3 would-be coalition partners vote to approve Programme for Government

The final piece of the coalition jigsaw appears to be in place, with news that the Green Party has voted in favour of the proposed Programme for Government.

The announcement was made in the past few minutes. It follows on from similar news earlier today, Friday, June 26, from both Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil.

The Green Party voted 76% in favour; Fianna Fáil voted 74% in favour; while Fine Gael voted 80% in favour.

What happens now?

This development is expected to pave the way for Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin to be elected as Taoiseach at a special sitting of the Dáil in Dublin’s Convention Centre tomorrow, Saturday, June 27.

Meanwhile, it’s worth noting that each party employed a different approach – in determining whether or not to approve the proposed Programme for Government.

Fine Gael

Fine Gael had, perhaps, the easiest task to get the Programme for Government over the proverbial line.

Unusually, Fine Gael had just 700 votes to count – notably fewer than either Fianna Fáil or the Green Party. This is due to the structure of its ‘electoral college’ system.

Its voting system is heavily weighted towards the parliamentary party, which is made up of its elected TDs and senators.

Votes from TDs and senators make up 50% of the overall ‘weighted’ votes. The other 50% are accounted for as follows: constituency delegates (25%); councillors (15%); and the party’s executive council (10%). A simple majority vote (from the electorial college of 700 votes) was needed to approve the Programme for Government.

Fianna Fáil

Within Fianna Fáil, 14,500 members were eligible to vote on the proposed Programme for Government. The approach is straightforward – ‘one member; one vote’. A simple majority was needed.

Green Party

The Green Party had – it seemed – the toughest task to secure approval from its membership for the Programme for Government.

A two-thirds majority – from almost 2,000 of its members that were eligible to vote – was needed. That threshold was notably higher than that for either Fine Gael or Fianna Fáil.