Sinn Fein's Mary Lou McDonald quizzed on Unionist 'majority'
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The republican party and main opposition said it will put forward a motion for the vote next Tuesday. This comes after the ruling party lost their majority in parliament. Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald said the government had “now lost its parliamentary majority, and is failing to tackle the cost of living and housing crises”.
But the Irish government, consisting of centre-right Fine Gael, Prime Minister Micheal Martin’s centre-right Fianna Fail and the Green Party, has said it is confident it will win the vote. The government’s majority was lost after a member of the centre-right Fine Gael resigned the party whip on Wednesday after voting against a government bill.
This move left the coalition with 79 seats in the 160-seat lower house. However, some of the other lawmakers that have left the government over the last two years continue to back it in major votes, along with sympathetic independent deputies.
As well as this, Sinn Fein are currently way ahead of any other party in opinion polls. For this reason, those who are aligned with the government are unlikely to vote to topple it, which would bring forward elections currently scheduled for 2025.
Tweeting her party’s no confidence ploy, Ms McDonald said: “Today we lodge a motion of no confidence in government.
“This government has lost its parliamentary majority, failed to tackle the cost of living and housing crises.
“This government is out of touch and out of time. We need a government that puts workers and families first.”
Speaking to Morning Ireland today, she added: “This Government has lost its majority.
“It can certainly cobble together majorities for votes on a one-by-one basis but two years on we believe this Government has run out of road.”
On Thursday, Taoiseach Micheál Martin told reporters the Government welcomes the opportunity to prove it has a working majority.
He added it was not an unexpected move from Sinn Féin, saying opposition parties from time to time put down no-confidence motions in the last week of the parliamentary term.
He went on to defend the Government’s record on issues like the response to COVID-19, climate change and housing.
Mr Martin said: “We have a lot to say in terms of policy: education, health and of course housing, where the Housing for All represents the most comprehensive suite of policies that have been advanced by any political party in the country”.
Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said he was very confident the government would win the vote, pointing out that it passed the contentious bill that his colleague resigned over this week by four votes.
He told national broadcaster RTE: “I think we will have a strong working majority and that will be clear this week.”
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