28/02/2016 Sunday Politics Northern Ireland


28/02/2016

Mark Carruthers presents the Irish election results, with coverage of the counts and a range of politicians and commentators.


Similar Content

Browse content similar to 28/02/2016. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!

Transcript


LineFromTo

Hello, welcome to a special edition of Sunday Politics, live in Dublin

:00:37.:00:43.

to bring to you the latest on the Irish election results. What a story

:00:44.:00:48.

it is. Huge setback for Fine Gael and near wipe-out for the Labour

:00:49.:00:53.

Party with an unexpected recovery from Fianna Fail. Sinn Fein has made

:00:54.:00:57.

gains and it has been a big weekend for the smaller parties, which means

:00:58.:01:01.

we are in a new era for Irish politics with uncertainty about how

:01:02.:01:05.

and when a Government can be formed. We will bring you all those stories

:01:06.:01:09.

and the results as they stand right now, as well as political guest and

:01:10.:01:15.

analysis over the next hour and a quarter.

:01:16.:01:17.

So let's have a look at those results.

:01:18.:01:22.

Welcome this monitor our political editor Mark Devenport, Mary Minihan

:01:23.:01:29.

from the Irish Times and Dr Muiris MacCarthaigh from Queens University,

:01:30.:01:33.

thank you for being with us. 95 seats have been sold so far out of

:01:34.:01:36.

158, and it looks like this: Remember there are eight fewer Dail

:01:37.:01:40.

seats than there were in 2011, so an exact like-for-like

:01:41.:01:46.

comparison isn't possible. Fine Gael are on 28,

:01:47.:01:48.

neck-and-neck with Fianna Fail Sinn Fein are now the third-largest

:01:49.:01:50.

party in the Dail, currently on 13, with Labour trailing on four

:01:51.:01:56.

and the independents and smaller Now this is the share of the first

:01:57.:01:58.

preference vote for each party Fine Gael on 25.5%, still the main

:01:59.:02:12.

party in terms of the popular vote. Labour trailing again on 6.6%

:02:13.:02:17.

and the independents and others And we can see how that

:02:18.:02:25.

has changed since 2011, Labour, down 12.8%,

:02:26.:02:40.

with the independents Political earthquake is the headline

:02:41.:03:00.

on the Sunday Independent this morning, no question about that.

:03:01.:03:03.

Mark, wattage or overall perspective of where we are this morning? I

:03:04.:03:08.

don't think anybody quite wrote the script in advance. You have got to

:03:09.:03:12.

be famous American political cliche that there is only ever one issue,

:03:13.:03:16.

it is the economy, stupid, but in this election it was not just the

:03:17.:03:20.

economy, because the outgoing coalition had the wind in their

:03:21.:03:23.

sales of overseeing an economic recovery and it was assumed that

:03:24.:03:36.

disgruntled voters particularly would take out their concerns on

:03:37.:03:39.

Labour, the junior partner, but not necessarily on Fine Gael, which is

:03:40.:03:41.

why Ende Kenny seemed comfortable that he could pick and collection

:03:42.:03:44.

more or less whenever he chose. It seems that he maybe went to late,

:03:45.:03:46.

and that argument from his critics, that it wasn't just the economic

:03:47.:03:49.

recovery but how fair the recovery was and how it was affecting some of

:03:50.:03:54.

the disadvantaged groups in society, that that had resonance and it has

:03:55.:03:59.

undercut his main selling point and resulted, I suppose, in a Fianna

:04:00.:04:03.

Fail comeback that at Michael Martin did well in selling that in the

:04:04.:04:08.

debate and also the growth of the left is probably the most organised

:04:09.:04:12.

group within that sector, protesting about how things have been shared

:04:13.:04:17.

out. The political landscape has changed and change dramatically. To

:04:18.:04:21.

pick up on what Mark was talking about, the message of steady as she

:04:22.:04:26.

goes, which is effectively what Ende was talking about, and Kenny, the

:04:27.:04:30.

Taoiseach, the man with a steady hand on the tiller, trust me to keep

:04:31.:04:35.

things going, I have got the best interests of the nation at heart,

:04:36.:04:41.

but people did not buy that? Not at all, the message was echoed., you

:04:42.:04:45.

will see it around on posters this morning, let's keep the recovery

:04:46.:04:49.

going, and never have I seen a message become so stale and

:04:50.:04:53.

redundant in such a short time, in a three-week campaign, said the

:04:54.:04:56.

strategy did not work for them at all. I think maybe halfway through

:04:57.:05:00.

the campaign Fine Gael realised, we have got this wrong, and try to

:05:01.:05:04.

backtrack a bit, saying they understood the recovery had not been

:05:05.:05:08.

felt by everyone, there were some legacy issues handing over from the

:05:09.:05:16.

economic crash, but it was too late to turn the ship around at that

:05:17.:05:19.

stage. The me, the story of this election has been the researchers of

:05:20.:05:22.

Vienna foil, the party was mercilessly booted out of power in

:05:23.:05:27.

2011, and many people thought they would go the way of the dodo --

:05:28.:05:33.

Fianna Fail. We are going to see them up in the 40s, and Fine Gael

:05:34.:05:38.

probably settling in the early 50s, so it has been an extraordinary

:05:39.:05:43.

resurgence, and I suppose Fianna Fail is ingrained in the DNA of a

:05:44.:05:47.

lot of Irish people, particularly older rural voters, and I think we

:05:48.:05:51.

have seen them tiptoeing back to the party that they were always loyal to

:05:52.:05:56.

previously. It seems to have been a surprise to so many people because

:05:57.:05:59.

there were those in the media, particularly in and around the

:06:00.:06:04.

metropolitan media, let's say, in Dublin, who was suggesting three

:06:05.:06:08.

short weeks ago that Enda Kenny could conceivably come back as

:06:09.:06:12.

Taoiseach of a single party Government, but in the wake Cameron

:06:13.:06:18.

did in 2014, he was able to manage without his minority coalition

:06:19.:06:20.

partner. I don't know if you went on record suggesting that or not, but

:06:21.:06:24.

those who did got it dramatically wrong. Yes, and there has been a lot

:06:25.:06:30.

of commentary that it was a middle-class, leafy, South Dublin

:06:31.:06:34.

attitude, and in some constituencies they booked the trend, Dun Laoghaire

:06:35.:06:41.

for instance which was a very middle-class liberal constituency,

:06:42.:06:48.

and Fine Gael brought home two TDs, which is unusual if you look around

:06:49.:06:52.

the country, but it shows there are areas where people have genuinely

:06:53.:06:55.

felt the recovery and have rewarded the Government, but the majority of

:06:56.:07:00.

people have not accepted that at all and you see the coalition partners,

:07:01.:07:04.

the Labour Party, being very severely punished in this election,

:07:05.:07:08.

and the possibility that a party, and outgoing party of Government,

:07:09.:07:12.

could actually not even be entitled to speaking rights in the next oil,

:07:13.:07:17.

they could be so low, they have four seat at the moment and you need

:07:18.:07:22.

seven to be a party, to get those rights in the house, said the Labour

:07:23.:07:28.

Party is a much reduced force now. Muiris, it is another fascinating

:07:29.:07:32.

story as this situation unfolds, the near wipe-out of the Labour Party?

:07:33.:07:37.

It is an extraordinary election in so far as two days after the poll it

:07:38.:07:42.

is still, by this stage we would normally expect some shape to be

:07:43.:07:46.

formed around whom the Government is, and it is not clear at all, talk

:07:47.:07:50.

about re-elections, party leaders having to go, talk about realignment

:07:51.:07:56.

of Irish Parliamentary politics insofar as we consider how some of

:07:57.:08:03.

the viewers will be more familiar with some form of power-sharing as

:08:04.:08:08.

opposed to the Westminster adversarial format we to, but at

:08:09.:08:13.

this stage, taking a longer term perspective on it, you might say

:08:14.:08:17.

that some features, like the classic Fine Gael, Fianna Fail, the two big

:08:18.:08:23.

parties slugging it out, neither of them are breaching the 30% mark,

:08:24.:08:26.

whereby one of them is coming out on top and will be a natural leader of

:08:27.:08:31.

a Coalition Government, so it is an unusual situation that the parties

:08:32.:08:36.

find themselves in. That is what is so fascinating about this, the

:08:37.:08:39.

individual stories which are intriguing in themselves, but there

:08:40.:08:44.

is no overall picture which you can say, this is exactly how things will

:08:45.:08:50.

unfold? It will make negotiations on forming the Government really

:08:51.:08:52.

difficult, because if you have a party which is very much the biggest

:08:53.:08:56.

party, the dominant party, then it can, to some extent, call the shots

:08:57.:09:00.

in terms of whichever junior partner it fixes on, but if you have a party

:09:01.:09:06.

that, like Fianna Fail, just is a hair's-breadth behind, they will be

:09:07.:09:09.

thinking, shall we do a deal, shall be hanged out for a future election

:09:10.:09:13.

well be could emerge as the biggest player? And also they have this

:09:14.:09:21.

concerned that if they were to bury their historic differences and enter

:09:22.:09:23.

some kind of grand coalition with Fine Gael, it could create a

:09:24.:09:26.

realignment in politics and it will become more left right and some

:09:27.:09:32.

groups like Sinn Fein would be able to prosper in the space that would

:09:33.:09:38.

be created in opposition. Mary, how do you see that developing? We have

:09:39.:09:41.

had lots of parties in the last three days of campaigning saying who

:09:42.:09:45.

they would or would not go into coalition with, and nobody else

:09:46.:09:48.

frankly wants to go into Government with Sinn Fein. Fianna Fail, Fine

:09:49.:09:52.

