As Ireland’s general election enters its traditional news black-out period, ahead of tomorrow’s vote, Prime Minister Bertie Ahern is looking likely to return to a third term. But it has been an extremely tight race. And it’s not thought his junior coalition partner will survive.
Forging a new coalition will not be easy. With Sinn Fein still a risky choice the bookies money is on a political partnership with Labour. But they are allied to opposition front-runner Enda Kenny.
Bookmaker Paddy Power says: “At the moment it looks like Bertie Ahern might just get back in. I suppose public opinion has swung towards him in the last few days and the betting, as well, indicates that he is back as favourite. But you know only three days ago Enda Kenny was favourite. This is the closest run thing for 20-30 years maybe, so it is really exciting.”
Ahern’s campaign got off to a shaky start with accusations about his personal finances. But if re-elected Fianna Fail will certainly be profiting from Ahern’s statesman-like brokering of peace in Northern Ireland.