Over the last few months we’ve seen a number of opinion polls showing a spectacular rise in popularity for independent politicians and smaller parties. How Dáil Éireann is going to look after the next election is anybody’s guess.
The latest poll conducted by Ipsos MRBI and published in The Irish Times showed independents and others on 32 per cent, a whole 10 per cent ahead of the next biggest grouping, Sinn Féin.
So how exactly is this going to work? Independents and smaller parties are never going to manage to come up with an agreement to form a government so it looks like a hodge-podge coalition is the only solution.
With Fine Gael on 19 per cent and Fianna Fáil on 21 per cent, even a coalition of these two unlikely bedfellows wouldn’t manage to come up with a majority.
Is a ‘grand coalition’ the only option left? John A. Costello was Taoiseach and head of a government made up of five different parties, as well as a number of independent TDs. That coalition managed three years before collapsing during the fallout from the Mother and Child Scheme.
But would a modern day grouping like Costello’s manage any longer, or even that long?
Following every poll we hear how people are disillusioned with the political system and are desperate for change. Those changes might yet occur, but if they do who is going to get into bed with who?
The City spoke to representatives of the main parties to find out what they think.
Image Jean Housen http://bit.ly/1sfKZvv