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Sunday 3 December 2023 Dublin: 5°C

The Explainer: Why don't we have a government yet?

We get you up to speed with what exactly is happening.

VOTING IN THE general election has come and gone. So why don’t we have a government?

The votes have been counted, we know how many seats each party (and independents) has, but there’s no government yet. We do have a ceann comhairle, and Leo Varadkar has officially resigned as Taoiseach (though he has to stay on as a caretaker taoiseach until we have a new government). So things are moving – but there’s no end in sight just yet.

Given the fact that Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin each won similar amounts of seats, the talks on government formation are due to take a while. That’s also because, for example, Fine Gael refuses to go into government with Sinn Féin, as does Fianna Fáil, but neither FG nor FF has been making major moves towards another confidence and supply arrangement.

So what will happen next, and how long could we be waiting for the parties to come to an arrangement?

That’s what we examine in this week’s The Explainer podcast. First, Virgin Media reporter (and former reporter) Gavan Reilly joins this week’s presenter Nicky Ryan to talk through the numbers behind government formation.

Then our political correspondent Christina Finn and DCU professor Gary Murphy join us in studio to discuss the various options for government formation; previous coalitions; and whether the president could even step in if there’s a stalemate.

The Explainer / SoundCloud

This episode was put together by presenter Nicky Ryan, producer Aoife Barry, assistant producer and technical operator Nicky Ryan, and executive producer Christine Bohan. Guests were Gavan Reilly, Christina Finn, and Professor Gary Murphy. Design by Palash Somani.

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