Recent rumours suggesting a coalition between Fine Gael and Fianna Fail after the next general election appear dead in the water, writes Liam Cosgrove.
A combination of wavering support for junior coalition partners Labour and rising popularity behind Sinn Fein had fuelled talk of a possible merger between both parties.
It’s a view which doesn’t appear to sit well with either Fine Gael’s James Bannon and his opposite number Robert Troy however.
Both constituency TDs said, despite what political commentators may or may not be speculating, such a scenario is not one the pair appear keen to contemplate.
“That’s for the people to decide at the next (general) election,” said Mr Bannon earlier this week.
The Legan based politician said even with Sinn Fein’s rise in popularity, entering into partnership with Gerry Adams and company is not something he believes will ever materialise.
“I don’t think that will happen. I would be more inclined to say people will go for a Fine Gael led government with Labour. We (government) have a proven track record over the past three years.”
His prediction that Labour will stage a recovery of sorts is backed up by a recent Behaviour and Attitudes poll.
That showed party support had effectively doubled since the May local elections, during which the party was almost wiped out.
But for those sitting in the opposition benches, the prospect of voters remaining loyal to the present government remains highly questionable.
“Polls are one thing, elections are another,” said Fianna Fail’s Robert Troy, as he also queried the merits behind a possible Fianna Fail-Fine Gael merger in a year and a half’s time.
“When you see the right wing policies that are being pursued by Fine Gael and the huge impact that is having on the rural Ireland, you’re asking me would I go into government with them?