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Social Democrats rule out going into a coalition government with Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael

Talks have been ongoing for more than a week now but there is no sign of a government being formed.

A CO-LEADER OF the Social Democrats has today ruled out going into a coalition government with Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael. 

The leaders of political parties have been in talks for more than a week now as Mary Lou McDonald attempts to form a Sinn Féin-led “government for change” while Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael will explore a potential partnership during talks next week. 

A smaller party, such as the Green Party or the Social Democrats, would be needed to make up the numbers to form a government regardless of which of the three bigger parties – Sinn Féin, Fianna Fáil, or Fine Gael – was to lead the next government. 

Today, however, Social Democrats co-leader Catherine Murphy, has ruled out supporting a coalition involving both Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael. 

“It’s a definite no to FF FG,” she tweeted, while also telling RTÉ News that she wanted to see an alternative government to the Fine Gael-Fianna Fáil government of the past four years. 

The Labour Party has also ruled out going into government this time round, meaning Micheál Martin and Leo Varadkar would be relying on the Green Party to reach the magic number and form a government with at least 80 seats in Leinster House. 

Yesterday, Social Democrats’ Dublin Central TD Gary Gannon today told Newstalk’s The Pat Kenny Show that he would be “massively uncomfortable” supporting a Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael government.

He said he believes the two parties have the numbers for a majority if they secure the support of the Green Party.

Talks ongoing

Sinn Féin has been leading the march, sitting down with many of the smaller parties and Independents in the last week to sound out the possibilities of a left-led government.

The party also held meetings with the top civil servants on how to turn its election promises into programme for government realities. 

There are 87 TDs who are not members of Fine Gael or Fianna Fáil and of these, 37 are Sinn Féin members.

This means that Sinn Féin has the enormous task of convincing 50 other TDs to sign up to government formation with them – or at least, agree to abstain in major votes in a confidence and supply arrangement. 

With Labour ruled out after stating that its six members did not get a mandate to enter government, it means if every single other TD, aside from FF and FG members, signed up with Sinn Féin, the party would exceed the magic number with 81 seats. 

With reporting from Christina Finn.

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