In a tight electoral race, there has been some last minute good news for the Irish Prime Minister. Two days before a parliamentary ballot, an opinion poll shows a jump in support for Bertie Ahern and his Fianna Fail party. Results in one major paper show support for Fianna Fail has gone up five points, to 41 percent, over the past 10 days.
Ahern is hoping a thriving economy and peace in Northern Ireland will help him win a third term. His main rival is Enda Kenny of the Fine Gael party, which has aligned itself with the Labour party to try to unseat Ahern. The opposition claim Fianna Fail and its junior coalition partner, the Progressive Democrats, have neglected basic state services. Both sides of the political spectrum still refuse to talk about linking up with Gerry Adams’ Sinn Fein because it is seen as the political ally of the IRA.
However, observers say if the results after Thursday’s polls are close, things could change as the main alliances look to extra parties for support.