Fine Gael and Labour in coalition talks
Fine Gael the winners of the general election held last Friday (25th February 2011) are in talks with the Labour Party around forming a coalition government.
Fine Gael won 76 seats in the 166 seat Dáil putting them just short of a majority. The Labour Party won 37 seats and with Fine Gael would give a coalition government a comfortable majority. However, there are big differences between the two parties on the way forward especially in relation to the economy. The election was fought largely on the economic situation of Ireland and unless Fine Gael can win over Labour a deal may not be possible.
The other major winners of the general election were the Independents; 15 Independents won seats and it is possible that Fine Gael will work out deals with individuals to give them the extra eight seats they need.
Enda Kenny, the leader of Fine Gael, had wanted the new government to get started immediately with a tough First 100 days programme and any delays will be considered unwelcome.