Gael, very uncomfortable bedfellows, it has never happened before, they

:09:53.:09:55.

have always been in opposition to each other, I don't know if anyone

:09:56.:10:01.

thinks that is workable, but they are Progressive Democrats who were a

:10:02.:10:11.

natural bedfellows together in Northern Ireland, so anything is

:10:12.:10:17.

possible, is anything possible here? The difficult with the two parties

:10:18.:10:22.

is the grassroots. Fine Gael and Fianna Fail are traditional enemies,

:10:23.:10:29.

it would be a huge moment for those two parties to coalesce,

:10:30.:10:33.

particularly when Fianna Fail is emboldened because the more honest

:10:34.:10:37.

of the party strategists for Fianna Fail would have said the rebuilding

:10:38.:10:42.

process they embarked on in 2011 was a two election strategy. I don't

:10:43.:10:45.

think if they were honest they would they be expected to be doing so well

:10:46.:10:49.

just five years on from the last election, but they have done bury

:10:50.:10:53.

well, and they are in a position now to engage in talks with Fine Gael,

:10:54.:10:57.

whether or not that is wise for the party remains to be seen. I don't

:10:58.:11:02.

know if it is something that the Fianna Fail grassroots would wear,

:11:03.:11:05.

and I think innovatively there would be splits in the ranks if that was

:11:06.:11:10.

to take place. I think a more likely possibility is that Fianna Fail

:11:11.:11:15.

would act in the national interest, as it is sometimes said in politics,

:11:16.:11:20.

and would support, or at least not oppose, and minority Fine Gael

:11:21.:11:22.

Government from the opposition benches. But certainly that

:11:23.:11:26.

introduces the prospect of Sinn Fein being the key opposition voice in

:11:27.:11:31.

the next Dail, and that means that, in another five years, if the

:11:32.:11:35.

Government would go that long, that that party could be in pole position

:11:36.:11:40.

then to take on a leadership role in the Government. Muiris, do you see

:11:41.:11:46.

some sort of confidence and supply arrangement, the Westminster model,

:11:47.:11:50.

support for a minority Government on an individual case-by-case basis? Is

:11:51.:11:55.

that the only option? Is that stuff that -- is that sustainable in the

:11:56.:12:02.

long term? Usually when you have a single or dual party coalition that

:12:03.:12:06.

is just shy of an overall majority, but even that doesn't seem to be

:12:07.:12:13.

appropriate. To the outside observer traditionally Fianna Fail and Fine

:12:14.:12:16.

Gael in terms of policy, some areas are very similar, they are as much

:12:17.:12:22.

defined by the other as anything else. So the parties must take a

:12:23.:12:28.

longer term view of what the ramifications would be of such a

:12:29.:12:32.

coalition. But it is still a little bit early because the parties will

:12:33.:12:35.

have to see what sort of relative electoral strengths they had in

:12:36.:12:41.

terms of what the final seats are going to be. We could be some way

:12:42.:12:44.

from that. Bertie Ahern predicting there is no chance of a Government

:12:45.:12:48.

before St Patrick's Cavan, which was, again, quite unusual, not so

:12:49.:12:53.

unusual if you are in Germany, where they take their time forming a

:12:54.:12:56.

Government, or Belgium, why they don't have one for a year or so, but

:12:57.:13:00.

in an Irish context this happens very quickly, but this could be a

:13:01.:13:05.

very, very important, strategic election for the future of the

:13:06.:13:09.

traditional large parties in Irish politics. Mark, you were talking on

:13:10.:13:12.

the radio yesterday about the Belgian example... 541 days of

:13:13.:13:20.

negotiations! That is long by any standards! People were saying that

:13:21.:13:28.

Fianna Fail and Fine Gael will have to see if they can give it a go!

:13:29.:13:32.

Bertie Ahern giving a realistic prospect that essentially ended

:13:33.:13:37.

Keddie will go in and continue his role as Taoiseach -- -- Kenny, over

:13:38.:13:47.

the traditional festive it is of St Patrick's Cavan, with the title of

:13:48.:13:50.

Taoiseach but not the majority that normally goes with it. It will be a

:13:51.:13:58.

strange scenario. We will hear from some politicians shortly on the

:13:59.:14:02.

programme but for now thank you all very much indeed. That is the

:14:03.:14:05.

picture this morning but how precisely did we get here?

:14:06.:14:08.

Here's our political correspondent Gareth Gorden with his reflections

:14:09.:14:11.

If you want to know what is happening in an Irish election, ass

:14:12.:14:19.

gay Kalimantan is to long before a result was officially announced, the

:14:20.:14:22.

ruling party knew it would be a difficult day -- Aske pay Cali man.

:14:23.:14:30.

We have had some disappointing results, several colleagues will

:14:31.:14:33.

lose their seats, and that is a sad day for them, their families and

:14:34.:14:37.

supporters. Downbeat, but Martin McGuinness was upbeat. I don't know

:14:38.:14:43.

what the final tally will be, 15 or 16%, but it is a dramatic increase

:14:44.:14:49.

on the eight or 9% we got in the 2011 election. In terms of my

:14:50.:14:52.

contribution to politics, Gerry Adams' contribution to politics, I

:14:53.:14:56.

think the people of Ireland recognised that we have been at the

:14:57.:15:00.

heart of the peace process and our party has driven the peace process,

:15:01.:15:04.

but I think also because people are coming increasingly to support our

:15:05.:15:09.

party as they have done in this election that is, I think,

:15:10.:15:13.

absolutely down to the leadership provided by Gerry Adams, by Pearse

:15:14.:15:17.

Doherty and many others of our leaders here in this part of

:15:18.:15:20.

Ireland. There was a rare public appearance on the Sinn Fein

:15:21.:15:26.

supporters from former British heiress turned IRA member Rose

:15:27.:15:32.

Dugdale, along with Jim McMahon. Something to celebrate as MacDonald

:15:33.:15:38.

topped the poll. What are you more interested in, the election or the

:15:39.:15:48.

rugby? The rugby. Why? Because the players do was proud, whereas our

:15:49.:15:53.

politicians do not. We need to take a good hard look at who we are

:15:54.:15:57.

electing and who we want to put into serving our country. I'm delighted

:15:58.:16:05.

that end Kenny has got his just deserts and after that and saying

:16:06.:16:06.

nothing else. Can I as quite you voted for Fianna

:16:07.:16:20.

Fail when they were blamed for the mess we were in in the first phase?

:16:21.:16:25.

Well, the world was going through trouble at that time, regardless of

:16:26.:16:27.

whatever Government was in the economy would have been into anyway.

:16:28.:16:33.

Enjoyed the game. Not many did. The one result of the

:16:34.:16:39.

day we could all agree on. Symbolic of Fianna Fail's revival, back in

:16:40.:16:47.

the Dail after the former Taoiseach's son lost his seat last

:16:48.:16:52.

time around. Family gives me motivation but having said that the

:16:53.:16:56.

electorate are very concerned about the future, and not that concerned

:16:57.:17:00.

about the past. And the future now is what concerns the Taoiseach of

:17:01.:17:06.

the country. Clearly the option of a majority Government has gone, the

:17:07.:17:09.

option of the Fine Gael Labour Government has gone, so we don't

:17:10.:17:12.

know the results for the other parties yet. I need to know those

:17:13.:17:16.

before I decide what is the best thing to do, given my responsibility

:17:17.:17:21.

and my duty as Taoiseach and head of Government, I consider that very

:17:22.:17:26.

carefully over the next 36, 48 hours as those results become clear. Could

:17:27.:17:31.

there even be an historic coalition with Fianna Fail? A lot will depend

:17:32.:17:38.

on the destination of the last seats in many constituencies, and in

:17:39.:17:44.

particular the four seats, where those last seats are going to go. It

:17:45.:17:49.

is a bit too early yet to be definitive about that but it is

:17:50.:17:52.

clear we are going to have a good day. Watching all this was an

:17:53.:17:57.

unlikely onlooker. I'm studying in Dublin, I'm from an evangelical

:17:58.:18:02.

background, I'm a member of the Orange order, I'm from a strong

:18:03.:18:07.

unionist background, and the reason I'm here is because I think it is

:18:08.:18:10.

wonderful that in the Republic of Ireland they are able to have a

:18:11.:18:14.

voluntary coalition and in opposition, something we are denied

:18:15.:18:18.

in the United Kingdom, in Northern Ireland, and I think that there are

:18:19.:18:23.

many parties in the Republic who will not go into Government with

:18:24.:18:27.

