Mary Lou McDonald will reach out to Greens and others but Fianna Fáil pact also possible
Sinn Féin has started reaching out to other parties to try to form a coalition government after final election results confirmed its stunning breakthrough in Ireland’s general election.
Its leader, Mary Lou McDonald, is to start talks with the Greens and smaller leftwing parties in the coming days to explore a leftwing rainbow alliance, though parliamentary arithmetic means this is unlikely.
Sinn Féin took 37 seats in the 160-seat Dáil Éireann after winning 24.5% of the first-preference vote in Saturday’s election, almost doubling its share from 2016 after harnessing voter anger at homelessness, soaring rents and fraying public services.
Fianna Fáil, which fielded more candidates, emerged with the most seats after counting was completed early on Tuesday morning. Micheál Martin’s party finished with 38 seats but because the Fianna Fáil speaker was re-elected without contest, both parties are in effect on the same number.
If McDonald fails to create a coalition from an array of small parties and independent TDs (MPs) focus will turn to a possible pact between Sinn Féin and Fianna Fáil.