Enda Kenny resigns as Ireland's prime minister

The politician will stay on as caretaker until a new Government is formed

Ireland’s prime minister has resigned – but will continue as caretaker Taoiseach until his successor is appointed.

Enda Kenny gave his notice after a failed bid to win majority support in the Dáil, the Irish parliament.

The country is currently going through a series of coalition negotiations on the formation of a new Government after a general election on 26 February.

The first sitting of the 32nd Irish parliament ended on Thursday night with an adjournment, after failing to nominate a new PM. It next meets on 22 March.

My Kenny’s party took significant losses with Fine Gael’s share of the vote down from 36 per cent to 25.5 per cent.

His losses were match by gains from his party’s traditional rivals, Fianna Fáil, who won 24 per cent, up from a low-water mark of 17.4 per cent in the previous 2011 elections.

Sinn Feinn saw moderate gains, up to around 14 per cent of the vote from 9 per cent, while Mr Kenny’s coalition partners, Labour, were gutted, losing 26 or their 33 seats.

Ireland elects its parliament using the Single Transferrable Vote system of proportional representation, which give smaller parties representation in parliament if they win votes.

The immediate results did not present any obvious coalitions. One suggested solution has been a grand coalition between Mr Kenny’s party and Fianna Fáil.

The rise of Sinn Fein also presents a problem for forming coalitions as most other parties have tended not to deal with the party, which has been accused of being associated with the paramilitary IRA in Northern Ireland.

Mr Kenny became Taoiseach in March 2011 after forming a coalition with the Labour Party. He apologised during the election campaign after describing some voters as "whingers".

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