Election 'before the clocks go back' favoured among politicians

webnexttech | Election 'before the clocks go back' favoured among politicians

However, Green Party members differ from the two main coalition parties and believe that the three-stool Government should stay in place until next March. It is understood Finance Minister Michael McGrath is ready to pass a budget quickly, which would allow for an election before the end of the year. Ministers are also now working at speed to deliver the remaining big-ticket items before the Dáil summer recess, in a bid to have significant achievements to point back to during an election campaign. One minister suggested the Government must call an election after October’s budget as “anything longer is madness”. The Irish Examiner spoke to 68 of the 106 Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil TDs and senators, with the survey revealing that going to the country after a budget is passed in the autumn is now the most favoured time. A number of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael politicians stated that holding an election “before the clocks go back” would be the best option, while a smaller minority want to go straight to the polls after the summer without holding a budget. Of those questioned, 23 (64%) Fianna Fáil members want to go to the country before Christmas, eight (22%) want to wait until next year, and five (14%) stated that they didn’t mind. Exactly half of the 32 Fine Gael members questioned want a pre-Christmas election, 13 (40%) would prefer to wait until the new year, and three (10%) said they don’t have a preference. However, there is a feeling both among Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil that Simon Harris may wait until 2025 before going to the country — even if this is not what members want. Some 44% of Fianna Fáil politicians believe that the Taoiseach will call and election before Christmas. Among Fine Gael members, this figure drops to 37.4%. Separately, all five Green Party members questioned want the coalition to complete its full term out to Spring 2025. Publicly, the three Government leaders have stressed the importance of fulfilling the programme for Government. Opinion is split at Cabinet level, with two senior ministers stating they want to cut early before Christmas, a further three stating the Government should run the full term, and two others claiming they do not mind when an election is called. Many of those in favour of an autumn election, have stated the weather being a significant factor — as well as a low public mood early in the new year, with one TD stating he is still “scarred” from two winter elections. One long-serving Fianna Fáil TD warned that the upcoming EU elections may prompt by-elections, which Government parties have never historically done well in.

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