Coalition Collapse Could Trigger Election

A Green Party member has signalled that a collapse of the Coalition Government could be on the cards, leading to a dramatic early General Election.

Dan Boyle, chairman of the coalition partner the Green Party, revealed during a radio interview this morning that he believed the probability of an election this year was "40:60".

A general election is not due until 2012, but Mr Boyle told RTÉ that "getting to January is going to be a challenge".

The news of the possible collapse comes at a bad time for the Government, who is already facing a number of crises over the controversial NAMA plans, the troubled economy, an upcoming vital referendum on the Lisbon Treaty and recent figures showing an all time low approval rating for Taoiseach Brian Cowen.

A TNS mrbi poll in today's Irish Times shows that 15% of voters are satisfied with the way the Taoiseach is doing his job, which is a fall of 6% since May. Support for Fianna Fáil has also slumped to 17%, down 3% since May.

Labour is up 1% to 24%, putting it firmly in second place, while Sinn Féin has gained 2% to 10%.

Fine Gael is also down by 2% to 34%, which is exactly twice as much support as Fianna Fáil, and the Green Party remains unchanged at 3%.

Despite the troubling news, Pat Carey of Fianna Fail told RTÉ that while the next hundred days would be difficult, the coalition would survive.

"There is always the possibility of banana skins and accidents; that aside I believe the government will get through this year and will continue till 2012," he said.


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