Following a difficult period of time for the Republic of Ireland, which saw their government forced to accept an EU/IMF bail out package of €85 billion, the Irish voters headed to the polls on 25 February.
The Fianna Fail party, which had been in power for 14 years and was until recently headed up by Brian Cowen, took a heavy blow to their representation across Ireland’s 43 constituencies and 166 seats. They lost 34 seats, allowing the Fine Gael party to win a record number, although they failed to secure an overall majority. Fine Gael’s leader Enda Kenny is therefore set to become Ireland’s next prime minister following the formation of a coalition government with Labour, which is now the second largest party in Ireland. Negotiations on the coalition were due to begin at the time of writing, the 1 March.
Mr Kenny has described his party’s win over Fianna Fail as a ’democratic revolution’ and it could certainly be suggested that Brian Cowen and his party are the first political victims of the economic crisis. The Irish voters are now facing years of austerity as their country’s economy lies in tatters and the results of this election speak for themselves ; the Irish people have used their ballot papers to hold their leaders to account.
Photo : Flickr, secretlondon123