In search of an opposition


A chara, – After a six-hour meeting of the Fine Gael parliamentary party, Leo Varadkar has announced the decision to lead them into opposition. I thought the electorate decided that over a week ago? – Is mise,



Co Carlow.

Sir, – For all the talk about mandates, winners and losers, the reality is than no party has won more than a quarter of the votes or seats.

Their mandates are limited to the number of seats they have, irrespective of whether that number went up or down.

This confers neither an entitlement to lead the next government nor a justification for sulking on the opposition benches. It is obvious that a stable government requires two of the three medium-sized parties to come together and pool their limited mandates. The necessary compromises might be a lot easier if each reflected on the large number of people who didn’t vote for them rather than on the much smaller number who did. – Yours, etc,


Dublin 7.

Sir, – The oft-repeated Fine Gael party line since the election has been that it is up to other parties to attempt to forge a coalition government while it and its leader are relishing the challenge of leading the opposition benches. Why is an incumbent governing party so reluctant to govern again? Did it want to lose the election? – Yours, etc,