Ireland’s governing party is heading towards its worst electoral perfomance on record according to exit polls.
The distrastrous showing in council and European elections for Fianna Fail means Prime Minister Brian Cowen could also be in trouble politically. Fianna Fail has dominated Irish politics for 70 years – but the government’s handling of the banking and fiscal crises has pushed Ireleand into its worst recession and the voters are not happy. Exit polls for the council elections put opposition party Fine Gael ahead on 34 per cent, Fianna Fail on 24 per cent and 17 per cent for Labour. Fianna Fail has captured only 23 per cent in the European elections according to exit polls. The knives may now be out for Prime Minister Cowen, but only after a second referendum on the European Union’s reform treaty later this year.