Ireland's member of the European Parliament's The Left group has taken a hammering in the country's local elections. (EPA-EFE/MICK TSIKAS)

News Vote 24

Irish Left on course for hammering in local elections


Ireland’s member of the European Parliament’s Left group, Sinn Féin, looks set to take a hammering in the country’s local elections.

The Irish party, which at one point was expected to come first in the ballot, is reported to have received just 10 per cent of the first preference votes counted, as of writing.

That is less than half that of the two largest government parties, Fianna Fáil (Renew) and Fine Gael (European People’s Party), which are reported to have earned 23 per cent and 23.4 per cent of first preference votes, respectively.

Sinn Féin garnered 24.5 per cent of first preference votes in Ireland’s previous general election.

While the situation for the party is expected to improve as the count continues — estimates suggest it will take several days before the final result for the local elections are known — party leader Mary Lou McDonald has now publicly acknowledged that the group has likley underperformed.

“I am sorry we didn’t do better,” she said.

“I know that we can do better and I am determined that we will do better.”

Populist and nationalist candidates running in the country have made sizeable gains.

“Today we’ve taken a huge step on the journey to taking back our nation,” Independent politician Malachy Steenson told one local news outlet shortly after being elected as a councillor in Dublin city.

European Conservatives and Reformists-linked group Independent Ireland has seemingly also landed multiple councillors for the first time, although it is unclear whether the party has gained enough support to land any of the MEP seats it had been predicted to contend for.