Dáil to meet again to vote for new Taoiseach on April 14th

Neither Enda Kenny nor Micheál Martin had enough votes

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The Dáil chamber | Image: Oireachtas screenshot

Enda Kenny and Micheál Martin will finally sit down face to face this evening to begin discussions on forming a government.

The two men, and Deputy Ruth Coppinger, do not have majorities to win votes to be Taoiseach which are currently underway in the Dáil.

Mr Kenny has been defeated by 80 votes to 51, while Mr Martin was defeated by 95 votes to 43.

Independents have told the Dáil that they are abstaining to offer the two big parties a "last chance" to make progress in the next week.

There was a sense of déjà vu and groundhog day in the Dáil as many of the same speakers, speeches and nominations were made for Taoiseach.

As he did 27 days ago, Noel Rock nominated Enda Kenny - as did Lisa Chambers put forward Micheál Martin.

The change - Ruth Coppinger nominated by Richard Boyd-Barrett - was the first time a woman was nominated for the position, though his speech was aimed elsewhere.

But as none have a majority to be elected Taoiseach, another attempt will be made on April 14th.

There was one difference today: the Tánaiste abstained on a vote for Enda Kenny as Taoiseach hours after they sat in Cabinet together as a caretaker government.

It has now been 40 days since the election - but there have been longer waits for a new government.

In 1992 and 1993 when the 27th Dáil met, they failed to elect a Taoiseach for 29 days, and it was only on the fourth attempt that they succeeded.

Today marks 27 days since the 32nd Dáil made a first attempt.

Earlier, the Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams said this afternoon's sitting of the Dáil was entirely pointless and a 'charade'.

Acting Minister Brendan Howlin also said it was ridiculous that Mr Kenny and Mr Martin had not sat down to discuss the issue of government formation.

The Labour TD says "we're already beginning to see a country adrift...we haven't got decisive government because we have no government with a mandate".

Live from @ElectionNT