Shortall. 

Due to the make up in Dáil numbers, Fine Gael has been forced to lobby independent TDs for their support ahead of tomorrow’s vote. 

Speaking to TheJournal.ie, Naughten said this afternoon: 

“I’ve no decision made on what way I’ll vote on the confidence motion.
“I’m talking with supporters and local councillors in advance of vote and I’ll be guided by them.”

The former communications minister has traditionally supported his former Cabinet colleagues in crucial votes following his resignation last year. 

Naughten stepped down following revelations about a dinner he had with the head of the  National Broadband Plan (NBP) consortium. 

In tomorrow’s vote, Fine Gael can rely on Fianna Fáil to abstain.

The confidence and supply arrangement between the two parties sets out that Fianna Fáil will abstain on crucial votes such as motions of no confidence as well as budget arrangements. 

Looking at the numbers, there are 158 TDs. Fianna Fáil will abstain, as will the Ceann Comhairle.

Therefore, there are 112 voters. Of that number, the government needs 57 for a majority. Fine Gael members of government, including members of the Independent Alliance in government, only commands 54.

Fine Gael will have to look to Independents Michael Lowry, Noel Grealish, Denis Naughten and its former party member, Peter Fitzpatrick, for support. 

Naughten is not the only TD that the government will be lobbying for support. 

While Enda Kenny, as well as Leo Varadkar, have repeatedly stated that there is no deal between Lowry and Fine Gael, the Tipperary TD consistently supports the government, and is expected to do so tomorrow. 

Fitzpatrick, a former Fine Gaeler, has also supported his former party members at times, but with election talk mounting, his support may not be caste iron. 

Grealish is another TD that the government will be anxious to sign up.

There is an arrangement between Grelish and the government but this relationship has frayed in recent weeks after controversial comments were made by Grealish in relation to remittances sent to Nigeria and figures the TD highlighted in the Dáil. 

Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe has since written to Grealish stating his disappointment in the TD. He later published the letter on the department’s website. 

After the 2016 general election, the Galway West TD agreed to support the government during what he described as the “crucial stage” of Brexit talks.

“Ireland is now entering one of the most critical and uncertain phases since the foundation of our state and it is in the best interests of our country as a whole that we have a stable government at this crucial time,” he said at the time. 

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