Sinn Fein, get the DUP props Sinn Fein up, and I think it is for us to

:18:28.:18:34.

look to the south and tried to push in Northern Ireland for these

:18:35.:18:37.

fundamentals of democracy. Right now the Republic does not have any kind

:18:38.:18:41.

of coalition and unless it gets one in the next week and a half, voters

:18:42.:18:45.

could be doing this all over again rather soon.

:18:46.:18:47.

Let's hear more from my studio guests.

:18:48.:18:53.

We have been joined by Conor Lenihan from Fianna Fail and were no Brin

:18:54.:19:04.

the new Sinn Fein TD. Congratulations. You top the poll.

:19:05.:19:09.

Yes. I do not suppose you are surprised that you were returned,

:19:10.:19:13.

but were used to price that you did as well as you did? I have to say we

:19:14.:19:18.

have an exceptionally good campaign team and we have been flat out since

:19:19.:19:24.

2011. We were hopeful to win a seat. We were more or less on target. Why

:19:25.:19:29.

do you think the people who voted for Sinn Fein, especially in terms

:19:30.:19:36.

of first preferences did? Were they voting for something specific or

:19:37.:19:39.

against something else? They were voting for something specific. One

:19:40.:19:42.

of the big themes, particularly in the last two or three weeks was

:19:43.:19:46.

whether you were talking to working families or families out of work,

:19:47.:19:50.

there was a sense that there was no recovery for them, whether there was

:19:51.:19:54.

the macroeconomic statistics or the people at the top, for ordinary

:19:55.:19:58.

families, things have not gotten better, in terms of jobs, wages and

:19:59.:20:02.

front line public services and while at the start of the campaign it was

:20:03.:20:10.

clear they were not point to vote for Fianna Fail and Labour, they

:20:11.:20:12.

were looking around for something else. I think a mixture of the core

:20:13.:20:16.

message, that we were saying a fair recovery was possible, but only if

:20:17.:20:20.

there was a change in policy and a good ground campaign was the reason

:20:21.:20:24.

we did well. You cut your teeth in Belfast and I am sure many of our

:20:25.:20:28.

viewers will remember you and then you went to Europe. You have

:20:29.:20:32.

experience politics in a number of places. The political landscape here

:20:33.:20:41.

has been completely changed, well on the front of the table -- paper

:20:42.:20:46.

today, political as quick, people are saying things will never be the

:20:47.:20:50.

same again, is that over egging the pudding? I think it will take some

:20:51.:20:55.

time before we are clear as to what the impact of the weekenders. What

:20:56.:21:00.

you are seeing is the beginnings of a realignment of Southern Irish

:21:01.:21:05.

politics around the centre left and centre right lines, whether or not

:21:06.:21:09.

Fianna Fail and Fine Gael enter into a collision and whether those on the

:21:10.:21:14.

left can cooperate to provide a clear and strong alternatives to

:21:15.:21:16.

those communities, we will have to wait and see. There are a lot of

:21:17.:21:20.

encouraging signs although I have to say there is more work for all of us

:21:21.:21:23.

to do. You stepped aside from front line

:21:24.:21:37.

politics in 2011 and I wonder with the renaissance of Fianna Fail do

:21:38.:21:40.

you regret not being involved? I have been working in Moscow. Having

:21:41.:21:42.

a very active involvement in a electoral sense was not likely but I

:21:43.:21:46.

came back to be part of their campaign for some of my friends.

:21:47.:21:50.

Some people wrote of their Dutch mag your party but it has bounced back

:21:51.:21:56.

well, did you think it would manage to come back so strongly in such a

:21:57.:22:01.

relatively short period of time or did you think that we were talking

:22:02.:22:05.

about a two election strategy at least? I am an optimist, I believed

:22:06.:22:09.

it six months after the last election that the party would come

:22:10.:22:14.

back. Because what happened within six months of the last election was

:22:15.:22:19.

that the current government voted in in an empty Dail that my late

:22:20.:22:25.

brother put through, it was controversial and lost votes and I

:22:26.:22:29.

think an awful lot of voters switched and that was reflected in

:22:30.:22:33.

the local election results where Fianna Fail became the biggest party

:22:34.:22:37.

in the country and generally speaking in our system of

:22:38.:22:40.

proportional representation, a strong local electoral outing is

:22:41.:22:44.

reflected in the seats in the Dail the next time around. That is very

:22:45.:22:48.

much the case in terms of the levels of support for Sinn Fein and Fianna

:22:49.:22:54.

Fail. If one aggregate their representation in the Dail and local

:22:55.:22:58.

election performance it is the biggest organisation that kind in

:22:59.:23:01.

this country. In membership terms and this is often forgotten, while

:23:02.:23:06.

Fianna Fail had a different experience in a two election

:23:07.:23:09.

scenario to get back into power, it is a bigger organisation on the

:23:10.:23:13.

ground in terms of local authority members and also actual members who

:23:14.:23:17.

go out and canvas and knocked on doors. That is often forgotten by

:23:18.:23:24.

some people who wrote of the party. Here is the question that everyone

:23:25.:23:26.

will be wanting to hear the answer to, do you think it is possible for

:23:27.:23:33.

Fianna Fail and Fine Gael to work together in a formal Coalition? Of

:23:34.:23:39.

course it is possible. What I would caution in terms of expectations is

:23:40.:23:44.

that the public in this General Election have voted very

:23:45.:23:48.

definitively to vote out Fine Gael and Labour out of power. There is

:23:49.:23:52.

nowhere party like Fianna Fail can ignore that message from the

:23:53.:23:56.

electorate. The seat losses that Fine Gael and Labour have incurred

:23:57.:24:00.

are of the same magnitude in numbers terms than we experienced in 2011,

:24:01.:24:06.

we were very definitively -- definitively booted out of power and

:24:07.:24:09.

the same numbers apply to the government. It will be difficult for

:24:10.:24:14.

Micheal Martin to convince ordinary Fianna Fail activists who have been

:24:15.:24:18.

campaigning to remove this government from power to say that we

:24:19.:24:23.

are going to put a very significant element of it, namely Fine Gael back

:24:24.:24:27.

into power. This will not be easy and could take a month or two months

:24:28.:24:31.

before it works itself out and the first priority for Micheal Martin

:24:32.:24:34.

and he has indicated already in terms of injuries that he has given

:24:35.:24:41.

would be to sit down and talk to all of the opposition parties who have

:24:42.:24:43.

opposed this government and give them the opportunity to be part of a

:24:44.:24:49.

Fianna Fail led Administration. That is his first priority because the

:24:50.:24:54.

public have become cynical if the vote in a definitive fashion against

:24:55.:24:58.

two sets of parties, the -- Fine Gael and Labour and they found that

:24:59.:25:03.

the system conspires to deny their rightful choice. There is no getting

:25:04.:25:07.

away from this, it will be very awkward and difficult, as difficult

:25:08.:25:11.

and awkward as it was for the Labour Party to change sides back in 1992

:25:12.:25:19.

and move from a Fine Gael led administration and a Fianna Fail led

:25:20.:25:24.

government. To think you should talk to the parties on the left? It is up

:25:25.:25:28.

to Micheal Martin to decide how to carry this out but he has given some

:25:29.:25:32.

hints that that is his plan. His plan is to talk to those who are

:25:33.:25:37.

part of the opposition. The people in Ireland have voted very

:25:38.:25:43.

definitively, not in an ambiguous manner, against the current or

:25:44.:25:47.

incumbent governments. This is not going to be work that simply. It is

:25:48.:25:52.

anything but straightforward because while you say... It is

:25:53.:25:58.

straightforward. The people have voted definitively against this

:25:59.:26:00.

current government and the seat losses are Ken... It is like me

:26:01.:26:06.

saying in 2011 they did not vote against Fianna Fail. When you look

:26:07.:26:13.

at the raw figures... It is also the case if Enda Kenny was here he would

:26:14.:26:17.

say that is the case up to a point but still more people have given

:26:18.:26:21.

their first preferences to Fianna Fail than they have -- Fine Gael

:26:22.:26:30.

than they have to Fianna Fail. It is perhaps one percentage point. There

:26:31.:26:34.

are still more people supporting Fine Gael and I am sure he would

:26:35.:26:38.

take a different view. It is important that Enda Kenny understand

:26:39.:26:44.

he has lost the election. The question is what happens next! You

:26:45.:26:49.

seem to have adamant that Sinn Fein does not want to be involved in a

:26:50.:26:54.

government led by either Fianna Fail or Fine Gael. Not just me but the

:26:55.:26:59.

whole Sinn Fein organisation. Is there any point in having

:27:00.:27:02.

negotiations? We made clear at the start that the government led by

:27:03.:27:07.

those two parties would not be in the interests of the vast majority

:27:08.:27:10.

of people here. We said that before the election and we are not winter

:27:11.:27:14.

break that promise. Micheal Martin said he would not do business with

:27:15.:27:21.

anyone before the election. He was ruling out everyone else bar his own

:27:22.:27:26.

backbench. The idea that would be a great surprise if after the election

:27:27.:27:30.

Fianna Fail come out and do something different, it will not

:27:31.:27:34.

suppose anyone. Our view is clear, in order for this country to have

:27:35.:27:38.

the kind of their recovery that we believe is necessary, we need to put

:27:39.:27:42.

an end to the centre-right government is whether led by Fianna

:27:43.:27:46.

Fail or Fine Gael I'm I do not see how Fianna Fail could propose

:27:47.:27:50.

anything close to the kind of policy change we think is necessary to get

:27:51.:27:55.

this country back on track. It is a bizarre situation where a lot of the

:27:56.:27:59.

parties are lining up to be oppositional rather than to be in

:28:00.:28:04.

government. It is hard to see how he can get an opposition out of this. I

:28:05.:28:08.

do not think that is what is happening. Whereas in addition fame

:28:09.:28:10.

were being straight with the electorate to say we would not do a

:28:11.:28:15.

deal as a minority partner, inside Fianna Fail at senior levels, he has

:28:16.:28:19.

been in Russia and would not know this, they are looking at this as

:28:20.:28:23.

one of the scenarios and they were clearly hedging their bets. Wiley

:28:24.:28:25.

were telling the electorate they would not do a deal, there were

:28:26.:28:47.

strategists in the party working to see on what terms and those people

:28:48.:28:51.

are meeting and thinking and talking about whether they will do a deal

:28:52.:28:54.

with Fine Gael. Here is the big question, will it make any

:28:55.:28:56.

difference to those huge numbers of people who voted against Fine Gael

:28:57.:28:59.

and Labour and I do not think it will. I will not support a

:29:00.:29:01.

government led by Micheal Martin. There is hypocrisy going on here.

:29:02.:29:04.

Sinn Fein like all of those other parties contesting the election put

:29:05.:29:06.

themselves forward on the basis they would go into government and I think

:29:07.:29:09.

it is an comment on everyone who is elected to the Dail to take the

:29:10.:29:12.

election to the Dail seriously to the point that you would consider

:29:13.:29:14.

forming and providing the stability and the government that the country

:29:15.:29:19.

rightly expect would be an outcome from the election. It is

:29:20.:29:22.

irresponsible to say that we campaigned in this fashion and we

:29:23.:29:26.

will have nothing to do with the post-election scenario. I think most

:29:27.:29:30.

parties were judged an kindly when they would walk away in the

:29:31.:29:36.

aftermath of an election and there is a contradiction in Sinn Fein and

:29:37.:29:41.

the other parties who say they want Fianna Fail and Fine Gael to get

:29:42.:29:44.

together but they think it is the worst outcome for the country.

:29:45.:29:48.

Someone from the left said that last night on a panel show. Somehow they

:29:49.:29:52.

want us to come together, but it would be the worst outcome for the

:29:53.:29:58.

country! It would be a challenge! I know this idea is novel for a Fianna

:29:59.:30:03.

Fail but it is incumbent on parties keep their election promises. The

:30:04.:30:12.

primary responsibility on me and my colleagues in Sinn Fein is to honour

:30:13.:30:16.

those promises. I have to say, I do not want Fianna Fail or Fine Gael to

:30:17.:30:21.

coalesce, I think it would be a disaster. I campaigned against it

:30:22.:30:24.

but we are faced with the numbers as they currently stand and all I am

:30:25.:30:28.

saying is if we are going to have the kinds of changes that are going

:30:29.:30:33.

to improve the quality in people's lives, we need something other than

:30:34.:30:40.

the failed consensus politics. Is there any difference in emphasis

:30:41.:30:42.

between yourself and others within Sinn Fein? I saw Marylou McDonald as

:30:43.:30:47.

good as they may do not want to prop up either party but it would be a

:30:48.:30:53.

matter for the ard fheis. It is a matter for the ard fheis, none of us

:30:54.:31:04.

are going to go against that. I want to ask you one thing about the Sinn

:31:05.:31:09.

Fein performance. As we respect in, you're on about 13 seats, what do

:31:10.:31:16.

you think your final tally will be? We are in contention for probably

:31:17.:31:20.

another 11 or so, a lot of them will come down to the final counts. We

:31:21.:31:23.

are well placed in a lot of the constituencies because there were a

:31:24.:31:27.

good number of left of centre candidates coming in behind us,

:31:28.:31:30.

there are about 11 or 12 are but some of them are going to be very

:31:31.:31:42.

late counts, but it could be early tomorrow. Did the party do as well

:31:43.:31:46.

as it ought to have done in your view? Could it have done better? Is

:31:47.:31:49.

there a debate or discussion, which you may want to have behind closed

:31:50.:31:51.

doors, but I have to ask the question, or could the party have

:31:52.:31:54.

performed better with a different kind of blue to ship? There has been

:31:55.:31:59.

a lot of criticism of Gerry Adams in the television debates. We will sit

:32:00.:32:05.

down and have those discussions and do it constituency by constituency.

:32:06.:32:08.

In some constituencies we did exceptionally well and others we did

:32:09.:32:14.

not perform as well. Donegal is an example. I am thinking of Dublin

:32:15.:32:19.

West and Paul Donnelly not taking the seat even though I think he

:32:20.:32:24.

could have and should have. Any party that is significantly

:32:25.:32:27.

increasing its Seatech is having a good day. That is a good day for the

:32:28.:32:33.

party. Look at the make or, you pushed for a third seat and ended up

:32:34.:32:40.

with one! There is always a risk. I know this from my own days in north

:32:41.:32:45.

Belfast. When you are contending for significant seed increases you have

:32:46.:32:49.

to take risks and the good thing about Sinn Fein is rather than

:32:50.:32:51.

putting individuals ahead of the party we try and take the risks to

:32:52.:32:58.

maximise the seat. This is a good election for Sinn Fein and I think

:32:59.:33:02.

it clearly marks the trajectory of the growth of the party. Gerry Adams

:33:03.:33:08.

was enormously helpful to me in Dublin midwest. It caused no

:33:09.:33:12.

difficulties there and what that shows is when you have a good

:33:13.:33:17.

campaign on the airwaves and a good ground campaign, Sinn Fein can do

:33:18.:33:20.

exceptionally well. There is no doubt Sinn Fein have had

:33:21.:33:30.

a fantastic campaign. The historical political significance of this, Sinn

:33:31.:33:34.

Fein have replaced the Labour Party in every sense of the word, not just

:33:35.:33:38.

numerically in terms of seats in the Dail but also on the ground and many

:33:39.:33:44.

of the larger parties have ignored, deserted or not been active in local

:33:45.:33:48.

authority housing estate in the Republic. This party is heavily

:33:49.:33:53.

involved and reaping the benefits. The Labour Party is now fully

:33:54.:33:56.

replaced in the Irish political scene. It would be extremely

:33:57.:34:02.

difficult, however difficult it was for us, it will be extremely

:34:03.:34:05.

difficult for the Labour Party to comeback ever again in Irish

:34:06.:34:08.

politics because this is an active party on the ground. I will come

:34:09.:34:13.

back to you, because it is fascinating to hear what you have to

:34:14.:34:18.

say, but we are going to cross to our correspondent Shane Harrison who

:34:19.:34:23.

is at the RDS count centre. Are there some tired heads?

:34:24.:34:30.

It is a lot less busy here today than it was yesterday. A short time

:34:31.:34:34.

ago in Dublin Bay South, a constituency in which there were

:34:35.:34:41.

high hopes that the nephew of David Andrews, the Minister for Fianna

:34:42.:34:44.

Fail at the signing of the Good Friday agreement, would take a seat

:34:45.:34:47.

but he has just been eliminated and there are now five candidates

:34:48.:34:51.

fighting for four seats and counting will begin again in a short time in

:34:52.:34:56.

Dublin South Central in which there are 52 votes between the people

:34:57.:35:06.

looking for the last seat, and also counting going on in Dublin North

:35:07.:35:09.

West where two candidates are fighting for the last seats, that is

:35:10.:35:17.

between Fianna Fail and Fine Gael. How close is it between the two of

:35:18.:35:23.

you? Extraordinarily close, I will be down to the wire with Fianna

:35:24.:35:27.

Fail. We have Labour elimination to come in the final round so we would

:35:28.:35:31.

hope it will see me over the line and be the first TD for the area in

:35:32.:35:38.

24 years. Quite an achievement if it happens, but you must be keeping an

:35:39.:35:43.

eye on what is happening across the country. Naturally, this

:35:44.:35:46.

constituency is a rare bright spot for us on an otherwise cloudy day.

:35:47.:35:52.

It seems we will come up short of meeting our expectations in terms of

:35:53.:35:55.

the number of seats and it seems we will have a fractured Dail so the

:35:56.:36:00.

concern is over the weeks ahead, forming a Government, exploring the

:36:01.:36:06.

options, trying to see if a Fine Gael minority Government will work,

:36:07.:36:10.

if Fianna Fail will work, or if we have to go back to the people. Do

:36:11.:36:14.

you think there is public appetite for another general election this

:36:15.:36:19.

year? I don't think so, it has been consistently coming up for me for

:36:20.:36:22.

the last three months, people didn't want to go back to the 80s with

:36:23.:36:27.

multiple elections. It seems as though this is the verdict they have

:36:28.:36:31.

delivered and we have to try to make that work first ball. If we can't

:36:32.:36:35.

after trying our best we go back to the people -- to make that work

:36:36.:36:40.

first ball. You spoke about the national picture, that it was a bad

:36:41.:36:45.

result, you were, or maybe, one of the few bright spots. In terms of

:36:46.:36:49.

Enda Kenny's future, what do you see happening? It will depend on where

:36:50.:36:56.

the final seats go. In my case, it could be a Fine Gael seat or a

:36:57.:37:00.

Fianna Fail seats. Seats like that will predict whether this is a very

:37:01.:37:03.

bad day for a Fine Gael or just a disappointing day. We could go from

:37:04.:37:10.

47 to 52, 53 seats, it really depends on those final seats. I

:37:11.:37:16.

remember a previous bad electoral defeat, he managed to save the

:37:17.:37:21.

situation, getting a deal with the Labour Party. Do you see that he may

:37:22.:37:26.

have to hang bug if there are to be negotiations with the Fianna Fail

:37:27.:37:29.

leader? I would see that to be the case, he has been our leader for 14

:37:30.:37:34.

years now, there is no doubt that he will be leading the negotiations. I

:37:35.:37:40.

would not say no to a bit of EU money at this point in time! But it

:37:41.:37:44.

remains to see what the future will hold for Ireland. The business

:37:45.:37:48.

markets have got to be shaken by this. We need to be very clear that

:37:49.:37:55.

we are open to negotiation. Other countries have also had problems

:37:56.:37:58.

forming a Government, how long do you think it will be before the

:37:59.:38:02.

markets deliver their verdict, and what might they say? It is difficult

:38:03.:38:07.

to say at this point on a Sunday morning. We need to emphasise that

:38:08.:38:10.

Ireland is stable, it is still a good place to invest, we will not

:38:11.:38:15.

lurch from one election to another if we can help it. Hopefully the

:38:16.:38:18.

markets can keep their confidence because they have been confident in

:38:19.:38:21.

Ireland for the last 18 months and we had to keep it that way.

:38:22.:38:26.

Thank you very much. As you can see, still all to play for in many

:38:27.:38:37.

constituencies here in the RDS, and who knows, it may be the middle of

:38:38.:38:40.

the week before we know what the final results are given the amount

:38:41.:38:42.

of constituencies that have had recounts.

:38:43.:38:47.

Thanks very much. Joining us from the count centre

:38:48.:38:53.

there, just a throw from the ITE studio where we are broadcasting

:38:54.:39:09.

this morning. I imagine you are not doing a great deal of smiling today.

:39:10.:39:15.

Conor Lenihan was writing the political epitaph pew moments ago, I

:39:16.:39:18.

think you might have caught the end of that. It sounded very like it!

:39:19.:39:23.

The significant thing, we although in Dublin, it is hard to dislodge

:39:24.:39:30.

Sinn Fein, so when they get into a position where they have replaced

:39:31.:39:33.

the Labour Party, it will be hard to dislodge them. It has been a

:39:34.:39:39.

difficult 48 hours, Maria? It has been a disappointing 48 hours, there

:39:40.:39:42.

is no way of getting away from that and I will not spin the result, but

:39:43.:39:47.

there are a number of seats still in contention. We are normally sitting

:39:48.:39:55.

at around 10%, we are down about 4% from what the traditional vote would

:39:56.:39:59.

be. It is disappointing, we have lost very many good people in the

:40:00.:40:05.

last couple of days, people have lost seats and staff members have

:40:06.:40:09.

lost seats, constituency offices have gone, but having said that we

:40:10.:40:14.

will take stock, have a look and we will be rebuilding, collar, so don't

:40:15.:40:18.

write us off just yet. There is a big irony in all of this that the

:40:19.:40:22.

Labour Party, a left of centre party, at a time posterity where

:40:23.:40:29.

anti-austerity parties and parties of the left and independence are

:40:30.:40:33.

doing so well, your party should have done so catastrophically badly.

:40:34.:40:37.

You had 37 seats this time five years ago, at the moment you are

:40:38.:40:41.

sitting at four. I don't know what you think the final number will be.

:40:42.:40:46.

We are in contention for another four. In terms of speaking red and

:40:47.:40:52.

party funding we would be looking at seven and above. The last election,

:40:53.:40:58.

for the Labour Party, was a very significant election, and I think we

:40:59.:41:05.

took votes from constituencies which have probably swung back to Fianna

:41:06.:41:13.

Fail and leaking votes towards the independents and other parties.

:41:14.:41:18.

There was no way we would match the vote of 2011, it wasn't possible, we

:41:19.:41:22.

knew that we would drop significantly from that and we have

:41:23.:41:27.

done so, and really it is about looking at what happened and trying

:41:28.:41:31.

to rebuild from there. There is a lesson, the same lesson that Nick

:41:32.:41:35.

Clegg, I suppose, got with the Lib Dems, you get involved as a minority

:41:36.:41:40.

party in Government, in a coalition, and you are likely to get a kick in,

:41:41.:41:45.

and that is exactly what has happened. Traditionally any smaller

:41:46.:41:50.

party in a coalition, but remember in 2011 the country was a dire place

:41:51.:41:56.

and we have less than 40% and did not know if people would be able to

:41:57.:42:00.

implement and I think history will look kindly on the Labour Party for

:42:01.:42:03.

being able to turn the country round. 100,000 people back into work

:42:04.:42:07.

and it is doubtful that if we have not gone in at that point the

:42:08.:42:11.

country would be not in the position it is now. Do you feel a bit sorry

:42:12.:42:19.

for the Labour Party? At a personal level because I had friends who are

:42:20.:42:24.

members of the Labour Party, some of the unsuccessful candidates, so I

:42:25.:42:27.

have a personal commiseration, but there is a lesson for all others,

:42:28.:42:30.

particularly smaller parties, from what has happened this weekend. It

:42:31.:42:35.

is not just that smaller parties traditionally do badly, smaller

:42:36.:42:38.

parties make strong promises to the electorate to get elected and then

:42:39.:42:41.

break many of those promises once they are in office, get punished by

:42:42.:42:49.

the electorate. The vote collapsed two and half thousand from 13,000 in

:42:50.:42:55.

2011, and two people that I know well, they said they would not cut

:42:56.:42:59.

child benefit, they did, they said they would not cut basic social

:43:00.:43:02.

welfare rates, and they did, they said they would stand up for working

:43:03.:43:06.

families, and I am not making this up, if you vote for working families

:43:07.:43:11.

who voted for Robert and Joanna in 2011 there is a visible anger

:43:12.:43:16.

because they feel let down. When the economy is turned around at that

:43:17.:43:24.

macro level, things have not got better for many people, particularly

:43:25.:43:27.

those families that are homeless, and that is the reason why, and I

:43:28.:43:32.

suppose for those of us who are committed to real change, who want

:43:33.:43:35.

to see a better quality society, and many people in the Labour Party I

:43:36.:43:39.

don't do believe in a better society, you cannot achieve that if

:43:40.:43:43.

you are in a Government led by a centre-right partly with a different

:43:44.:43:47.

social and economic policy, and that for me is the lesson of this

:43:48.:43:49.

weekend. I don't want to overplay this but the

:43:50.:44:05.

question I want to ask, and I know a lot of commentators have touched on

:44:06.:44:08.

it on other programmes, are we possibly looking at some kind of

:44:09.:44:10.

fundamental political realignment or recalibration at the moment where

:44:11.:44:12.

politics in the Republic of Ireland moves from the old divisions to a

:44:13.:44:14.

completely new arrangement where people actually vote and stand for

:44:15.:44:18.

votes based on a left- right split? Is that beginning to happen now, 70,

:44:19.:44:24.

80, 100 years on from where this date was founded? I studied

:44:25.:44:28.

political science and history just up the road from here, scientists

:44:29.:44:32.

were talking about this when I was in college and it has never

:44:33.:44:35.

happened. There is a strong centrifugal element to Irish

:44:36.:44:39.

politics, Ireland is different from Britain, it is different from

:44:40.:44:42.

continental Europe and from America, so I think this kind of solution

:44:43.:44:47.

that everything would be better off if we had a crude left- right

:44:48.:44:54.

divide, politics would almost be easy to explain to people looking

:44:55.:44:59.

in, but I don't think it is going to happen. Our system is much more akin

:45:00.:45:03.

to what you might call the Australian political system, which

:45:04.:45:09.

is very similar to Ireland, with nuanced differences between two big

:45:10.:45:12.

parties, and I don't think we will ever go into a very straight

:45:13.:45:17.

left/right division. But you are seeing realignment in people and

:45:18.:45:21.

voters' requirements, they are looking for parties to redeem their

:45:22.:45:26.

promises. I feel sorry for Joan Burton in this election because most

:45:27.:45:29.

of the promises made by the Labour Party before the last election were

:45:30.:45:34.

made by her predecessor, not by her, so she had the unenviable task of

:45:35.:45:38.

picking up the pieces from a series of very significant promises which

:45:39.:45:43.

actually Fine Gael and Labour, but particularly Labour, they had

:45:44.:45:46.

absolutely no need to make those promises. It was well before the

:45:47.:45:54.

election happened in 2011 and it was wrong and foolish in my view Fine

:45:55.:45:57.

