This site uses cookies to improve your experience and to provide services and advertising. By continuing to browse, you agree to the use of cookies described in our Cookies Policy. You may change your settings at any time but this may impact on the functionality of the site. To learn more see our Cookies Policy.
Dublin: 5 °C Monday 27 January, 2020

No clarity on general election date as Leo and Micheál agree to meet again next week

The two party leaders met tonight to discuss the next general election and the precarious Dáil numbers.

A MEETING BETWEEN Leo Varadkar and Micheál Martin has concluded with talks between the two party leaders lasting just over an hour. 

A statement from Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael stated: 

“The two leaders had a constructive meeting. They discussed Dáil numbers and possible legislative proposals which could be passed in a further Dail session.

“They agreed to consider matters further and to meet again next week.”

Speaking after the special Cabinet meeting held in Marino in Dublin this morning, Varadkar was asked a number of times whether the Dáil will return after the Christmas break next Wednesday.

He was unable to give an absolute guarantee that the Dáil will reconvene next week.

After tonight’s meeting, there is little clarity as to when an election might be held, with further talks expected to take place in the days ahead. 

Speaking to reporters today, Varadkar said the Dáil could continue if Fianna Fáil continues to abstain in important votes, as is set out in the confidence and supply agreement. 

In a letter to Martin recently, Varadkar sought an agreement that Fianna Fáil would vote with the government in the final weeks of the Dáil. Martin yesterday ruled out such a notion, stating that the Taoiseach knows well that is not part of the deal between the two parties. 

“It is the case that with Fianna Fáil continuing to abstain that the government can continue,” said the Taoiseach today, adding that there are “sufficient votes to get on with the legislative programme”.

However, he added that the Dáil numbers are “precarious” as was seen before Christmas when Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy narrowly survived a motion of no confidence with the support of some independent TDs. 

The Taoiseach acknowledged today that it does not all fall to Fianna Fáil support, stating that he has to also have talks with the independents in the House. 

“If I thought I could predict the future I would have a column in the newspaper and I don’t,” he said, adding that the outcome will not just be predicted by tonight’s meeting but also his talks with his own party.

He intends to hold a parliamentary party meeting on Friday, with the National Executive of Fine Gael meeting being held on Saturday. Ministers and ministers of State will also meet with the Taoiseach tomorrow.

Both Sinn Féin and Labour have said there is little point in the Dáil reconvening next week. 


  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this article

Read next:


This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel