A small number of votes by Green Party members will decide whether Ireland finally gets some political stability today.
The deadline for voting by Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Green Party on the Programme for Government concludes today and while it is expected that the former two parties will strongly endorse it, the result of the Green Party, with its two-thirds majority threshold is more uncertain.
It is reported that about 2000 members of the Green Party are registered to vote. With most of those registered to vote in Northern Ireland and the younger cohort expected to reject the PFG, this means that c.80% support will be required in the constituencies for it to pass.
Several Green Party TDs are quoted in this morning’s media as saying that it is likely to pass but will be close. Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, meanwhile, is very bullish on the prospects of it being carried by all three parties, stating last night that "the Yes vote will be larger than people expect in all three parties and we will have a new government on Saturday."
The results are expected to be announced later today (after 6pm) after all the votes are counted. If it is passed, the Dáil will meet in the Convention Centre in Dublin for the first time tomorrow (to comply with social distancing guidelines) to elect Micheal Martin as Taoiseach. Important legislation on law and on a package for SMEs will then likely be passed early next week.
According to Goodbody Stockbrokers, "If the vote fails, Ireland faces uncertain territory once again, but it is likely that some form of government, including participation from independents, will be put together. Such an arrangement would be unstable and undesirable and would be unlikely to last very long before another election is called."