Gael and Labour to make some of the outlandish promises that they made

:45:58.:46:02.

in 2011. Let that stand as a warning to everybody in politics, not

:46:03.:46:05.

picking on the Labour Party year, but you make promises that are out

:46:06.:46:11.

of your power, the public remember these and can breed a certain havoc

:46:12.:46:17.

revenge because of it. We all remember the statement that it would

:46:18.:46:22.

be Frankfurt's way or Labour's way, it was a gravity defying statement

:46:23.:46:26.

because frankly Islanders in the middle of the European currency zone

:46:27.:46:30.

and cannot act unilaterally against the interests of pretty much

:46:31.:46:33.

everybody else in that currency zone. That is the core of the

:46:34.:46:39.

problem for Labour and the reason it has collapsed. I don't wish this

:46:40.:46:46.

position on them, Fianna Fail had a very happy if somewhat contentious

:46:47.:46:53.

coalition with Labour in the past. So you are clear on that, you think

:46:54.:46:57.

it is an oversimplification in understanding what is happening. Do

:46:58.:47:02.

you think that is what is happening, or do you think that is what ought

:47:03.:47:04.

to happen? That was the Labour Party manifesto

:47:05.:47:15.

going into government and once it got there and it had to agree to a

:47:16.:47:19.

programme of government and was a negotiation and we punched above our

:47:20.:47:23.

weight in relation to the programme for government and we delivered --

:47:24.:47:26.

delivered on many things. Where the failure came in was the

:47:27.:47:31.

communication between the manifesto and the programme for government.

:47:32.:47:34.

There is a lesson in terms of the discussion around the current Fine

:47:35.:47:41.

Gael and Fianna Fail Coalition and I think Fianna Fail would be in a

:47:42.:47:46.

worse position to go into government with Fine Gael because it would

:47:47.:47:50.

leave Sinn Fein as the largest opposition party. Sinn Fein could

:47:51.:47:54.

then potentially up its vote and I do not think and I have a good

:47:55.:47:59.

respect for him and I am happy you got your seat but I think you would

:48:00.:48:02.

probably accept that you have gone below the level of what you expected

:48:03.:48:07.

to get in their selection as have Fianna Fail and Fine Gael. It has

:48:08.:48:11.

not been a great election for anyone, it has been disappointing

:48:12.:48:17.

for us but across the board, bad for anyone. It has been good for the

:48:18.:48:22.

independence of the smaller parties. It has not been bad, but by any

:48:23.:48:29.

standards, the increase is impressive, but it is not anything

:48:30.:48:32.

like some of the wilder claims made by other members of the party six

:48:33.:48:36.

months ago. Not by some members of the party but by some pollsters and

:48:37.:48:41.

columnist. The best way for a political party to grow is solidly

:48:42.:48:45.

unsteadily because then people come to vote positively for what you are

:48:46.:48:50.

doing. We did not want a spring tide because what comes in the quickly

:48:51.:48:53.

goes out quickly. I prefer to be here with a 60% increase and talking

:48:54.:48:58.

about 40 seats, of course I would, but you cannot doubt that the party

:48:59.:49:07.

has had a good election in terms of potentially 11 extra seats and

:49:08.:49:09.

whatever about government formation, Sinn Fein will continue to do what

:49:10.:49:13.

we were doing up until now which is campaigning on the ground in

:49:14.:49:15.

communities that are disadvantaged and arguing clearly that if we want

:49:16.:49:19.

that crucial recovery and investment in good quality jobs and public

:49:20.:49:25.

services we need to have an end to government led by either Fianna Fail

:49:26.:49:28.

or Fine Gael and government about delivering a different society and

:49:29.:49:33.

that is what motivated the two get involved in politics in Belfast and

:49:34.:49:36.

motivated me to stand here and I think we have had a good election

:49:37.:49:38.

and we will a good period of time ahead.

:49:39.:49:51.

Not going to be in government North and South on the occasion of the

:49:52.:49:54.

100th anniversary of the 1960 rising and some people thought that was a

:49:55.:49:56.

possibility. We would have wanted to achieve that. There is no point

:49:57.:49:59.

being in government are particularly as a junior part -- Michael Partner

:50:00.:50:02.

to prop up the policies you do not agree with. I would much prefer to

:50:03.:50:08.

be in government in two or three years' time in the right kind of

:50:09.:50:11.

government than be in a bad government now not delivering for

:50:12.:50:14.

the people who I am honoured to have been elected by yesterday. I am

:50:15.:50:23.

going to pause for a second or two. The election has been a disaster for

:50:24.:50:25.

Fine Gael. In an interview with RTE, even

:50:26.:50:34.

McGraw refused to be drawn on the possible idea of a grand Coalition

:50:35.:50:39.

with Fianna Fail. It can be really disappointing to lose a seat,

:50:40.:50:47.

democracy can be mercilessly kicks zone -- Enda Kenny. You can argue

:50:48.:50:53.

about the decision of the people, but you cannot argue with that. The

:50:54.:50:59.

government of Fine Gael and Labour will not be returned to office and

:51:00.:51:03.

obviously one has to wait until all of the counts are in right across

:51:04.:51:08.

the country to see what the options that must be considered are. In the

:51:09.:51:13.

last week we had four polls with 20 or 30% coming from where we had to

:51:14.:51:18.

travel in the last five years with our sovereignty gone, there are a

:51:19.:51:23.

difficult choices to be made. Elections are about choices and we

:51:24.:51:26.

have to accept the verdict of the people, but that the boat is now

:51:27.:51:30.

history except for the counting and clearly when the results are in from

:51:31.:51:38.

every constituency, we have a duty to consider how best to proceed

:51:39.:51:43.

ahead for the future -- vote. As Taoiseach I have a duty and response

:51:44.:51:48.

ability as head of government and to continue in this role to see best

:51:49.:51:52.

how we might be able to put together a government for the future because

:51:53.:51:56.

clearly the government needs a government and must have one.

:51:57.:52:00.

Clearly the option of a majority government has gone, clearly the

:52:01.:52:04.

option of a Fine Gael and Labour government has gone, we do not know

:52:05.:52:07.

the figures for all the other parties yet, I need to know those

:52:08.:52:11.

before I decide what is the best thing to do given my responsibility

:52:12.:52:16.

and my duty as Taoiseach. I consider that very carefully, obviously over

:52:17.:52:22.

the next 36 or 48 hours as those results become clear. Enda Kenny,

:52:23.:52:30.

the Taoiseach and leader of Fine Gael speaking on RTE last night. My

:52:31.:52:35.

guests have rejoined me. Welcome back. Some interesting thoughts from

:52:36.:52:41.

my political guests. Let us pick up on Enda Kenny. Do you think he can

:52:42.:52:48.

continue as Taoiseach in the short-term in an acting capacity? Do

:52:49.:52:52.

you think he will continue in the longer term to lead Fine Gael? In my

:52:53.:52:56.

look extraordinary from outside because no matter what happens or

:52:57.:53:00.

how bad this election has been for the government, his waltz to be the

:53:01.:53:05.

biggest party in Parliament. From hearing comments from his party

:53:06.:53:09.

colleagues this morning, I am not hearing them rushing towards him,

:53:10.:53:13.

endorsing his leadership. There is a bit of a tiptoeing away from that

:53:14.:53:16.

position which strikes me as something that is happening very

:53:17.:53:21.

quickly. I dare say when you and I meet again there could be someone

:53:22.:53:25.

else in charge and that is not the only party that could experience a

:53:26.:53:30.

change of leadership. He would have to look at what will happen to

:53:31.:53:38.

Labour, the Tanaiste did retain her seat in very tricky conditions last

:53:39.:53:43.

night, but with the party so drastically reduced, that party went

:53:44.:53:48.

in to the last Dail with 37 seats and is now sitting on four, it will

:53:49.:53:53.

probably claw back a bit but its support has been so badly eating

:53:54.:53:57.

into that there will be questions asked about the leadership. The Sinn

:53:58.:54:03.

Fein leadership is a constant topic of conversation in the Republic and

:54:04.:54:08.

Gerry Adams had a few very weak media performances. I do not think

:54:09.:54:16.

he is known as a man with a grasp of detail. On the ground, he is hugely

:54:17.:54:19.

popular. That is absolutely the case and his boat getting rid of it is

:54:20.:54:23.

remain undiminished, look how well he has done in his own constituency

:54:24.:54:28.

of Louth where he is set to bring in the first female TD, Imelda Munster.

:54:29.:54:34.

