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Fianna Fail Suffers Heaviest Ever Defeat in Irish Elections

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TEHRAN, Feb 27 (ICANA) – The traditional ruling centre-right party of Ireland has suffered its biggest ever defeat in the country elections, according to initial tallies from Friday’s poll.
Sunday, February 27, 2011 9:39:11 AM
Fianna Fail Suffers Heaviest Ever Defeat in Irish Elections
An exit poll also shows that Fine Gael will lead the next government for the first time since 1997 at the expense of Fianna Fail being routed following the collapse of Ireland’s economy and banking system at the end of last year. The poll conducted by RTE broadcasting suggested that Fine Gael, led by Edna Kenny (pictured), would win 36.1 per cent of the vote, the party’s best result in more than 28 years, but insufficient seats in the 166-seat Irish parliament to have an overall majority. It is expected to form a coalition with Labour, predicted to end up with 20.1 per cent of the vote, its highest ever level, pushing Fianna Fail into third place for the first time. Based on the exit poll across the country, Professor Michael Marsh from Trinity College Dublin estimated that Fine Gael would win 72 seats, up from 51 at the last election in 2007, while Labour would increase its tally from 20 to 38 seats. Independent candidates were also expected to fare well gaining 20 MPs up from five, while Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams, standing for the first time in Ireland, was expected among its increase from 4 to 15 MPs. In contrast, Fianna Fail was predicted to lose several former minister in winning only 20 seats compared with 77 in 2007, while the Greens, its coalition partners could end up with only one seat down from six.
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