If he can do so, Mr Martin will be put within reach in forming a government with what he has described as like-minded centre-left parties, most likely through a Fine Gael confidence and supply deal. Discussions began in October for an extension of the agreement between Fianna Fáil and the government of Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. But the structural cause of the difficulties faced by Fianna Fáil in these elections is due to the latest and the decision to conclude the confidence and supply agreement that underpinned the minority government led by Fine Gael for four years. A confidence and supply agreement is an agreement in which a party or independent MPs support the government in confidence motions and appropriation or budget (procurement) votes, either by voting in favour or abstaining. The spokesman welcomed Fianna Fáil`s commitment to extend the confidence and supply agreement and said it “strengthens Ireland`s hand in negotiating a successful Brexit outcome and in guaranteeing everything we have achieved so far”. In New Zealand, trust and supply agreements are common under the MMP system used in the country. Parties that offer trust and care play a more important role than in other countries, with MPs from supporting parties often appointed to ministerial portfolios outside the cabinet.  New Zealand has codified the procedures for forming these governments in its Cabinet Manual.  Fine Gael`s policy should be part of such an agreement, he told Morning Ireland of radio station RTÉ.
In a speech at the Dail this afternoon, President Micheál Martin confirmed that the party would support Fine Gael through the confidence and delivery agreement until 2020. After the last budget, the two sides were in talks for a further extension of the confidence and supply agreement, but no decision had yet been taken. Both sides agree on the unique circumstances of Northern Ireland`s history and the impact this has had on the economy and citizens of all parts of the Community. Both Parties agree that Northern Ireland needs additional support in accordance with the Annex to this Agreement. . . .