\"Taoiseach

Taoiseach Brian Cowen at the launch of his party’s election campaign last month in Dublin Photo by: Google Images

Irish PM Cowen's party hammered at polls

\"Taoiseach

Taoiseach Brian Cowen at the launch of his party’s election campaign last month in Dublin Photo by: Google Images

Niall O'Dowd: Sinn Fein cruises to victory in North... Click here

Tim Pat Coogan: Tides of electoral change wash over Ireland... Click here

Brian Cowen, the Irish prime minister, is facing a triple electoral setback. His Fianna Fail party has lost a swathe of seats in local elections, has failed to win two Dublin by-elections for the Irish parliament, and is on course to lose its Dublin seat in the European parliament elections for the first time.

According to an exit poll by RTE and the Sunday Independent newspaper, Fianna Fail is set to lose its seat in Dublin to either Sinn Fein or the small socialist party, both of which are anti-European.

Analysts said the result showed ordinary Irish using the vote to protest against the harsh economic measures introduced by Cowen and his finance minister Brian Lenihan.

The only consolation is the same exit poll suggest voters’ worries about the economy means they are now more likely to back the European Union’s Lisbon Treaty, with 54 percent now backing Lisbon. Cowen is set to put the treaty, which aims to make the EU institutions more efficient, to the people in October, after Ireland overwhelmingly rejected it in a referendum last June.

Cowen acknowledged the scale of the setback from last week’s votes. But he said: “Sometimes in politics, when you take the necessary decisions you have to put the country first even it means the short term popularity of the party is affected.”

Fianna Fail’s Green party coalition partner was routed in local elections, losing all its city and county council seats in Dublin, its power base and triggering calls from party activists to reconsider its participation in government.

In the local elections, Fianna Fail won 23 percent of the national vote, which if repeated in a general election would see its Dail or parliament representation halved. Fine Gael, the main conservative opposition party, was at 31 percent, with Labor 17 percent, Sinn Fein, the hard nationalist party, on 7 percent, and the Greens at 2 percent.

Fianna Fail’s performance in the two parliamentary by-elections was even worse, polling just 15.8 percent. Fianna Fail failed to hold its parliamentary seat in Dublin South, losing to Fine Gael. Dublin Central returned a left wing independent, with Maurice Ahern, brother of the former Fianna Fail prime minister Bertie Ahern, coming in fifth.

Enda Kenny, the Fine Gael leader, said he would table a vote of no confidence in the government when parliament reconvenes on Tuesday.

COMMENTS

Log in with your social accounts:

Or, log in with your IrishCentral account:

Forgot your password ?

Don't have an account yet? Register now !

Join IrishCentral with your social accounts:


Already have an account ?

For Newsletter Subscribers – Draw for 1 Prize on December 31st.

Prize: Your Piece of Ireland – a Square of Land in the heart of the Glens of Antrim, Ireland

More details here (or you can buy a little piece of Ireland directly): http://bit.ly/1zew9ox

Terms & Conditions

Or, sign up for an IrishCentral account below:

By clicking above you are indicating that you have read & agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy.


Make sure we gathered the correct information from you

By clicking above you are indicating that you have read & agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy.


You already have an account on IrishCentral! Please confirm you're the owner.


Our new policy requires our users to save a first and last name. Please update your account: