Fine Gael / Fianna Fail looks like the only viable Coalition combination

Our Newstalk Breakfast panel unpacks the Government parties' #GE16 horror story

Fine Gael / Fianna Fail looks like the only viable Coalition combination

Dominic Lipinski / PA Archive

Exit polls suggest that the Coalition will not return to Government.

"We've been saying for two years that the gap between the final tallies of Fine Gael and Labour was going to be too big a bridge to cross over to get to the magic figure of 80 seats," says Newstalk Breakfast's Ivan Yeats.

The former politician continues, "The second candidate for Fine Gael in every constituency will wake up to a horror story. There is no safe Fine Gael seat outside of Dun Laoghaire - because of Sean Barrett (the automatically re-elected Ceann Comhairle) and Mayo where Kenny and Ring should be elected."

An exit poll published this morning by RTE shows Fine Gael and Labour well short of a majority, in line with last night's exit poll published by the Irish Times.

The poll puts Fine Gael support at 24.8%, down from 36.1% from the 2011 election. The Labour Party receives 7.1%, compared to 19.5% in 2011.

That means support for the coalition has dropped from 55.6% in 2011 to 31.9%.

Sinn Féin stands at 16%, up from 10%, making the party and Finna Fail the two big winners from yesterday's election.

The Newstalk Breakfast panel suggest that it is unlikely that a stable Government can be formed - and that a grand coalition of Fine Gael and Fianna Fail could be the only viable option.

This would greatly enhance the position of Sinn Fein as the clear leader of the opposition, with a high chance of another General Election coming in the near future.

Newstalk political editor Shane Coleman comments that a coalition with Fianna Fail could mean a change in leadership for Fine Gael.

Political analyst Odran Flynn and UTV IReland's Mary Regan joined Newstalk Breakfast unpack the exit polls:

Live from @ElectionNT