Ireland – Legislative election

A parliamentary election was held in Ireland on 25 February. The results confirmed the polls, but were no less historic for that reason.

Turnout was up at 70.1%. There are 166 seats in total. The incumbent government was led by Fianna Fáil, which had been in power since 1997. Until very recently, the Greens were also in the government. These are the results:

Fine Gael : 36.1% (+8.8), 76 seats
Labour : 19.4 (+9.3), 37 seats
Fianna Fáil : 17.4% (-24.2), 20 seats
Sinn Féin : 9.9% (+3.0), 14 seats
Independents : 11.8%, 14 seats
United Left Alliance : 2.6%, 5 seats
Greens : 1.8% (-2.9), 0 seats

This was an historic election because for the first time Fianna Fáil, which has been the predominant party in the system since the 1930s, came third. Fine Gael won more seats than any election. The Labour party came second for the first time ever. Moreover, Peter Mair has already written a really nice piece showing that this election was one of the most volatile ever in Western Europe.

In terms of government formation, Fine Gael (FG) does not have enough seats for a single-party government. In addition, there are insufficient FG-friendly deputies for a minority FG government supported by independents. So, there will most likely be a FG-Labour coalition. The talks are already underway.

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