For weeks Fine Gael have been taunting the left and challenging them to form a government. But instead of abstaining to allow this to happen, they voted against Mary Lou McDonald.
By contrast, the genuine left voted for McDonald, ensuring she had the highest votes of any nominee for Taoiseach. We recognise that Sinn Féin are inconsistent, voting as they did to increase the pension age in the North to 66 while calling for restoration on the South to 65. But they won the largest number of votes by advancing a left programme. We voted Sinn Féin making it clear that if she came back with a Fianna Fáil coalition, we would oppose it.
Immediately after the vote, Martin and Varadkar had a phone call and agreed ‘exploratory talks’. This is the first move to put together a Fianna Fáil-Fine Gael coalition – with a bit of decoration from the Greens or Social Democrats.
We need to stop these manoeuvres by getting onto the streets in huge numbers. People Before Profit are writing to Sinn Féin and others to agree a demonstration on theme of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael OUT – Real Change Now.
We also need to turn up the pressure on the Green and Social Democrats. They should be told not to play any part in Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael manoeuvres.
It’s game on to stop this power grab.