A shock election result looks likely in the Republic of Ireland as voters head to the polls

 

 

Republican party Sinn Féin could take power for the first time in over a hundred years after a surge in their support over the last two weeks.

Irish voters told EN4 News that they felt alienated from the current government and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.

Ryan Lindsay from Lifford, Co.Donegal, said he was voting for change: “I’ll be voting Sinn Féin because Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil have destroyed the country and change needs to happen.”

Another Donegal voter, Amy Quigley, said: “It’s Pearse Doherty and Sinn Féin for me.

“They actually care about the lower classes; Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil only care about their own pay, their own pensions and looking after other rich people.”

Change seems to be the mood of the day in the Republic, with recent polling delivering a shockwave to its political establishment.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar

Polling averaged out as Sinn Féin top on 25%, Fianna Fáil in second at 23% and the ruling Fine Gael in third with 20%.

The collapse in support for the current government has been drastic.

As recently as October 2019, 42% of voters were satisfied with how the Government was running the country.

Irish politics has always been dominated by three main parties: Sinn Féin, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael.

Fine Gael currently holds power in Dáil Éireann (Assembly of Ireland) and are one of only two parties to have done so, along with Fianna Fáil, since 1932.

Sinn Féin’s growth in support isn’t something that could have been predicted.

The Republican Party was weakened after the 2018 abortion referendum, which split the group and gave birth to breakaway party Aontú.

Emma-Jo Mullan, also from Donegal, has turned away from Sinn Féin.

“When they campaigned in favour of abortion in 2018, I decided I could no longer identify with the party.

“This is why I now vote Aontú, although having said this, it will be good to see one party in charge of the whole of Ireland for the first time.”

“It’s another step towards Irish unity.”

Despite Sinn Féin’s polling lead, the Republican Party cannot win a majority in the Dáil. This is because the party only ran 42 candidates, which is little over half what is needed to make a majority in the Dáil.

 

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