Mary Lou McDonald wins most votes, but no Taoiseach elected after first sitting of 33rd Dáil 1 month ago

Mary Lou McDonald wins most votes, but no Taoiseach elected after first sitting of 33rd Dáil

The Dáil was back in action, but Ireland still has no Taoiseach, and no new government.

Fianna Fáil's Seán Ó Fearghaíl was re-elected to the position of Ceann Comhairle today, during the first sitting of the 33rd Dáil.

Ó Fearghaíl's return to the role reduces Fianna Fáil's number of voting seats in the Dáil to 37, meaning that they and Sinn Féin are now tied for seats.

While he was challenged by former Minister for Communication Denis Naughten, Ó Fearghaíl comfortably won the vote by a margin of 130 to 28.

However, the position of Taoiseach remains unfilled after TDs were asked to vote on four options: Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar, Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin, Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald and Green Party leader Eamon Ryan.

The motion to re-elect Varadkar to the post failed, with 36 voting in the Taoiseach's favour, 107 voting against and 16 abstentions. All Fine Gael TDs voted to re-elect Varadkar as Taoiseach, as well as Independent Sean Canney.

Martin fared slightly better than Varadkar, picking up 41 votes, with 97 against and 19 abstentions.

Mary Lou McDonald picked up the highest number of votes of any candidate. The Sinn Féin leader secured 45 votes across her party colleagues, Solidarity-People Before Profit, and three Independents, including Thomas Pringle, Catherine Connolly and Joan Collins.

Eamon Ryan's bid was voted on last, and he picked up just 12 votes in his favour - all coming from his own party. 115 TDs voted against Ryan, and 28 TDs abstained.

Varadkar will now resign, as per the constitution, though the government remains in place in an interim capacity until a new one is formed.

The Dáil will reconvene on 5 March.