"The government of the day was absolutely hammered" - Des O'Malley

Mr O'Malley spoke to the Right Hook about coalitions

Former leader of the Progressive Democrats, Des O'Malley, has stated that it's not so much that any party has succeeded in the last two elections but more like they were hammered at the polls.

Mr O'Malley joined George Hook to examine the results of the Election, particularly focusing on the seat numbers of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael.

He set up the PDs in 1985 along with Mary Harney, Bobby Molloy and Michael McDowell, and says the PDs lost its identity as a result of the coalitions it took part in.

However, he insisted that there were a lot more options open to the parties today than there were in the 1980s.

He said: "Certainly the most obvious possibility if you want a traditional coalition government, it’s very different to what we might have foreseen a few days ago where I thought that one party considerably stronger than the other.

"That isn’t now the case.

"There's more possibilities nowadays than simply a normal coalition. You could have support of minority government and that might suit FF.

"The way I would read the last two elections is that it's not so much certain parties succeeded as the government of the day, in each case, was absolutely hammered. 

"It’s a fairly daunting prospect to go into government... you won’t get much thanks for doing the right thing.

"Fianna Fail might be a bit reluctant.

"On the other hand, it's a hell of a lot easier to talk to potential coalition partners than it was in 1989 where I had to deal with somebody who was totally opposed to the whole idea, violently opposed to us and was reluctantly brought around to the notion, this was the way the people had spoken and he couldn't just throw that back in their faces.

"We were equally reluctant if you like because we knew it was going to be difficult. We never made a promise not to go into coalition with the Haughey. The reason we didn't was we were never asked because it was assumed it wouldn't arise."

You can listen to his interview here:

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