Confusion Over Fine Gael /Labour Talks

Fine Gael and Ireland's Labour Party - the two most successful parties in Friday's general election in the Irish Republic - can't seem to agree on whether talks between them have been initiated or not.

The Labour Party was insisting on Monday morning it still has not heard from Fine Gael about forming a new Government, despite a spokesman for Enda Kenny claiming a message was left on Labour Leader Eamon Gilmore's phone.

Despite the confusion, both parties are expected to begin talks on forming a potential coalition government on Monday evening.

Voting counts are still ongoing in three constituencies. In Laois-Offaly, only 26 votes separate Fine Gael's Liam Quinn and John Moloney of Fianna Fail, for the last seat.

However, 154 seats have been settled in the Dáil so far, with Fine Gael the outright victor with 70 seats, the Labour Party on 36 and Fianna Fáil with 18. Sinn Féin so far has 13 but could make some further gains as recounts continue, and 17 Independents and others have been selected.

As expected the Green Party, who had been the minority party in the previous coalition, lost all six of their TDs, including their leader John Gormley.
News Image
Celebrating winning the largest share of the vote in their history, Labour's Eamon Gilmore made a special thank you to supporters on Monday morning via Youtube.

In the video, a cleary elated Eamon Gilore said: "I want to that thank all those members of the Labour Party and all our supporters and everybody who helped in any way to make this a truly historic occasion for the Labour Party."

Speculation is also growing this morning that, following their hammering at the polls, Fianna Fáil could be surpassed by Sinn Fein for the role as main opposition party in the Dáil.

The Sinn Féin TD for Dublin Central Mary Lou McDonald said the party are open to discussions with like-minded newly elected independent TDs, in the effort expand their influence going into the 31st Dáil.

Fianna Fail have so far managed to take 18 seats, while Sinn Féin have 13 seats but Deputy McDonald said the party have yet to discuss the idea of allying themselves with some newly elected Independents.

Ms McDonald said: "We haven't had any sort of detailed discussion on joining forces with Independents.

"We are going into the Dáil as an independent political party ourselves, but we will work with anybody that shares some or all of our political objectives."


Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

06 November 2020
Sexual Crime Victims Continually Let Down- Green Party NI
Latest official figures on sexual offences in Northern Ireland show victims are being continually let down, the Green Party has claimed. Calls for improved outcomes for victims have emerged after the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) revealed that the conviction rate for the offence of rape stands at 29.9%.
02 October 2003
Local political parties indifferent to Labour decision
Northern Ireland's main political parties have responded with indifference to the decision by the Labour Party to allow people in Northern Ireland to join its ranks. Nearly 90% of delegates at the Labour Party conference in Bouremouth voted in favour of the rule change.
03 February 2003
Labour Party solicitors slammed over 'British' comments
Unionist Lagan Valley MP, Jeffrey Donaldson has described as "nonsense" the view that the Labour Party cannot set up in Northern Ireland as its citizens are not British subjects. Mr Donaldson was reacting to documents – leaked to the Daily Telegraph last week – which had been drawn up by solicitors engaged by the Labour Party.
01 March 2011
Labour / Fine Gael Talks Begin
Labour's Eamon Gilmore and Fine Gael's Taoiseach Elect Enda Kenny are to meet today to discuss the terms for a possible coalition in the Irish Republic. Labour's Eamon Gilmore announced his negotiating team regarding the possible "Programme for Government".
14 December 2006
Alliance Party wins ex-mayors seat
The Alliance Party has won a by-election to replace the former shamed DUP mayor of Coleraine, Dessie Stewart. Barney Fitzpatrick won the majority of the votes, beating representatives from both the UUP and UUP.