Labour and Fine Gael will need to rely on independents for Seanad majority - Burton

However, the Labour leader does not expect this continuation of the current arrangement to be disruptive

joan burton, budget

Tánaiste Joan Burton at Iveagh House in Dublin | Image:

Joan Burton says she expects Fine Gael and Labour to need the support of independent senators to stay in power after the next election.

But the Labour leader says that's already the case in the current Seanad, and Ireland is better off as a result.

Based on current opinion polls, Fine Gael and Labour could fall short of having a majority in the Seanad, even if they win one in the Dáil.

Of the 60 seats in the Seanad, 43 are elected by senators, TDs and councillors; 6 are elected by universities; and 11 are appointed by the Taoiseach.

Though a turn in fortunes for the coalition could grant it a majority, at present it appears as if Fine Gael and Labour will have to elect senators through universities or cut deals with independent senators.

However, the current Government does not hold a majority in the Seanad at present, and Burton says it means a lot of legislation ends up being improved: