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The TrailFix: Surely these lads could put their differences aside and cut a deal?

The best and worst bits from today’s #ge16 campaign trail.
Feb 16th 2016, 9:30 PM 14,530 63

EVERY NIGHT DURING the general election, TheJournal.ie brings you the latest from the Election 2016 campaign trail.

Everybody’s talking about

After his weekend wobble, Enda Kenny sought to draw a line under ongoing speculation about a possible post-election deal with Fianna Fáil in his public comments yesterday. On last night’s TV debate, he said he would “certainly not” do business with Micheál Martin.

screenshot.1455646993.95864 Source: www.thejournal.ie

For his part, the Fianna Fáil leader, who’s been hounded with the same question by RTÉ’s Paschal Sheehy and others for the past two weeks, today clarified that his party would only consider Labour, Renua and the Social Democrats as partners in government.

Yet for all this talk, the polls are consistently showing that Fine Gael-Fianna Fáil is the only workable Dáil majority in the election when you take into account that both parties have firmly ruled out Sinn Féin, which itself won’t govern without being the largest party.

So the speculation rumbles on. Both parties are considered to be on the same page on a lot of issues. But Fianna Fáil’s Barry Cowen took umbrage at this yesterday, claiming his party differs from Fine Gael on tax, public services, pensions, costs to families and water. He is right to an extent but look at the bigger picture and these parties could definitely work out their policy differences in post-election talks.

Both have ambition to lead the next government but the electorate, in their wisdom, seem to be pushing them towards talking to each other. That may all change in the final 10 days of the campaign which have now taken on even greater importance for all parties given there is no clear indication of who will be governing us this time next month.

Our favourite moment of the election so far

This was a sign that Enda and Micheál really can work together.

paperfall

Slap Down of the Day 

Joan Burton sought to regain the initiative after being described, twice, as one of the ‘three amigos’ (the others being Enda Kenny and Micheál Martin) by Gerry Adams in last night’s debate:

I suppose Gerry will be talking to his amigo ‘Mr Slab’ [Thomas 'Slab' Murphy]. He has a distinguished set of friends that, I have to say, terrify the life out of most decent people in Ireland. Not regarding the fact that the man is apparently, as far as Gerry and others are concerned, a great friend.

FactCheck of the Day 

download

As part of our general election coverage, we’re testing the truth of claims made by candidates and parties on the campaign trail. Dan MacGuill has been taking us through the accuracy of some of the statements made in last night’s RTÉ leaders’ debate.

Row of the Day

Neither Mary Lou McDonald nor James Reilly could get the name of Northern Ireland’s Agriculture Minister, Michelle O’Neill, correct in last night’s deputy leader’s debate on TV3.

ag minister Source: Dan MacGuill

WTF Moment of the Day

Fine Gael launched its plans for welfare in the Harry Potter room at Paypal’s headquarters in Louth.

It was a good day for 

  • Fine Gael’s Frank Feighan, who’s not running in this election, is having a right laugh on the campaign trail in Donegal.
  • Independent TD Joan Collins had quite a day. She spent this morning in court on trial for public order offences relating to a water protest. And then this evening she found herself hob-nobbing with her celluloid namesake. And Yoko Ono too.

joan

Source: Senator Averil Power/YouTube

It was a bad day for 

  • Fine Gael ministers were a little too on message during last night’s debate.
  • Has anyone seen Mattie McGrath’s trailer sign? It was stolen from Knocklofty in Tipperary overnight, according to his latest Facebook update.
  • Fine Gael Minister Michael Ring had an unfortunate encounter with a dog while canvassing in his native Mayo, RTÉ reports

Tomorrow’s news today: What’s happening on the campaign trail

  • Fine Gael: Enda Kenny and Richard Bruton will outline plans to grow Irish exports by up to 8% a year in Offaly. The Taoiseach will later canvass in Galway West. 
  • Labour: Joan Burton launches the party’s arts policy in Temple Bar.
  • Fianna Fáil: The party launches its jobs policy in Dublin while Micheál Martin will be outlining its rural policy in Galway.
  • Sinn Féin: Peadar Tóibín will launch the party’s housing policies in Dublin.
  • Social Democrats: The party is launching its plans for an Irish NHS in the Rotunda Hospital.
  • Green Party: The party is launching its plans for a ‘solar power revolution’ at a mystery location in Dublin.

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Hugh O'Connell

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