Next election is ‘wide open’, Micheál Martin insists

Next Election Is ‘Wide Open’, Micheál Martin Insists
Michéal Martin said there was a “false premise” behind questions on whether his party would countenance entering coalition with Sinn Féin.
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By David Young, PA

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin insisted the next general election remains “wide open” as he again declined to be drawn on the potential for a future coalition with Sinn Féin.

Mr Martin said there was a “false premise” behind questions on whether his party would countenance entering coalition with Sinn Féin.


He said Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin do not align on many policy issues and suggested they are not “serious” enough for a role in Government.

The Tánaiste also expressed scepticism on opinion polls that continue to give Sinn Féin a significant lead over Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael ahead of the next general election.

Attending the Fianna Fáil party ard fheis in Dublin on Saturday, Mr Martin insisted the electoral situation is “dynamic” as he responded to questions on the prospect of a future government deal with Sinn Féin.



“The premise behind the question is somehow everybody will have to make up their mind whether they coalesce with Sinn Féin,” he said.

“I don’t believe that is the premise upon which we should discuss the next general election, because actually I think it’s very open.


“And the current three parties in government (Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and the Greens) could get enough votes to form the next government.

“That clearly can’t be ruled out.

“And you know my views on opinion polls, but, even if you take the opinion polls (as accurate), that can’t be ruled out.

“There are other parties there, like the Social Democrats and the Labour Party.


“There could be up to a dozen more independents from what we might call loosely the centre of Irish politics. You’ll have a further potentially eight or nine independents on the far left. Sinn Féin says it wants to go into government with the far left first. It doesn’t want to go into Government with Fianna Fail, and it doesn’t want to go into government with Fine Gael.



“We have some very, very fundamental issues in terms of the policy platform of Sinn Féin.”

Mr Martin reiterated his criticism of Sinn Féin’s call for the Israeli ambassador to Ireland to be expelled, insisting such a move would undermine diplomatic efforts to get Irish citizens out of Gaza.

“We are serious about being in government,” he said.

“I don’t think Sinn Féin’s press release yesterday on this issue reflected a government or party that you could do business with in government.

“The entire response will always be a knee-jerk one to court public opinion, as opposed to being serious about trying to deal with the very grave issues that we’re all facing.”

The Tánaiste continued: “Our stance is to go into Government with like-minded parties whose policy platform reflects the Fianna Fáil policy platform.”

He added: “So it’s policy, policy for me, and we don’t align with Sinn Féin on many policies.”

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