Woke up this morning to discover that my dire predictions regarding yesterday’s Irish election proved far too pessimistic.
I think this happened because of a lifetime of living and voting in America where one of two parties wins all. Proportional representation is so different! Goodbye black or white, and hello a rainbow array of colors! Not only that, but I love the way votes are transferred here. (See my previous post.) Not only does it seem much fairer, but it transforms the vote-count into an exciting, drawn-out, sports-like drama.
First let me say, the election’s not over yet.
Out of a total of 166 Dail (parliament) seats,
147 149 have been determined–they’re still counting for the rest. To govern, a party or coalition needs a majority of at least 84 seats. So far, the breakdown is as follows:
As you can see, no single party has a governing majority. What remains to be determined, then, is who will form a stable coalition. According to radio pundits, the most likely, at the moment, would be a Fianna Fail-Green coalition. Although I guess FF could still win enough of the
19 17 remaining seats to govern on their own. Pundits, though, are thinking that’s unlikely.
Due to longstanding antagonism, a FF-Labour coalition is considered an unlikely coalition, too, though it’s still possible. And it would, obviously, be the most stable formation.
The prospect of a rainbow coalition with Fine Gael the leading partner is considered extremely unlikely. But again, not totally impossible. Enda Kenny hasn’t yet conceded.
In the end, exit polls were pretty spot on when it came to predicting the outcome for Ireland’s 30th Dail.
In my district of Dublin Southeast, Michael McDowell went down in flames to Green candidate, John Gormley! McDowell, who was Tánaiste (deputy prime minister) and the Minister for Justice, Equality & Law Reform, resigned from politics in response. Quite dramatic! And so far, his Rightwing Progressive Democrat party has claimed only one seat–a loss of 8 seats! (Although they may still win more of the
19 17 undetermined seats.)
For reference, here’s the make-up of the previous, just-disbanded (29th) Dail (the colors do not correspond to my chart).
[Edited/updated at 7:10 a.m.)