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How does the government majority really stand?

Jim McDaid’s shock resignation leaves the government in a slight majority – so long as those on board stay on board.

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JIM MCDAID’S RESIGNATION from the Dáil brings the number of vacant seats in the House to four, meaning there are currently 162 sitting TDs.

George Lee and Martin Cullen had resigned earlier this year, and Pat the Cope Gallagher left his Donegal seat when he was elected an MEP in June.

The Ceann Comhairle only votes in a tie situation, meaning 81 votes are enough to make a majority for the government.

There are 70 TDs in Fianna Fáil’s parliamentary party, and three outside it who usually vote with the government (Mattie McGrath, Jimmy Devins and Eamon Scanlon).

There are also six Green Party TDs and three Independents who support the government (Mary Harney, Michael Lowry and Jackie Healy Rae).

If all of those TDs, including the three Fianna Fáil members who lost the party whip, vote with the government then it has 82 votes.

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In opposition, there are 51 Fine Gael TDs, 20 Labour Party TDs and four Sinn Féin TDs. There are also four Independent TDs who tend to vote against the government, but not always, according to RTÉ.

This latter group includes Galway’s Noel Grealish, who announced late last month that he had withdrawn his support for the government.

If all of those listed in the opposition group vote against the government, opposition votes come to 79.

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