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Irish local elections: Sinn Fein disappointed as counting continues

Irish local elections: Sinn Fein disappointed as counting continues

Sinn Fein has said it is disappointed in its party's performance in the Republic of Ireland's local elections as counting continues.More than two thirds of council seats have been filled across the Republic. Results so far have seen a surge in support for the Green Party.With almost all first round counting completed on Sunday evening, the Greens had secured 5.7% of the vote, up from 1.6% five years ago.The partial results still put the Greens behind the governing party Fine Gael, and main opposition parties Fianna Fail and Sinn Fein.
The results so far show Fianna Fail on 26.9% with Fine Gael on 24.8% and Sinn Fein on 9.6%.
European elections
Early election results in the European elections were announced on Sunday night. Green Party candidate Ciaran Cuffe topped the poll in Dublin, receiving 63,849 first preference votes. Former SDLP leader Mark Durkan, who stood as a Fine Gael candidate in the same constituency, received 16,473 first round votes.Results from other constituencies are expected throughout the night.
Mark Durkan fell well short of the quota after the counting of first preference votes
Analysis
By Shane Harrison, BBC News NI Ireland correspondentThe Sinn Fein vote is down all over the Republic of Ireland.It will no longer be the biggest party in Dublin, with several leaders saying the party is now the victim of the Green surge in support.Senior figures admit the local elections haven't gone as well as they had hoped, with leader Mary Lou McDonald saying the party will now have to dust itself down and continue to fight for the causes it believes in.Fianna Fail, the main opposition party, is set to remain the biggest party on a local government level and is on course to be the biggest party in Dublin.
Sinn Fein TD (member of the Irish parliament) Pearse Doherty said it was clear the party were "going to lose some very valuable councillors".He added that "the wind is against us" and that the party would have to look at why certain areas did not come out to vote for Sinn Fein.Tanaiste (Irish deputy prime minister) Simon Coveney said his Fine Gael party would have liked to have made bigger gains but that he did not think "anyone anticipated the scale of the growth in support for the Green Party".In a referendum also held on Friday, people in the Republic of Ireland voted to liberalise divorce laws.
Irish President Michael D Higgins and wife Sabina were among thousands of Irish voters who cast ballots on Friday
Meanwhile, Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister) Leo Varadkar said he was open to the possibility of an early general election. He told Irish state broadcaster RTE "there were a number of factors in play" on whether or not this would happen. "Obviously the instability across the water in relation to Brexit, we have to bear that in mind, and also whether we can get the votes to get a budget through."
Sinn Fein
Republic of Ireland
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