A second Irish Labour Party TD quietly voted against going into coalition with Fine Gael, it emerged last night.
Dublin Mid-West TD Joanna Tuffy joined her Dublin North-East colleague Tommy Brou- ghan, who spoke out strongly against the new Programme for Government.
Neither TD is likely to face a slap on the wrist, but they may have put their immediate promotion prospects in jeopardy. They both come from constituencies where there are now two Labour TDs -- making these seats marginal.
Ms Tuffy said she wanted to vote for the deal, but the 66-page document was "weak" in a number of areas. Concessions on privatisation, public sector redundancies and water charges were among her main concerns.
And the poll-topping TD, who took in a running mate Robert Dowds, said many people had voted for Fine Gael and Labour as "two opposing alternatives" and not as a coalition.
In her own constituency of Dublin Mid-West there were now four government-supporting TDs and no one from the opposition, she added.
"I do think you need a strong opposition. That's an important part of our parliamentary party democracy," Ms Tuffy said.
Mr Broughan was the only TD to publicly speak against going into coalition with Fine Gael when the party met on Sunday. But when it came to the vote, Ms Tuffy joined him in the very brief show of hands.