FG rebels dilemma

Rebel Fine Gael TDs opposed to the abortion bill find themselves in a tricky position.

Rebel Fine Gael TDs opposed to the abortion bill find themselves in a tricky position.

It wasn’t a scenario they expected when Fine Gael did so spectacularly well in the last general election and went on to form a coalition government with Labour with a very healthy majority.

Now these TDs, including high profile Junior Minister Lucinda Creighton, face a decision.

They can stay in the party, vote for the bill, and continue to push for changes from within party ranks.

Or they can vote against, be thrown out of the party and probably disbarred from running for the party at the next election.

It’s a sobering prospect for them and one that will determine how much they stand by their principles.

Many will have been surprised by Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s hardline approach to the bill. In fact some say he has erred in claiming that the party can refuse to let them stand for Fine Gael at the next election.

However those who do vote against and decide to stand for election again outside Fine Gael ranks may well benefit from those strongly opposed to the abortion bill.

Taking the suicide option out of the bill is a non-starter for Kenny but the stance of the rebels may be rewarded at a later date by the electorate.

Is it a chance they will take?