Election 2020 exit poll: FF 22%, FG 22%, SF 22% – three-way tie for share of vote
Hung Dáil almost certain when election votes counted. Leading parties may struggle to form a majority, setting the stage for difficult coalition talks.
Voters in Ireland returned no clear winner in Saturday’s election, exit polls indicated.
There was a three-way split, with incumbent Prime Minister Leo Varadkar’s Fine Gael party on 22.4 percent, Fianna Fáil on 22.3 percent, and Sinn Féin on 22.2 percent of first preference votes, according to an exit poll by Ipsos MRBI for Irish media organisations.
The result indicates the parties will struggle to form a majority, and may need a coalition of several parties to govern.
It also indicates a seismic shift in the Irish electorate. The traditionally dominant Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil are now rivaled by the left-wing nationalist Sinn Féin party, which has surged in support from 14 percent in the last election in 2016.
A series of smaller parties including Labour Party and the Green Party polled below 10 percent.
The poll was taken today at 250 locations across the State, among 5,376 respondents who had just voted. It has a margin of error of 1.3 per cent.
If these figures are reproduced when the votes are counted on Sunday, it means that the outcome of the election will depend entirely on the parties’ ability to turn their share of the vote into Dáil seats – with Sinn Féin likely to struggle to match Fianna Fáil’s and Fine Gael’s return in seats. A hung Dáil is virtually certain.
While seat projections from these figures should be treated with a high degree of caution at this stage, the results suggest that Fianna Fáil will vie with Fine Gael to be the largest party in the next Dáil but also that both will have too few seats to anchor a majority coalition on their own.
The possible make-up of the next government will not become clear until the seats are filled and negotiations get under way between the parties. However, those negotiations are unlikely to be straightforward, with pre-election pledges on coalition making any government arrangement difficult.