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Exit polls: Irish coalition falls short of majority

Saturday, February 27, 2016 12:34
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Exit polls: Irish coalition falls short of majority – YouTube


Ireland’s two biggest parties opened the door for an unprecedented grand coalition, burying decades of rancor in a bid to avoid the political instability which has enveloped fellow-bailed out nations Spain and Portugal.

Prime Minister Enda Kenny’s Fine Gael secured 25 percent in Friday’s election, according to a poll for broadcaster RTE, released on Saturday. Traditional rival Fianna Fail secured 21 percent. Under Ireland’s electoral system, about 44 percent is needed for an overall majority.

“We’re committed doing our best by the country and ensuring there’s a good government,” Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin said in an interview with RTE on Saturday, echoing sentiments earlier expressed by senior Fine Gael figures. “It’s going to take time.”

Like governments in Greece, Portugal and Spain, Kenny’s alliance with the Labour Party suffered massive losses, feeling the force of popular wrath over spending cuts and tax increases. Kenny’s only option to provide political stability in the fastest-growing economy in the euro region is a pact with Fianna Fail, with bookmaker Paddy Power Betfair Plc placing an 80 percent probability on such a government coming together.

“At this stage, it has to be Fine Gael and Fianna Fail or else a second election,” Eoin Fahy, chief economist at Kleinwort Benson Investors in Dublin, said. “Another election is a possibility rather than a probability at this point.”


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