I think the party grassroots do not have a problem with him in that

:54:35.:54:39.

regard. Do you think that we will see political change in terms of

:54:40.:54:43.

leadership, is that inevitable in the weeks and months ahead. It is

:54:44.:54:49.

very difficult at the moment. A lot of the party leaders, possibly with

:54:50.:54:53.

the exception of Joel Burton can point to a mixed bag. There are good

:54:54.:54:57.

and bad things happening, even for Fine Gael, though vote is down but

:54:58.:55:03.

they can point to constituencies like Dun Laoghaire with they won

:55:04.:55:08.

three out of four seats. For the party leaders, it could be some time

:55:09.:55:12.

and there will be a lot of analysis for the second and third

:55:13.:55:18.

preferences, the transfers, how the two government parties, where their

:55:19.:55:22.

votes went to and for those parties who are gaining, why did they not

:55:23.:55:27.

gain more. Did they have bad strategies? How much blame can be

:55:28.:55:30.

laid at the door of the leaders. I wonder what you made of Conor

:55:31.:55:35.

Lenihan, he was determined that if we can take one thing out of this

:55:36.:55:40.

set of election results, it is that people voted against the government

:55:41.:55:44.

led by Fine Gael and the Labour Party. In one respect, you can see

:55:45.:55:48.

exactly where he is coming from, but the point I was making is that it is

:55:49.:55:52.

still the case that Fine Gael is likely to be the biggest party and

:55:53.:55:55.

also the biggest party in terms of seats. For the first time in its

:55:56.:55:59.

history. It is anything but straightforward. Many of your

:56:00.:56:04.

viewers are thinking, what is the problem with this concept of a grand

:56:05.:56:09.

Coalition because I heard an outgoing Fine Gael TD who was a real

:56:10.:56:13.

stall word of the party saying yesterday that there is a cigarette

:56:14.:56:17.

paper between Fianna Fail and Fine Gael idea logically. If you were to

:56:18.:56:21.

look at their manifestos and policies, there is not a massive

:56:22.:56:25.

amount of difference, one party is vaguely centre-left and the other

:56:26.:56:33.

party is vaguely centre-right, but if you are just thinking ideology,

:56:34.:56:36.

it is difficult to understand why they cannot form a Coalition. I hope

:56:37.:56:39.

we have tried to explain the historical difficulties. A thought?

:56:40.:56:49.

I took his remarks to be mainly positioning. I was not using the

:56:50.:56:55.

term about censoring, but in terms of the party, because they want to

:56:56.:57:00.

resist any orientation toward left or right politics because they would

:57:01.:57:05.

see themselves soon and into a big position where they have positioned

:57:06.:57:08.

themselves slightly more to the centre-left. They're not giving up

:57:09.:57:16.

on left-wing votes. They do not want to push them towards Sinn Fein or

:57:17.:57:21.

other groups. I would be interested on Mary's thoughts on if Enda Kenny

:57:22.:57:27.

goes, who would take its place? Some of the people have talked about the

:57:28.:57:31.

Justice Minister, is he the only one would be others you would fancy more

:57:32.:57:36.

than that? There certainly is the Justice Minister, but she had a

:57:37.:57:40.

wobbly campaign, there were number of gangland shootings, an unexpected

:57:41.:57:44.

factor in this campaign. There are too young bucks as well, their

:57:45.:57:50.

Health Minister the Agriculture Minister, one in Dublin and one in

:57:51.:57:53.

Cork and they would be considered to be the contenders for a new leader

:57:54.:58:00.

of Fine Gael if that were to happen. I do not think anything will happen

:58:01.:58:03.

suddenly. What we have to think about is the fact that the country

:58:04.:58:09.

needs a government, a Coalition is about compromise, not about cosy

:58:10.:58:12.

consensus, what you're hearing from Sinn Fein is that they have learned

:58:13.:58:16.

the lessons and mistakes of the Labour Party. You see that

:58:17.:58:21.

everywhere, in Britain, how the Liberal Democrats were so severely

:58:22.:58:25.

punished for going into Coalition with the Conservatives and rolling

:58:26.:58:28.

back on promises even though they would argue that they had such a

:58:29.:58:32.

small amount of power to wield. There might be people with a wry

:58:33.:58:36.

sense of humour back home in Northern Ireland thinking there is a

:58:37.:58:44.

lot to be said for a mandatory Coalition, because it gets rid of

:58:45.:58:47.

all this confusion! I will speak to you in a moment. For Sinn Fein,...

:58:48.:59:01.

For Sinn Fein, the constituency of Louth has proved to be very

:59:02.:59:04.

successful with Gerry Adams topping the poll and Imelda Munster set

:59:05.:59:06.

to be the first woman TD for the area.

:59:07.:59:08.

The constituency had also seen key battles between Fianna Fail,

:59:09.:59:11.

Our Political Correspondent Stephen Walker reports from the count

:59:12.:59:14.

Even before any of the results were declared, it was obvious from

:59:15.:59:18.

unofficial tallies which party was going to steal the headlines. In

:59:19.:59:21.

County Louth. One of the stories here was the performance of Sinn

:59:22.:59:24.

Fein with the party President Gerry Adams topping the poll and party

:59:25.:59:29.

activists are also thrilled with the performance of Imelda Munster. I

:59:30.:59:33.

take immense pride in the fact that the first day I will be the first

:59:34.:59:37.

woman ever elected in County Louth but I would be the first Sinn Fein

:59:38.:59:43.

woman ever elected as TD year. What was the campaign like? It was very

:59:44.:59:47.

positive, great response at the doors, people were up for a change,

:59:48.:59:52.

that was very evident. We had an excellent campaign, right the way

:59:53.:59:56.

through and you can see the results today are looking extremely helpful.

:59:57.:00:01.

Sinn Fein party President Gerry Adams said the vote across Ireland

:00:02.:00:05.

showed that people had rejected the political establishment. One thing

:00:06.:00:09.

is for certain, this change is going to continue. There is not a

:00:10.:00:13.

progressive government elected this time, that it is only matter time

:00:14.:00:19.

before one is elected. No, it is our position and I am bound by that I

:00:20.:00:22.

happen to agree with itself we do have a proposition to go into

:00:23.:00:27.

government, we will go to the party and they will make the decision.

:00:28.:00:30.

While it was a good day for Sinn Fein, other parties clearly suffered

:00:31.:00:35.

at the hands of the electorate. For the Labour Party, there is big

:00:36.:00:39.

disappointment here and the drop in support mirrors the difficulties the

:00:40.:00:43.

party is facing in other areas of the country. For Fianna Fail and

:00:44.:00:49.

Fine Gael there were nervous moments at the count centre as both camps

:00:50.:00:54.

waited to see if the candidates were successful. As the votes were

:00:55.:00:57.

analysed, certain patterns became clear. Louth is like a microcosm in

:00:58.:01:04.

reflecting what the people have reflected and that is that they are

:01:05.:01:10.

looking for a change. It is clear that Fianna Fail will be part of the

:01:11.:01:14.

change. I think we will deliver 40 seats or more. For those in Fine

:01:15.:01:20.

Gael the results across the country did not make pleasant reading.

:01:21.:01:24.

Nationally, very disappointed, but we must listen to the people and act

:01:25.:01:29.

on that. Can you see Fine Gael still been in power? The most of thing is

:01:30.:01:33.

that the people have spoken and we will wait and see what way the votes

:01:34.:01:38.

work out for each party and it will take another day to look at that. 16

:01:39.:01:42.

candidates stood here and battle for five seats. The political landscape

:01:43.:01:47.

of Louth has changed and so too has the Dail.

:01:48.:01:59.

Let's hear more from Shane Harrison at the count centre. Painter picked

:02:00.:02:07.

up what is happening there. -- paint a picture. There are a

:02:08.:02:12.

number of recounts going on, and number of cans are continuing. In

:02:13.:02:17.

Dublin Bay South, five candidates battling for four seats, two Fine

:02:18.:02:21.

Gael candidates, the leader of the Green Party, the Fianna Fail

:02:22.:02:25.

candidate, whose brother is a well-known ITE presenter, and Kevin

:02:26.:02:29.

Humphreys from the Labour Party. In Dublin north-west, as we heard

:02:30.:02:36.

earlier, it is between Fianna Fail and Fine Gael, and in Dublin Bay

:02:37.:02:42.

South, Dublin South Central, rather, you have two candidates, fighting

:02:43.:02:52.

for the last seat. So this will continue all day, possibly into

:02:53.:02:58.

tomorrow. Thank you very much indeed. Let's

:02:59.:03:08.

hear more from my guests. A word about the independents because we

:03:09.:03:11.

have not talked about that in any great detail. In percentage terms,

:03:12.:03:18.

and indeed in terms of the seat is that that block, if you can think of

:03:19.:03:24.

it as a block, will hold in the 32nd broil, it is not insignificant? --

:03:25.:03:32.

the 32nd Dail. So many people have turned their back on what they

:03:33.:03:35.

considered the establishment parties, increasingly Sinn Fein

:03:36.:03:39.

being that in there, much to their disgust, I imagine, but they have

:03:40.:03:43.

said, a plague on all your houses, we don't want to go back to the old

:03:44.:03:48.

ways and vote along party lines, people saying, I will vote for my

:03:49.:03:51.

local man or woman who will get things done for me, so definitely

:03:52.:03:57.

that was very clear in all of the opinion polls in the run-up to the

:03:58.:04:02.

selection and indeed in the exit follows that the independents would

:04:03.:04:07.

do well. What that means for Government formation and the make-up

:04:08.:04:12.

of the next Dail is anyone's guest, we are in uncharted territory

:04:13.:04:14.

because people in the Republic have tended to be very conservative,

:04:15.:04:21.

voting along Family Lives, in the traditional way they have always

:04:22.:04:26.

voted -- voting along Family Lives. So this move is fresh and new. The

:04:27.:04:32.

history of the state is that parish boundaries were very important and

:04:33.:04:35.

those individual TDs were very powerful people in their own

:04:36.:04:39.

constituencies. I just wonder what power do they bring in terms of

:04:40.:04:44.

