Polls have closed in Ireland’s general election and with no party securing enough seats to lead a government, confusion abounds as voters wait to see which parties will agree to do business with each other to form a coalition.
An Ipsos MRBI exit poll published by Ireland’s state broadcaster RTE at 10pm shows FF, SF and FG in close tie with just around 22 per cent of the vote.
A Sinn Fein surge in the run up to election day looks to have translated into votes at the ballot box, potentially allowing party leader Mary Lou McDonald to head into post-election discussions with some serious clout — and possibly even form a coalition with the Green Party, the Social Democrats and Independents.
No party was expected to win enough seats to lead a government by themselves, but various theoretical coalition options have been speculated on in recent weeks, including a FF/SF government or a FF coalition with the Greens and/or Independents, with FF leader Micheal Martin as Taoiseach (prime minister).
There is also the possibility of a minority government being formed through a ‘confidence and supply’ agreement with another party. Ireland’s current Fine Gael government has been sustained by a confidence and supply agreement with Fianna Fail — but Saturday’s results could possibly see that situation flipped.
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