Fine Gael refuse to comment on possibility of Coalition with Fianna Fáil

The Taoiseach Enda Kenny has refused to be drawn on whether he will enter a Coalition with Fianna Fáil.

Early results from election 2016 suggest a Fianna Fáil - Fine Gael Coalition may be one of the most viable options.

Enda Kenny has said it had been a disappointing result for Fine Gael - particularly for those within the party who have lost their seats: “I think it is a position that one never likes to be in.

“But I want to make it clear that I expect the Fine Gael party will be a large block in the next Oireachtas and from that point of view, my responsibility as Taoiseach is to work to see that our country has a stable Government.

“And that it has a Government that can continue on the progress of the last number of years.”

While Mr Kenny ponders the uncertainty of the future Government the Finance Minister Michael Noonan has told reporters there is no uncertainty about the leadership of Enda Kenny.

Check out: GE16 live blog: Day 2

Mr Noonan is refusing to be drawn on whether Fine Gael would go into Government with Fianna Fáil.

He says the Taoiseach's leadership is not in question: “No I think Enda Kenny did a great job, he was an excellent Taoiseach for five years.

“He took the country out of bankruptcy back to solvency and onto increasing employment and the highest growth rate in Europe so I would like to complement Enda Kenny and thank him for his service to the country and his leadership for the cabinet for the last five years.”

Meanwhile Labour has been decimated in this general election and may end up with less than a handful of TDs.

Minister for Education, Jan O'Sullivan, did hold her seat in Limerick city.

She has said the party has suffered for working to deliver recovery: “We stepped up to the plate in times where things were extraordinarily difficult.

“We knew that we were going to have to make very tough decisions.

“We have suffered for that and many of my colleagues have lost their seats.

“But we did the right thing for the country and we are now in a position where recovery is on the way.”

In Dublin Central Fine Gael's Paschal Donohoe has held onto his seat.

The outgoing Minister for Transport has said it is important for all the newly elected TDs to ensure stability: “I think what is imperative overall now is we looked at the stability of the country.

“We have to look at what can be done within Fine Gael and also within all members of Dáil Eireann, to look at how stable Government can be put in place and that stability is so needed to create an environment in which all of the work that needs to be done can actually be done.”

Finally, Fianna Fail remain hopeful this morning, they may be able to elect 2 TD's in the five seater Tipperary constituency.

Independent TD Michael Lowry topped the poll and was elected on the first count yesterday.

He is the only one elected so far and the count is due to resume at 10 am.

Local Fianna Fail councillor Jackie Cahill is hoping to take a seat: “Tis looking good and we could be in the shout of two seats.

“We won’t rule it out yet, we have 25% of the votes, and I think transfers are coming our way as well so hopefully we will be in with a chance of a second seat.”

The numbers so far:

83 seats out of 158 filled:

Fianna Fáil 25

Fine Gael 25

Sinn Féin 10

Independent 8

Social Democrats 3

Independent Alliance 4

Anti Austerity Alliance /People Before Profit 4

Labour 3

Green Party 1

Renua 0

 

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