The counting of votes in Ireland’s general election finally ended on Thursday as the last two parliamentary seats were distributed six days after voters went to the polls. The result of the election is now official – and it does not make happy reading for Enda Kenny, the outgoing prime minister, writes Vincent Boland in Dublin. Mr Kenny’s centre-right Fine Gael party won 50 of parliament’s 158 seats – a far worse showing than it had expected. It had won 76 seats in the last election in 2011, and (after defections) had 66 seats in the outgoing parliament, making it by far the biggest party.
Its Labour coalition partner fared even worse – winning just 7 seats, compared to the 33 it won in the last election in 2011.
The main centre-left opposition Fianna Fail party won 44 seats – by far the best performance of any party contesting the election. The party was in office when Ireland’s financial crisis hit between 2008 and 2010, and it was repudiated by voters in 2011. Yet it has staged a remarkable comeback, more than doubling its seat representation. It is likely to hold the fate of the next government in its hands.
Full Article: Irish elections: counting finally ends six days later.