Fine Gael byelection troubles: Shift in power

Fine Gael byelection troubles: Shift in power

Was it the nightmare before Christmas?

Not quite, but it is clear that the performance in the by-elections in Dublin, Cork, and Wexford has proved a Black Friday for Fine Gael and, in particular, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.

Fine Gael failed to secure any seats in the four by-elections, while the Green Party, Fianna Fáil, and Sinn Féin each made gains.

With Fianna Fail taking two seats and the Green Party another, there is a prospect that a viable alternative government may already be taking shape, ahead of next year’s general election.

FF leader Micheál Martin and Green Party leader Eamon Ryan served together in the 2007-2011 coalition government.

Fine Gael will still be able to pass its legislative programme in the Dáil under the confidence-and-supply arrangement with Fianna Fáil, but that deal is due to run out in the new year, with a March poll expected.

The fact that Fianna Fáil won two seats, while Fine Gael won none, shifts the balance of power in Leinster House.

More on this topic

Little support for Verona Murphy after ‘disastrous’ campaignLittle support for Verona Murphy after ‘disastrous’ campaign

Byelections 2019: ‘Strong TD now for a neglected constituency’in Cork North CentralByelections 2019: ‘Strong TD now for a neglected constituency’in Cork North Central

Elaine Loughlin: Are we in a new era of intolerant politics?Elaine Loughlin: Are we in a new era of intolerant politics?

Daniel McConnell: Byelections 2019 fallout sees Martin on the move with Varadkar stuck in reverseDaniel McConnell: Byelections 2019 fallout sees Martin on the move with Varadkar stuck in reverse