Thursday

19th Oct 2017

Focus

Irish voters reward Sinn Fein, punish government parties

Irish voters on Friday (23 May) gave a strong signal to the government that they have tired of austerity, reaching out to alternative parties in the local elections and set to do the same for the EU vote.

According to an exit poll by state broadcaster RTE on Saturday morning, the governing centre-right Fine Gael party is set to take 22 percent of the vote, down seven percentage points from the last EU vote in 2009.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

  • PM Enda Kenny's Fine Gael party is set for 22 percent of the EU vote, according to the RTE exit poll (Photo: eu2013.ie)

Junior coalition partner Labour, seen as abandoning its party principles to pursue a budget-cutting path while in government since 2011, took a major hit. It is down 8 points from five years ago to 6 percent.

"After six years of this people have run out of patience," said Pat Rabbitte, a labour politician and communications minister, reports the Irish Times. "They are sending a message to the government."

Ireland took an international bailout package in 2010 after the country's property bubble burst. It exited the bailout at the end of last year but the toll on the country was and remains high with slashed public services and high unemployment.

Opposition Fianna Fail, which led the country into the crisis and was routed in the 2011 general election, is on 22 percent (down 2 points from 2009).

The biggest winners of the day were those running on an independent ticket – they have scooped around a quarter of the vote.

Sinn Fein, which sits with the leftist GUE group in the European Parliament, is set to elect three of the country's 11 seats, with 17 percent of the vote.

The left-wing party, which campaigned on an anti-austerity ticket, and the Green party (6%) are the only two parties to have made gains since 2009.

Sinn Fein, which is also polling well in the local elections, is seen not only to have benefitted from austerity-fatigue but from running a tight political ship.

One MEP likely to return to the parliament is Brian Crowley, a long-time MEP for Fianna Fail (sitting with the Liberals). Newbies are set to include Luke 'Ming' Flanagan, an independent who ran on an anti-EU ticket, and Sinn Fein's Lynn Boylan who is the talk of the political classes for emerging out of nowhere.

Counting of the Irish votes will begin on Sunday morning with the final results to be announced that evening, along with official results from the rest of the member states.

EUobserved

When two worlds collide

Two worlds collided at the end of last week. The shrill, uncompromising one of British politics and the technocratic, dry, world of the European Commission.

EUobserved

Schadenfreude and fire-walking in the EP

There was outright glee in the EP on Thursday. It was time to dust off everyone’s favourite German word for pleasure in the misfortune of others.

Cameron mends ties with Juncker

British PM Cameron has reached out to Juncker, after having failed to prevent his nomination as European Commission chief.

EU parliament approves Juncker commission

MEPs have approved Juncker's new EU commission, with a slightly smaller majority than in 2010, and following a number of concessions on portfolios.

News in Brief

  1. Austrian PM calls Brexit talks speed 'big disappointment'
  2. PM Muscat: journalist murder 'left a mark' on Malta
  3. Belgian PM: No crisis with Spain over Catalan remarks
  4. Ireland PM: Further Brexit concessions needed from UK
  5. Merkel: rule of law in Turkey going 'in wrong direction'
  6. Finnish PM: EU 'frustrated' with slow Brexit talks
  7. Dutch PM: Catalan crisis is not a European issue
  8. May 'urgently' wants to see a deal on citizens' rights

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Jewish CongressEJC Applauds the Bulgarian Government for Adopting the Working Definition of Antisemitism
  2. EU2017EENorth Korea Leaves Europe No Choice, Says Estonian Foreign Minister Sven Mikser
  3. Mission of China to the EUZhang Ming Appointed New Ambassador of the Mission of China to the EU
  4. International Partnership for Human RightsEU Should Seek Concrete Commitments From Azerbaijan at Human Rights Dialogue
  5. European Jewish CongressEJC Calls for New Austrian Government to Exclude Extremist Freedom Party
  6. CES - Silicones EuropeIn Healthcare, Silicones Are the Frontrunner. And That's a Good Thing!
  7. EU2017EEEuropean Space Week 2017 in Tallinn from November 3-9. Register Now!
  8. European Entrepreneurs CEA-PMEMobiliseSME Exchange Programme Open Doors for 400 Companies Across Europe
  9. CECEE-Privacy Regulation – Hands off M2M Communication!
  10. ILGA-EuropeHealth4LGBTI: Reducing Health Inequalities Experienced by LGBTI People
  11. EU2017EEEHealth: A Tool for More Equal Health
  12. Mission of China to the EUChina-EU Tourism a Key Driver for Job Creation and Enhanced Competitiveness