Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and the Greens will announce the results of ballots later on this evening on whether or not they will go into Government together.

The Dail is planning to meet tomorrow with the hope of electing a Taoiseach.

Votes are being from the members of Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and the Green Party on whether or not they support the programme for government.

It's 139 days since the general election, almost double the length of time it took to form the last government.

Counting of the postal votes is underway -with the results expected sometime this evening.

Fine Gael has the easiest job with just around 700 votes to count from their electoral college system.

Fianna Fáil will have the most, with more than 14,000 individual members eligible to vote.

But it's expected both of those parties will approve the deal, and they only need 50 per cent plus one vote.

The Green Party's count will be subject to the most attention today.

They need two thirds of members to back the deal, and there's been a vocal campaign against it.

Sources in the party believe they do have the numbers, but it's expected to be tight.

However, overall there is rising optimism this lunchtime that a government will be in place this weekend.

Already speculation is rife on who may get cabinet positions in the new government.

At Ministerial level the Greens will have three seats - Eamon Ryan, Catherine Martin and likely Dublin West TD Roderic O'Gorman.

For Fine Gael Leo Varadkar, Simon Coveney and Paschal Donohoe are guaranteed cabinet seats.

It's expected Heather Humphreys and Simon Harris will also be retained - leaving one seat open. Mayo Minister Michael Ring may lose out in the new coalition

There's many names in contention with a raft of sitting Ministers set to lose out.

TDs Helen McEntee and Galway’s Hildegarde Naughten are both being tipped as potential promotions.

For Fianna Fáil Micheál Martin, Mayo’s Dara Calleary and Michael McGrath will sit at cabinet.

Galway East TD Anne Rabbitte is also expected to have a Ministry.

After that there's four strong contenders for two seats.

Barry Cowen and Thomas Byrne in Leinster, and Dublin TDs Jim O'Callaghan and Darragh O'Brien.

Each party will have a super junior minister that sits at cabinet, but there will be disappointed big names in Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil if a government is formed this weekend.


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