Tuesday, 18th September 2018
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Relax until 2020

Late last week at a meeting between the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and leader of Fianna Fail Michael Martin, the two sides seemed to come to an agreement that there wouldn't be a general election until the Summer of 2020. In what appears to be a shocking level of maturity at the top level of politics, it seems that this date was decided on because it would offer the country a level of stability surrounding the whole Brexit process which will see the British leave the EU next March.

Given the fact that there will more than likely be a Presidential election, as well as referenda to be held on the same day, it was agreed that the best time to hold a general election would be the Summer of 2020.

For this to happen it would mean that there would be an extension of the confidence and supply arrangement between the minority led Fine Gael Government and Fianna Fail in Opposition. This of course means that, all things being equal, the country would go into an election in an orderly and measured fashion, something that is usually unheard of in Irish politics.

Naturally enough this would happen if things go smoothly, but things rarely go smoothly in politics and even though one week might be calm there is nothing to say that the next week the Dail won't be in uproar over something that has just come to light. That very nearly happened, and the Government was very nearly brought down earlier this year after there was an attempt to oust the then Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald. Only for the fact that she stepped down from her position at the very last minute was the whole issue of a general election averted.

Given that the British withdrawal from the EU is coming up and there still seems to be hardly any agreement on what will happen with the North, it seems that there will be plenty for this Government to keep itself busy with and it is has to be seen as a good and logical step forward that the two main parties in the country come together and provide a level of stability that people can rely upon.

Of course it will be in the interests of Fianna Fail to keep the Government going so it can continue to build up it's own support base in the coming months and years. Following it's drubbing at the hands of the electorate following the financial collapse in 2008 it needs to be seen as a calm and responsible political party that are putting the country's needs ahead of it's own as a political party.

It might be ready to enter a general election and indeed it might well win if it does but at the same time it would be opening itself up to allegations of putting it's own needs ahead of the country's if it does. All in all an agreement between Fine Gael and Fianna Fail to continue the confidence and supply agreement until summer of 2020 and enter into a general election in an orderly manner has to be a good thing.

Too Little, Too Late


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