Independent and Sinn Féin candidates have surged into local offices in Ireland and appear to being gaining ground in European elections.
Some results of the 23 May elections are still being tabulated.
“Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny and his Labour Party coalition partners have suffered a huge slump in support … as voters kicked back against the long years of painful austerity measures, The Wall Street Journal reported at the weekend.
Here’s more reaction from Irish Times‘ columnist Stephen Collins:
The 2011 general election marked the end of Fianna Fáil dominance, which had lasted almost 80 years. If the [latest] local election results are the harbinger of things to come, they could mark the end of party politics as we know it. More than 40 percent of the votes in the local elections went to Independents, smaller parties and Sinn Féin, while in Dublin that trend was even stronger with over half the vote drifting away from the three parties that have dominated politics since the foundation of the State. … (T)he scale of the slump in the vote of both Coalition parties, the substantial breakthrough by Sinn Féin right across the country and the sheer scale of the swing to Independents of all hues could presage political instability on quite a scale in the years ahead.
Of 949 contested seats, 45 remained to be filled as of 26 May, according to this election summary by the Irish Independent. Here’s the summary for Kerry, where all 33 seats have been decided.