Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Government majority shrinks again

Yesterday, Jim McDaid, loudmouthed TD for Donegal North East, announced that he was no longer going to automatically support the government. While the reason for the withdrawl of support seems to be the result of a spat in the local Cumann of FF, it doesn't come as a great surprise since in August/September McDaid suggested the government call an early election once NAMA and the budget are done.

This leaves the Dail arithmetic finely balanced, which considering the efforts El Berto went to only 30 months ago to ensure a substantial majority, is a big turn around for the books. By my reckoning the state of play is as follows
  • FF - 74 (78 less Ceann Comhairle, Brennan, Behan, Gallagher, McDaid plus Flynn)
  • FG - 52 (51 plus Lee)
  • Lab - 20
  • PD - 2
  • Green - 6
  • SF - 4
  • Other - 6 (5 less Flynn plus 2 FF defectors)

While Devins and Scanlon are not under the whip directly it is extremely unlikely that they will vote against the government under any circumstances short of a straight vote in favour of nuking Sligo.

With 164 voting members (Gallagher's seat still empty and the CC) the government have 82 votes with the opposition parties on 76. Even if all the independants vote with the opposition, the CC will have a casting vote and will support the government side. Small wonder that the Taoiseach is in no hurry to call the by-election for Pat the Cope Gallagher's seat in Donegal SW as the mé féin demands from JHR, Lowry and the FF defectors will become greater and greater.

No comments:

Post a Comment