The Slow Formation of the Government
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In 2016 it had taken a record 70 days after the election before a government was formed, but in 2020 it took precisely twice as long. This chapter outlines the drawn-out process by which the eventual three-party coalition was formed, explaining how other possibilities fell by the wayside. Based partly on interviews with key actors, it examines the way the Programme for Government was put together and how the significant intra-party barriers to agreement were overcome. The allocation of ministries between parties was agreed amicably, but there were difficulties within each party when it came to the selection of individuals to fill those posts. The government elected, with a nine-seat majority over all others in the Dáil, seems to have a good chance of lasting for its full five-year term.