The votes have been cast and the results are in. General Election 2016 saw the people of Ireland reject the proposition of continuing with the coalition between Fine Gael and Labour.
It took six days of counting for all 158 seats to be filled and in the end, Fine Gael returned as the largest party with 50 seats while Fianna Fáil took 44. Sinn Féin are now the third largest party in the Dáil with 23 seats and the Labour party returned with just seven seats. At the time of publication there is no clear steer on what shape the next government will take.
This section of the magazine will provide an overview of the election results and look at the winners and losers on all sides of this campaign. It will also reflect on the effectiveness or failure of the four main parties’ election strategies and ask what could have been done differently?
With so much emphasis placed on the importance of vote transfers in the run-up to this election eolas questions their importance and looks at how much they helped or hindered party candidates and Independents. With so many polls unable to accurately predict the dramatic rise of Fianna Fáil and the collapse of Labour we also investigate the validity of electoral polls and ask if there are more efficient or accurate alternatives to measuring public opinion.
Finally, this section will assess the possible options for a future Government and the likelihood of another general election in the near future.
There are many permutations to consider but one thing is certain, the 32nd Dáil looks very different to its predecessor.