Polls carried out following the Irish elections point to a triple tie between the Sinn Féin, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael parties in the legislative elections that were held on Saturday in Ireland, with support of 22 percent each.
The survey, which was commissioned by public television RTE and ‘The Irish Times’ and carried out by Ipsos MRBI suggests, that the Fine Gael of Prime Minister Leo Varadkar (22.4 percent), would narrowly top the result, followed by Sinn Féin (22.3 percent and Fianna Fáil (22.2 percent).
Well behind would be the Green Party (7.9 percent), the Labour Party (4.6 percent), the Social Democratic Party (3.4 percent) and Solidarity – The People Behind the Benefits (2.8 percent).
The margin of error is put at plus or minus 1.3 points.
This survey was published at 10 pm (11 pm, Spanish peninsular time), after the closing of the polling stations.
Counting got underway at 9am with official first counts unlikely until the 3pm mark. In 2011, Dublin West was the first constituency to return a first count at 2.47pm (3.47pm in Spain). In 2016, it was Galway East at 2.53pm.
Voting day was marked by high participation despite the bad weather across the island. There are 515 candidates in 39 constituencies in which 3.4 million Irish people vote. In these elections, 159 of the 160 seats in the Irish Parliament will be decided, as the president of the Chamber, Seán Ó Fearghaíl, automatically renews his position for the South Kildare constituency.
The poll suggest the parties may be equal in terms of percentages, but this will not translate into seats.
Ireland’s elections are carried out under the proportional representation (PR) voting system, using the single transferable vote (STV). Voters wrote “1” opposite their first choice candidate, “2” opposite their second choice, “3” opposite their third choice and so on.