Irish voters take revenge for economic woes
Monday 08 June 2009
The Irish government had a disastrous night, looking unlikely to keep the single European seat it held in Dublin, as the electorate delivered a damning verdict on its handling of the economic crisis.
The major opposition parties were rampant after support for the ruling coalition, headed by Fianna Fail, slumped dramatically across the Republic. This followed an equally woeful showing by the left-of-centre party in local council polls and in two by-elections for the Irish parliament.
The centre-right Fine Gael, which has been unable to overtake Fianna Fail for almost a century, took most votes and immediately announced it would table a vote of no confidence in the government this week.
While the results may signal huge changes in Irish domestic politics, they also raise questions about the Lisbon Treaty. It was rejected by the Irish public in a referendum last year and goes before voters in a re-run this autumn. Although all three largest parties will be campaigning in favour of the treaty, and early returns last night showed a leading opponent, Declan Ganley, unlikely to win a seat in Brussels, Fianna Fail looked to have lost its Dublin seat to the Eurosceptics. Its coalition partners, the Green Party, suffered a near-wipeout in local elections, with its vote plummeting in Dublin. This poor showing raises the question of whether it will remain part of a deeply unpopular government. One Green Party minister said: "We're highly disappointed. We're licking our wounds at the moment."
In the immediate aftermath of Fianna Fail's worst performance in a generation, attention will focus on the possibility of internal challenges to its leader, Prime Minister Brian Cowen. Last night he maintained that he was unaware of any potential challenge to his position, saying: "I haven't heard from any critical voices from anyone at the moment" while acknowledging "a poor result".
Fianna Fail will want at all costs to avoid a general election since its low standing would almost certainly propel it from office. But Mr Cowen's personal standing is even lower, which could cause some backbenchers to wonder about replacing him.
Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift
Like Madonna, Sister Cristina Scuccia's video is also set in Venice
Singer says the track was 'force-fed down people's throats'
techThe original free dating app will remain the same, developers say
Endangered species spotted in a creek in the Qinling mountains
Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets
Some experiencing postnatal depression don't realise there is a problem. What can be done?
- 2 Banksy arrest hoax: Internet duped by fake report claiming street artist's identity has been revealed
- 3 Drink alcohol and eat meat to improve male fertility - but cut down on coffee, studies suggest
Ukraine crisis: Donetsk 'tactical missile' explosion at factory sends blast wave across rebel-held city
Jack the Ripper: Scientist who claims to have identified notorious killer has 'made serious DNA error'
Banksy arrest hoax: Internet duped by fake report claiming street artist's identity has been revealed
Super-sized ships arrive in Britain: How big can they get?
Former East 17 frontman Brian Harvey turns up at Downing Street and 'demands to speak to Prime Minister'
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
Lord Freud: Tory welfare minister apologises after saying disabled people are 'not worth’ the minimum wage
Lord Freud hangs on as MPs of all parties 'call for his head' over disability comments
£23000 - £26000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: Level 3 Nursery NurseI am currently...
£21000 - £34000 per annum + Excellent rates of pay, CPD, Support : Randstad Ed...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: Level 3 Nursery nurse required for ...