Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen looks set to bear the brunt of public anger in the European and local elections underway in Ireland. Many accuse the ruling Fianna Fail of failing to protect the country from the global recession.
The pan-European Libertas party, led by Declan Ganley, is expected to perform poorly too, winning none of the 12 Irish seats in the European Parliament, a recent opinion poll said.
Libertas sprang up in Ireland to campaign against the Lisbon Treaty, which the Irish then rejected in a referendum last year. Ireland is planning a second referendum on the EU’s new reform treaty this autumn. Without all 27 member states’ approval, it cannot take effect.
The opposition Fine Gael party is expected to be the main beneficiary of today’s voting. Turnout of Ireland’s some three million voters had been forecast to be among the highest of any EU country.