A Fine Gael-Fianna Fáil grand coalition could be what the country needs

Stephen Collins: Performance of Greens and Labour will be key to outcome of this election

Election posters for  Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar  and  Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin are seen on a lamppost on Merrion Square in Dublin. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Election posters for Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar and Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin are seen on a lamppost on Merrion Square in Dublin. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

The most important thing about the outcome of the election is not which party is going to get the most seats but whether the outcome will produce a government capable of governing. A repeat of the fragmentation that characterised the outcome four years ago is the last thing the country needs.

The battle between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil as to who will lead the next government will dominate the headlines during the campaign but of almost equal importance will be the performance of the Greens and the Labour Party. Both have made it clear that they are willing to enter government together so their combined performance will be almost as important as that of the two big parties in determining the shape of the next coalition and its policy direction.

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