Given the ongoing speculation about the creation of a Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin coalition government following the next general election, if the current polling numbers hold up, this report from the Irish Times comes as no surprise:
A group of Fianna Fáil TDs, including members of Micheál Martin’s front bench, have said the party should be open to coalition with Sinn Féin.
Their statements are in contrast to the party leader’s strong position that he will not enter power with Sinn Féin and indicate divided views in Fianna Fáil.
However, a significant number of TDs who spoke to The Irish Times were also strongly against such a move. Sinn Féin has indicated it wanted to enter government as a junior coalition party but ruled out supporting a minority government.
While sizeable blocs in both parties may be hostile to any such deal, it is the pragmatic – and ambitious – voices which seem to have the lead on this subject at the moment. As Éamon Ó Cuív pointed out back in 2012:
‘What’s the difference between Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin when it comes down to it – except that it took them 70 years to recognise the Dáil? We’re both republican parties and we both come from the same stable.’