‘People voted for change’: readers on the Irish election result

We asked those in Ireland to tell us what they think about the election result. Heres what some of you said

People voted for change

Voted Sinn Fin

After nearly a century of two-party centre ground politics people voted for change. Past coalition failures wiped out the Labour party, leaving only Sinn Fin as a left-wing alternative. In essence people want affordable housing and a better health service. Sinn Fin have been front and centre with these policies, which has led to their success. After long negotiations I expect an uneasy coalition will be formed between SF and FF. I dont expect this arrangement to last and another election will be called within 12 months. I think SF will increase their seats next time round and be in a much stronger position to form a stable government. Ivor OSullivan, medical representative, County Meath

A big two fingers to the two centre right parties

Voted Social Democrats

Its a big two fingers to the two centre right parties who have dominated Irish politics for a long time. This election reflects a desperation on the part of the electorate for a left leaning government who value the people over corporate entities. The result is comparable to the US voting for Trump and therefore is a populist vote, however because SF will need to go into coalition with another political party it means that some of their left leaning policies, which scare many, in theory should be kept in check. It will be an interesting few days/weeks of negotiations. If the parties cannot agree I predict another general election in the next few weeks. Mark OLeary, 43, IT security engineer, Cork

A historic day

Voted Solidarity

Im delighted. Sinn Fin had my second preference vote, and Im so glad to see a left-wing party do so well in Ireland. Im hopeful that we can get a left-wing government without Fianna Fil or Fine Gael, but I doubt that will happen until the next election. Still, its a historic day for Dublin. I think theres a chance that Sinn Fin could form a government with every small left-wing party in Ireland, although its unlikely this time around because of numbers. My guess is that Fianna Fil and Fine Gael will go into government together and that will lead to their mutually assured destruction. Martha Mary McKinney-Perry, 18, student, Dublin

I am doubtful about the depth of Sinn Fins commitment to democracy

Voted Fianna Fil

While I would be pleased with a genuine leftward electoral shift, I am doubtful about the depth of Sinn Fins commitment to democracy. I am old enough to be very aware of how their history has been since 1970. I also distrust sudden shifts in public opinion that seem more fashionable than considered. I think Sinn Fin will end up being in government with Fianna Fil, the Greens and the Social Democrats possibly Labour. Paddy Bushe, poet, 71, Waterville

Seeing a more left-leaning party gain some ground is a welcome sight

Voted Labour

Im glad to see the Fine Gael tide receding. If only it hadnt been replaced with a Fianna Fil wave instead. I wouldnt vote for Sinn Fin because of those populating the party, but seeing a more left-leaning party gain some ground is a welcome sight. Not that change is the done thing around here. Fianna Fil have been trying to build themselves as the paragons and arbiters of virtue these past years so it will interesting to see whether they join up with FG whom they have criticised for years, or SF. I see an FF+SF coalition as most likely as I think Fine Gael have had a long enough run for the other parties tastes. Ben, 20, student, Wexford

Really conflicted

Voted Green

I feel really conflicted. Im delighted to see both FF & FG plummeting and to see a definite swing to the left but not comfortable that the swing has been to Sinn Fin. I would have preferred it to have been a Green/ Social Democrats/ Labour breakthrough. I think SF+FF coalition with another smaller party or two is the most likely outcome. Interesting times ahead. This is Senior Hurling now lads! Ellen, 47, bioscientist, Dublin

High housing costs and higher rents have caused the perfect storm

Voted Fine Gael

It was only a matter of time before Ireland succumbed to the worldwide phenomenon of populism. People are working very hard to pay their bills and educate their children with very little left at months end. Years of austerity, post crash, have not been reversed for many in the private sector who are not feeling any benefits of Irelands economic success. High housing costs and higher rents have caused the perfect storm. It should be remembered that over 75% of the electorate did not vote Sinn Fin as their first preference. The electorate has moved from the center right firmly to the left. Young voters, who have limited memories of the troubles in particular have moved to SF. Knowing how the left operates in Ireland, it will have a shorter shelf life than a loaf of the bread they will have us all eating. Colm O Connor, 50, financial services executive, Dublin

This sea change is from younger voters who want a fairer Ireland

Voted Green

I am glad that there is change. Fianna Fil and Fine Gael do not work for people who are renting, those on the average industrial wage, the children who live in poverty, and those who are homeless. They have been in power for over 10 years and little progress has been made on these issues. This sea change, is from younger voters, who want a fairer Ireland. I hope that Sinn Feins election will herald an era of a more equal Ireland, in which every child gets a chance, every cancer patient gets free treatment and carbon is dealt with! I hope that a government with strong left wing and green priorities will be formed and effective policies on public housing will be implemented. Emer Nagle, 39, architect, Cork

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/feb/11/people-voted-for-change-readers-on-the-irish-election-result

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