The quick answer is NO. However, we may not be privvy to all the conversations that are underway. A week, they say, is a long time in politics. What has become very clear in this past long week is that everyone is prepared to play “hardball”.
It appreared last Sunday that Fine Gael had accepted that they were heading to the opposition benches. In fact they were sounding almost relieved to be doing so. Some of the Fianna Fáil TDs were publicly hinting at possibly working with Sinn Féin with the party Leader, Micheál Martin even saying that he was a democrat and would listen to what the people said when they voted. He certainly did not rule out working with Sinn Féin after the dust had settled.
Mary Lou McDonald the Sinn Féin President said she was open to talking to ALL parties and elected indicivuals BUT her patry’s preference was to try and form a Government of the left which would exclude both Fine Fáil and Fine Gael. It quickly became clear that Sinn Féin does not have the numbers on the left to form a Government and that’s when it looked like Fine Gael who have consistently said they will not do business with Sinn Féin and Fianna Fáil were talked about as trying to form a “Grand Coalition” which would include the Green Party.
Since the mathematics of the elected representatives in Dáil Eireann became clear any mention of the Fianna Fáil party doing business with Sinn Féin has been knocked down very forceably. This, one would suspect comes as a result of the maths but also pressure from the grassroots of the party. But does this mean that Micheál Martin will go down in histroy as the only Fianna Fáil leader to not become Taoiseach?
It really is a case of reading, listening and watching what the parties are NOT saying at this stage. Of course eveybody is suggesting that another election might be necessary. It is unlikely that any of them actually want to take the chance and go back to the polls. This author conducted a very quick poll on twitter in the past 36 hous and while the numbers are small it suggests that 85% of people would NOT change their vote if we had to go back to the polls. Could the remaining 15% who would, make a difference and give us a clearer outcome?
It really is a case of waiting and seeing. There was talk prior to the election of dark rooms and faceless people making decisions, in relation to one party in particular. Chances are ALL parties are in their respective dark rooms consulting their faceless, nameless and unelected advisers right now. Lets hope they actually consider “Joe and Josephine Public” in their respective power grabs.