Irish Times poll: Humphreys and Harris reject SF coalition

Policies of the two parties are like oil and water – ‘they don’t mix,’ says Humphreys

Fine Gael’s Heather Humphreys and Simon Harris dismissed the notion of a future deal with main Opposition party Sinn Féin. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Fine Gael’s Heather Humphreys and Simon Harris dismissed the notion of a future deal with main Opposition party Sinn Féin. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

 

Two Fine Gael Ministers have rejected the possibility of a coalition with Sinn Féin following the latest Irish Times opinion poll which shows the main Opposition party as the most supported in the Republic.

Asked if Fine Gael should reconsider its refusal to share power with Sinn Féin in light of the findings, Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys replied that the policies of the two parties are like oil and water.

“They don’t mix,” she said.

Minister for Further and Higher Education Simon Harris went further. He said Fine Gael will “never be coalescing with Sinn Féin in government”.

“It’s clear now from yet another poll that the contest now seems to be between Sinn Féin and Fine Gael to lead the polls,” he said.

Dublin Bay South byelection

Referring to the upcoming byelection in Dublin Bay South, he said voters in that constituency would have a choice.

“Do you want to endorse the policies of this Government, the work we are doing on the Covid pandemic and the work we are doing to reopen the country. Or do you want to throw your lot in with another Sinn Féin TD in Dublin Bay South, people who would risk the economic recovery and who have flip-flopped on Covid?” he asked.

Mr Harris said there were no formal transfer pacts between the three Government parties, but he expects supporters to transfer between them.

Ms Humphreys also said the renewal of the legislation on the Special Criminal Court in the Dáil next week would be a real test of where Sinn Féin stood in relation to protecting the State.