Odds Swing On Irish Coalition Government and United Ireland

Odds Swing On Irish Coalition Government and United Ireland
© PA
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar pictured speaking in Government Buildings in Dublin earlier this month

Irish politics has been left in the lurch after February’s stunning general election that has left no single party with a majority, resulting in huge shifts in the politics betting odds.

For the first time in history, rival parties Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael are working together in an effort to form a government.

It comes after the Irish public voted in February for no single party to rule the country, triggering a race to secure 80 seats and a parliamentary majority.

But the struggle to nail down a formal coalition – which may well need help from other smaller parties and independents – is causing confusion at the heart of Leinster House.

And bookmakers are reflecting the volatility in Irish politics in their betting markets.

Irish Government Talks

Both Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael have been speaking to smaller parties in the hope of bringing them into a majority coalition.

Paddy Power have seen their odds of an FF/FG/Green coalition tumble from 6/1 at the start of April to the 6/4 favourite price now.

Bringing the Greens in would tip the coalition over the magic 80-seat mark but not by much, which is why work is also being done to get independents on board.

Indeed, the other most likely option - an FF/FG/Green/Independents coalition – has drifted out to 6/1 despite the two main parties speaking to 11 independent TDs.

This may indicate that Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael are ready to work on a slim majority solely with the Greens’ support.

Latest United Ireland Odds

Meanwhile, the proposed coalition has sparked a further debate on a potential vote for a united Ireland.

Reuters report both FF and FG are ready to ‘establish a unit within the Department of An Taoiseach (prime minister) to work towards a consensus on a united island’.

This comes as bookmakers Betfair open a new market on a United Ireland by 2024 at a price of 10/1. The odds on reunification by 2030 are currently 5/1.

In February it emerged just 29% of the Northern Irish population was in favour of unification, with 52% preferring to remain in the UK. That leaves a significant 19% unsure.

Covid-19 Issues Affecting Irish Politics

While politicians battle to form a government they are also fighting the spread of coronavirus.

And Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has enjoyed a surge in poll ratings since the virus outbreak caused the country to lock down.

Varadkar – who took charge of his part in the summer of 2017 – remains the acting head of state despite Fine Gael coming behind both Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin in the election.

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