Explainer: How will the no-confidence motion in Leo Varadkar work?

Explainer: How Will The No-Confidence Motion In Leo Varadkar Work? Explainer: How Will The No-Confidence Motion In Leo Varadkar Work?
Tánaiste Leo Varadkar will face a motion of no-confidence.
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James Cox

Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar will face a motion of no-confidence in the Dáil this evening.

Here is everything you need to know about the motion and how it is expected to play out.

What is it all about?

Mr Varadkar has apologised for an "error of judgement" after it emerged that he gave a confidential document agreed with the Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) to a rival group of GPs in 2019.

Dr Maitiú Ó Tuathail, head of the National  Association of General Practitioners (NAGP), received the document from the then-Taoiseach.

Mr Varadkar has acknowledged that it was not best practice to share the document by informal communication, but he insists that his sole motivation was to make sure the deal was accepted by as many GPs as possible.

When will it take place?

The Dáil schedule states that the motion will take place at 5.19pm.


The Government has put forward a confidence motion in Mr Varadkar in response to the no-confidence motion tabled by Sinn Féin.

There will be 110 minutes of debate on the matter followed by a vote, which will probably be some time after 7.30pm.

The proceedings will take place in the Convention Centre to accommodate all 160 TDs and adhere to social distancing regulations.

How will the parties vote?

Sinn Féin tabled the motion of no-confidence so all of its TDs will be in favour. They will be joined by the Labour Party and the Social Democrats.

Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and the Green Party will all back Mr Varadkar.

What is the likely outcome?

Barring a U-turn from one of the coalition parties, Mr Varadkar will survive the motion.

A spokesman for Taoiseach Micheál Martin said he considers the issue already "dealt with".

The Green Party said it was "important that lessons are learned and put into practice in how this new Government does its business".

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