Byelection results show Government is out of touch – Sinn Féin

Byelection results show Government is out of touch – Sinn Féin

The country's byelection results showed that the Government is “out of touch”, Sinn Fein’s leader claimed.

Fine Gael suffered a blow after failing to win any seats in four contests which could provide clues before the whole country goes to the polls next year.

Fine Gael’s tight margin for passing laws with the support of a coalition of independents will shrink further following the results of Friday’s vote in parts of Dublin and the south.

Contests were ordered to fill vacancies left by parliamentarians elected to the European Parliament in May.

Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald said: “The vote was a clear rejection of the government’s housing and health policies and a vote for Sinn Féin’s proposals for the biggest public housing programme in decades, investment in public services and for planning for Irish unity.

“The result is significant for a number of reasons – it exposed a totally out of touch government which is failing to deliver for workers and families and a growing impatience among the people at a government wasting the economic growth of recent years.”

Fine Gael leader and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar faces a general election for the Dáil parliament next spring while grappling with the ongoing impact of Brexit on his country’s economy (Niall Carson/PA).
Fine Gael leader and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar faces a general election for the Dáil parliament next spring while grappling with the ongoing impact of Brexit on his country’s economy (Niall Carson/PA).

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar faces a general election for the Dáil parliament next spring while grappling with the ongoing impact of Brexit on his country’s economy.

He governs with the support of a number of independent members in the Dáil.

While the economy is relatively buoyant, Mr Varadkar is facing fierce criticism from rivals Fianna Fáil and left-wing opponents over issues like homelessness.

A vote of no confidence in his housing minister tabled by his political opponents is due to be held next week.

Mr Varadkar’s main political opponents Fianna Fáil have agreed a confidence-and-supply arrangement where they will not support a motion of no confidence in the Government or veto financial measures like budgets.

Byelections were held this week in four constituencies.

Fianna Fáil won two seats in Cork North Central and Wexford, while the Green Party won a seat in the Dublin-Fingal byelection and Sinn Féin took the Dublin Mid-West seat.

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