D-Day for Government: Government formation hinges on Green Party vote as Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael agree to enter coalition 

D-Day for Government: Government formation hinges on Green Party vote as Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael agree to enter coalition 
Counting begins in party ballots. Pictured in Fine Gael HQ in Dublin is the count of votes from Fine Gael members, to see if they will approve the proposed programme for government. Photograph: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

LATEST: Fianna Fáil have voted yes to entering Government with Fine Gael and the Green Party.

The overall vote was 74% Yes to 26% No.

Cork South Central, Micheál Martin’s constituency, is understood to have backed the deal by over 90%.

The total electorate was 14,375 with turnout at 77% and total valid poll of 11,058.

8,194 members voted in favour, while 2,864 voted no.

Party leader Micheál Martin said: "Democracy in our party is alive and well."

He added: “We have chosen this route. It has many challenges. I do not understate the gravity of the situation facing the country.

“But, on the other hand it’s also a moment of opportunity and a moment of hope for our people that we face up to the challenges, overcome them and lead to a better type of society where people can have access to homes, where people can have access to a good quality health service and where we can meet the existential challenge of our time, namely climate change, in a far more energetic and effective way than we have in the past.”

In Cork the vote was as follows:

  • Cork East 75.5% Yes, 24.5% No
  • Cork South Central 93% Yes, 7% No
  • Cork North West 74% Yes, 26% No
  • Cork North Central 79% Yes 21% No
  • Cork South West 73.5% Yes, 26.5% No

Meanwhile, the Green Party result is expected at around 8pm, with 66% needed to pass the Programme for Government.

They say that of the 1991 ballots issued, 1904 were returned before the deadline. 

UPDATE 6PM: Early reports are suggesting the Fianna Fáil will become the second party to approve of the proposed programme for government.

The tallies show that those approving of the deal have a 73% to 27% lead - with a simple majority required to enter a coalition with Fine Gael and the Green Party.

It is believed that a large support from members in Dublin and Cork were a key factor in getting the approval close to the line with a few constituencies still to be counted.

Fine Gael voted in favour of the deal 80%-20% while the Greens need a two-thirds majority from their members.

UPDATE 4PM: Fine Gael have voted yes to the Programme for Government by 80% to 20%.

In doing so, the party agreed to go into Government with Fianna Fáil and the Green Party.

Following the announcement of the result, Fine Gael TD for Cork North Central Colm Burke said: “It’s a difficult time in politics. We’re going to be facing a very difficult four to five years. I think one of the things the country now needs is a stable Government, and it needs it not for a year or for two years but for a period of the next five years.

“I think that's the reason why we have come forward and said we are prepared to be part of that. The membership have given a mandate now.

“So, we have to wait for the result of the Green Party vote. It’s about forming a stable Government to implement policies which can bring back up the number of people working again.”

Votes being counted at Fine Gael offices for a Programme for Government on Mount Street, Dublin.Photo:Gareth Chaney/Collins
Votes being counted at Fine Gael offices for a Programme for Government on Mount Street, Dublin.Photo:Gareth Chaney/Collins

As the party with the fewest votes to count they were the first to declare this afternoon just after 4pm.

674 votes were cast, which represents a 95% turnout. A small number of votes were received after the closing date and were not counted.

While the overall vote was passed 80% to 20%, the breakdown of how each section of the party voted is as follows:

  • Constituency delegates: 71% Yes, 29% No
  • Local representatives: 57% Yes, 43% No
  • Executive: 85% Yes, 15% No
  • Parliamentary Party: 90% Yes, 10% No

Fianna Fáil votes are expected to come in sometime between 6pm and 7pm, with early indications for the Green Party that their count could take until at least 8pm.

Fianna Fail votes being counted for a Programme for Government at the Clayton Hotel Burlington Road, Dublin.Photo:Gareth Chaney/Collins
Fianna Fail votes being counted for a Programme for Government at the Clayton Hotel Burlington Road, Dublin.Photo:Gareth Chaney/Collins

EARLIER:

The counting of votes from Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Green Party on the Programme for Government is underway.

If all three parties pass the Programme, Cork South Central TD and leader of Fianna Fáil Micheál Martin is expected to be elected Taoiseach tomorrow.

Fianna Fáil need a straightforward above 50% margin to pass the PFG, with over 14,000 members eligible to vote.

Deputy Martin said he is quietly confident the vote will pass: “Many members when we were talking to them - while it isn’t ideal - understand the need for the country to have a Government that can last five years,” Deputy Martin told The Echo.

Fine Gael operate the electoral college system which is weighted towards the parliamentary party, and only have in the region of 700 votes to count.

All eyes, however, will be on the Green Party’s count which remains up in the air and is not being live streamed online like the other two.

Cork Green Party Councillor Dan Boyle said he is hopeful the deal will pass but said there are no guarantees two-thirds of the some 2,000 voters voted in favour.

“There’ll be a substantial majority. The only question is, will it be a sizeable enough majority? That’s what we’re waiting on.” 

Results are expected to begin coming in from the three parties this afternoon beginning with Fine Gael. Fianna Fáil are expected to announce around 6 or 7pm, with the Green Party the last expected to declare around 8pm.

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