Ireland's governing party takes a 'shellacking' at the polls

Rick Moran
Ireland, still on the brink of collapse, voted overwhelmingly against the government that got them into this fiscal mess in a massive repudiation equal to what happened to the Democrats in the US.

New York Times:


The next prime minister is likely to be Enda Kenny, a career Fine Gael politician who is expected to calm the turmoil of the past few years."I intend to send out a clear message around the world that this country has given my party a massive endorsement to provide stable and strong government with a clear agenda," Mr. Kenny said after winning his parliamentary seat.

Fianna Fail, which has run the government for 14 years, suffered its worst showing in its more than 80-year history. It won 78 seats in 2007; this time, it was on course to win as few as 25 out of a total of 166. Of the 47 parliamentary seats in Dublin, only the seat held by Brian Lenihan, who served as finance minister, was set to go to Fianna Fail.

The results by late Saturday showed that Fine Gael was expected to win 76 seats and Labour 36. The Green Party was expected to lose all six of the seats it now holds, and Sinn Fein was on course to take 12 seats - one of them to be held by Gerry Adams, the party's president, who resigned from his posts in the British Parliament and in the Belfast Assembly in Northern Ireland to run in the Irish Republic.

It got so bad in Ireland that the country was forced into the humiliating position of asking for a $93 billion loan from the EU with terms that would make Shakespeare's Shylock blanch. Kenny has pledged to "renegotiate" the terms of the loan - something most observers believe to be wishful thinking.

The banks are still shaky, it is an open question whether Ireland can meet its interest payments, and the government doesn't have much of a plan to get the economy rolling again. All of this adds up to the possibility that all the Irish voters might have done in this election was rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic.



Ireland, still on the brink of collapse, voted overwhelmingly against the government that got them into this fiscal mess in a massive repudiation equal to what happened to the Democrats in the US.

New York Times:


The next prime minister is likely to be Enda Kenny, a career Fine Gael politician who is expected to calm the turmoil of the past few years.

"I intend to send out a clear message around the world that this country has given my party a massive endorsement to provide stable and strong government with a clear agenda," Mr. Kenny said after winning his parliamentary seat.

Fianna Fail, which has run the government for 14 years, suffered its worst showing in its more than 80-year history. It won 78 seats in 2007; this time, it was on course to win as few as 25 out of a total of 166. Of the 47 parliamentary seats in Dublin, only the seat held by Brian Lenihan, who served as finance minister, was set to go to Fianna Fail.

The results by late Saturday showed that Fine Gael was expected to win 76 seats and Labour 36. The Green Party was expected to lose all six of the seats it now holds, and Sinn Fein was on course to take 12 seats - one of them to be held by Gerry Adams, the party's president, who resigned from his posts in the British Parliament and in the Belfast Assembly in Northern Ireland to run in the Irish Republic.

It got so bad in Ireland that the country was forced into the humiliating position of asking for a $93 billion loan from the EU with terms that would make Shakespeare's Shylock blanch. Kenny has pledged to "renegotiate" the terms of the loan - something most observers believe to be wishful thinking.

The banks are still shaky, it is an open question whether Ireland can meet its interest payments, and the government doesn't have much of a plan to get the economy rolling again. All of this adds up to the possibility that all the Irish voters might have done in this election was rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic.