Saturday, May 26, 2007

Irish election update

By Michael J.W. Stickings

For some background, see my recent post here. And here's the BBC with the latest:

The final seats in Ireland's parliament are being decided by counts in six remaining constituencies.

Fianna Fail are expected to secure 78 Dail seats - five short of an overall majority, but the focus now is on who they will form a government with.

They can count on two former Fianna Fail independents and two Progressive Democrat TDs set to retain their seats.

Fine Gael polled well, but its potential coalition partners Labour and the Greens fared less well.

As a result, not even these three combined could overtake Fianna Fail and the PDs.


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So far the breakdown of seats is: Fianna Fail 73; Fine Gael 48; Labour 20; PDs 1; Green Party 5; Sinn Fein 3 and Others 5.

There had been some speculation that Sinn Fein could play kingmaker, tipping the balance one way or the other, but (good news indeed) it "polled badly". If it prefers not to form a coalition with the Progressive Democrats and the independents, the governing Fianni Fail could do so with Labour. Regardless, Bertie Ahern is set to remain as prime minister.

For a profile of Ahern, see here. For an analysis of his victory, see here.

As always, Wikipedia has a lot more here.

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Update: The BBC article linked above has been updated: "Irish PM Bertie Ahern's Fianna Fail party has won the country's general election, but narrowly failed to gain an overall majority in parliament. The party secured 78 seats in the 166-seat assembly, but saw a decline in the vote of its previous coalition partners, the Progressive Democrats."

The breakdown is now as follows:

  • Fianna Fail: 78 seats
  • Fine Gael: 51
  • Labour: 20
  • Greens: 6
  • Independents: 5
  • Sinn Fein: 4
  • Progressive Democrats: 2

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