Martin says govt committing to going ‘full term’ amid election speculation

Tuesday, Jun 11, 2024

DUBLIN: Ireland’s deputy premier has insisted the leaders of the coalition government remain committed to serving a full term as he dismissed speculation over an early general election.

Tanaiste and Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin said the Government would stay focused on delivery, citing the autumn budget as its main priority, despite renewed focus on the prospect of an earlier-than-expected polling day.

Vote counting in the local and European elections resumed in Ireland on Monday. In Limerick, a count for Ireland’s first-ever directly elected mayor began on Monday.

While it could still take days to finish counting every vote across the country, the political ramifications of the results so far have raised major questions for the leaders of the main parties.

The Government coalition partners – Fine Gael, Fianna Fail and the Greens – are facing the potentially appealing option of going for an early general election after performing better than many pollsters had predicted.

Meanwhile, Sinn Fein, Ireland’s main opposition party, has already announced an internal review after a poor performance in the elections. Leader Mary Lou McDonald apologised for the results.

Some opinion polls last year saw Sinn Fein riding high on 30 per cent-plus support among the electorate, but the party only attracted 12 per cent of first preference votes in Friday’s local government elections.