Government or opposition to the business of running the country? It

:04:45.:04:48.

is a complicating factor, isn't it, Muiris? It is, and in 2011 the Irish

:04:49.:04:55.

Parliament and the lower house, which is what we're talking about,

:04:56.:05:00.

produced proportionally one of the highest grouping of independents in

:05:01.:05:03.

the world so there is already a president, but it is set to grow. It

:05:04.:05:08.

goes all sorts of constitutional questions in terms if you are

:05:09.:05:14.

relying on a large of independents, can and independent ever have a

:05:15.:05:18.

Cabinet seat? Independents in Northern Ireland, there is a

:05:19.:05:20.

perception that they lead to stability but the record shows that

:05:21.:05:25.

governments that have relied on small numbers of independents are

:05:26.:05:28.

extremely reliable. The trouble comes from party backbenchers and so

:05:29.:05:32.

on, those you have agreed deals with love and early on have statistically

:05:33.:05:37.

proved to be very reliable voters in the chamber, as it were -- those who

:05:38.:05:43.

have agreed deals with governments early on. Because the numbers are so

:05:44.:05:51.

big, neither Fianna Fail or Fine Gael, or any combination, could

:05:52.:05:55.

depend on two or three independents to make the difference, the maths is

:05:56.:05:59.

so complicated. You could do two or three deals but if it comes to doing

:06:00.:06:06.

20 or 30 local deals, it becomes extremely difficult, and that is why

:06:07.:06:10.

it'll be an extra complicating factor in the negotiations we are

:06:11.:06:13.

talking about with the formation of Government. And the independents are

:06:14.:06:19.

doing well in general Ireland, which would not have been traditional,

:06:20.:06:24.

into the rarer, a few seats have gone to independents. There is the

:06:25.:06:30.

issue in respect of gender quotas and so on, could the independents

:06:31.:06:34.

form a party, what would the consequences be for the voters and

:06:35.:06:41.

so on, but they are possibly less fragmented than one might think. In

:06:42.:06:45.

this other grouping we have the social Democrats, who have popped up

:06:46.:06:51.

recently as a party, a loose amalgamation of disaffected party

:06:52.:06:54.

members. Their three leaders have won three seats. They are doing

:06:55.:06:59.

extremely well. They have eaten into the Labour but possibly quite a lot.

:07:00.:07:14.

Another small party has taken off. So this other pillar in Irish

:07:15.:07:23.

politics is extremely important. Explain the Healy Rae phenomenon for

:07:24.:07:30.

us? Two have been enacted in the same constituency and it is a name

:07:31.:07:33.

people might be familiar with and there are all sorts of social media

:07:34.:07:38.

jokes, people wearing flat caps and so on, but joking aside they are a

:07:39.:07:41.

phenomenal political force in that part of the country. They are a

:07:42.:07:45.

political dynasty to be reckoned with, their father Jackie Healy Rae

:07:46.:07:52.

would have propped up the vote he is -- the voting. He did well on behalf

:07:53.:07:55.

of his constituents, would have bought a lot of money and work and

:07:56.:08:00.

building and so on into the constituency, so the legacy

:08:01.:08:04.

continues, if you like, and one of his sons was a TD last time around

:08:05.:08:10.

and there was much consternation when an independent TD called Tom

:08:11.:08:14.

Fleming, at the last minute, seems to drop out of the race all of a

:08:15.:08:17.

sudden and then the other brother, the other Healy Rae, was brought on

:08:18.:08:21.

board and they seemed to be romping home, they seemed to be doing very,

:08:22.:08:27.

very well, but as Mark has said, back in the Bertie Ahern days it was

:08:28.:08:31.

feasible to have a small number of independents propping up a Fianna

:08:32.:08:36.

Fail Administration, plenty of money washing around, that was the keeping

:08:37.:08:40.

to stress. The state does not have the kind of funds now to supply

:08:41.:08:45.

motorways and hospitals and so on in far-flung constituencies around the

:08:46.:08:49.

country. We will talk about gender quotas in a moment but before that,

:08:50.:08:52.

we need to talk about the Labour Party and their leader, Joan Burton,

:08:53.:08:57.

did hold onto her seat but for many colleagues lose out in the selection

:08:58.:09:01.

and also saw her party's vote slumped dramatically. She says they

:09:02.:09:04.

will consider where they went wrong. I think in Irish elections there is

:09:05.:09:09.

a combination of two factors. There is a general national factor and

:09:10.:09:14.

then the ground war of the constituency on the ground. People

:09:15.:09:18.

often say that you are talking about a whole series of different

:09:19.:09:22.

elections. In the constituency here in particular we have made a huge

:09:23.:09:27.

amount of progress in areas like providing new schools and

:09:28.:09:30.

refurbishing and rebuilding all schools, investing into the health

:09:31.:09:34.

services and primary care centres, getting people back to work. We have

:09:35.:09:37.

a lot of other issues to address, which we are working on at the

:09:38.:09:42.

moment, housing in particular and obviously general health issues. I

:09:43.:09:45.

suppose people see me as I have always been, a worker, in so far as

:09:46.:09:53.

I can, on their behalf. I'm very, very disappointed that so many very

:09:54.:09:56.

fine public representatives will not be returning under the Labour Party

:09:57.:10:02.

banner. I have had an opportunity today to talk by phone to quite a

:10:03.:10:08.

lot of people who lost out, and I know how hard they, their families,

:10:09.:10:15.

the Labour Party member ship and the support teams worked to return them,

:10:16.:10:19.

it didn't happen this time. Obviously we will have to reflect in

:10:20.:10:24.

the coming days on what we do now as we go forward. The Labour Party

:10:25.:10:31.

stands for progressive politics, the Labour Party stands also not just

:10:32.:10:37.

for a good economy and better employment and working conditions

:10:38.:10:40.

for people, but also for social progress. We will be talking about

:10:41.:10:47.

that next week. I was asked to take over the leadership under very

:10:48.:10:50.

difficult conditions, together with my colleagues I have worked as hard

:10:51.:10:55.

as possible to bring Labour Party values, Labour Party principles into

:10:56.:11:01.

the heart of Irish politics, about getting people jobs and employment,

:11:02.:11:04.

and about improving people's lives and making social conditions better.

:11:05.:11:09.

They remain at the heart of what Labour wants to do in Ireland, and

:11:10.:11:13.

we will continue with that even though today we have had a setback.

:11:14.:11:19.

The Labour leader Joan Burton. Let's talk about gender quotas. It has

:11:20.:11:23.

been an issue, Mary, talk about the significance. What parties had to do

:11:24.:11:30.

under a new law was ensured 30% of their candidates going into this

:11:31.:11:34.

election were female and if they did not hit the target then a very

:11:35.:11:39.

significant funding cut would be faced, 50% of their state funding,

:11:40.:11:42.

which is millions for some of the bigger parties. It has caused

:11:43.:11:47.

difficulties for parties around the country because particularly "party

:11:48.:11:50.

of out" Fianna Fail and Fine Gael have had to tag on some extra women

:11:51.:11:57.

-- particularly parties like. I'm not entirely convinced it has had a

:11:58.:12:01.

huge impact as yet, though it is early days. Let's just take a quick

:12:02.:12:06.

look at the state of the parties. A few changes while we have been on

:12:07.:12:14.

air. This is now with 98 out of 158 seats, 29 for Fianna Fail, four for

:12:15.:12:19.

Labour, 28 for Fine Gael, 13 for Sinn Fein and 24 for the

:12:20.:12:23.

independents and others. We hear that Gerry Adams is likely to be

:12:24.:12:27.

returned in County Down, likely to be returned within the next few

:12:28.:12:31.

minutes. That is about it, thank you all very much indeed from this

:12:32.:12:38.

special edition of Sunday Politics. It will be intriguing to see how

:12:39.:12:41.

things unfold here in the next few weeks.

:12:42.:12:44.

Join me for Stormont Today on Monday night at 11.15pm on BBC Two.

:12:45.:12:47.

And no doubt we'll touch on the significance of what's been

:12:48.:12:50.

happening here over the weekend in Thursday's View,

:12:51.:12:51.

For now, though, from everyone on the programme,

:12:52.:12:55.

clearly the Government of Fine Gael and Labour are not going to be

:12:56.:13:40.

returned to office.

:13:41.:13:48.

A live Sunday Politics special on the Irish election results presented by Mark Carruthers, featuring coverage of the counts and a range of politicians and commentators.


Download Subtitles

SRT

ASS