Fine Gael wants to remain in power for the centenary of the 1916 Rising – and is planning a general election date to ensure it stays is government.
The Irish Independent reports that the senior coalition partner is already planning the date of the next general election.
The report says party strategists have worked out the actual dates for a general election campaign by stretching the rules to the limit.
Junior partners in the Labour Party are currently casting doubt over the future of the Government but their coalition partners are looking to April 8, 2016 as polling day in the next general election.The move comes as Prime Minister Enda Kenny committed the Government to see out its full five-year term.
And Kenny has denied reports the government is in crisis despite its failure to renegotiate the bank bail-out deal with the EU and the IMF.
Kenny said: “The Tanaiste as leader of the Labour Party and I as leader of Fine Gael are absolutely committed to running a full term in this administration.”
The proposed amendment to the abortion laws will also present sensitive challenges to the Government, according to the paper.
Kenny however has moved to quell suggestions of the Government collapsing if it can’t get a deal on the bank debt.
He has also said the Coalition still expects a deal on the Anglo Irish Bank debt before the next €3.1billion repayment is due in March.
Labour Party sources are sceptical that the government can survive any failure to land a new bank deal.
A senior party source told the paper: “Softly, softly hasn’t sealed the deal yet. It’s not a one-size-fits-all approach.”
If the Government serves a full term, Kenny would be in power for US President Barack Obama’s final St Patrick’s Day in office and the 1916 Rising celebrations.
A government source confirmed: “April 8, 2016 is the election day.”
Proposed election timeline:
2011 general election:
2011 first Dail sitting:
March 9, 2016
Last day Dail can sit:
March 8 2016
St Patrick’s Day:
March 17 2016
2016 general election: