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The exception of Ireland without the far right – Euractiv FR

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When Irish voters go to the polls on June 7 to vote in European and regional elections, neither the administration nor the opposition have a clear lead following the emergence of independent candidates, all of which will depend on burning issues such as fighting. Migration or housing, if they become central themes of the campaign.

Election turnout in Ireland is expected to be higher than in 2019 due to the emergence of high profile candidates and highly contested local and municipal elections being held on the same day, making it difficult to predict the exact outcome.

However, according to former Irish Environment Minister Dick Roche, the main political parties “The 'defeat' predicted by many commentators can be avoided.”

The three largest parties in the Irish Parliament, Fianna Fáil (Renew) and Fine Gael (PPE), as well as the opposition Sinn Féin (GUE/NGL), are certain to win at least three of Ireland's 14 seats. In the European Parliament. According to the latest survey, two of these three parties are in a good position to win the fourth seat.

Among the parties in the government coalition, which includes Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Greens, Latest opinion poll Since Simon Harris became Ireland's youngest ever Taoiseach in April, support for his Fine Gael party has grown significantly and is now tied with Sinn Féin.

Fianna Fáil is performing better than expected, although it is well below its historical score in previous elections.

But things are not promising for the Green Party, the third member of the government coalition. He may even lose his two seats in the European Parliament. Indeed, the party has not only lost voters in the Dublin constituency, but also in the Southern Ireland constituency, where farmers, although less vocal than their continental counterparts, have been decrying Brussels' environmental policies.

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Dissatisfaction with the ruling parties culminated in the failure of a recent referendum, which proposed rewriting constitutional clauses on family roles and women's duties at home. However, Irish people are also unhappy with the way the governing parties are dealing with high levels of immigration, housing shortages and limited public services. The Irish Times with Ipsos B&A SnapshotWorries them more.

However “Ireland is a pro-immigrant nation […] “Mismanagement of the difficulties facing Ireland means sympathy for immigrants is rapidly fading”Reports on the matter regularly make headlines, according to Mr Roche.

Now, however, no “No Coherent Response to Immigration”Roche added that whoever can convince voters he can deal with high levels of immigration can win this year's bipartisan election.

A close race

Although polls since 2020 have consistently shown Sinn Féin in a strong position and coming out on top in European elections, recent polls have shown a decline in voter interest, with the party now neck-and-neck with Mr Harris's Fine Gael. .

“Sinfein's collapse will have a significant impact on votes”Mr Roche declared that the party was unlikely to do well in European elections, except in next year's general election.

At the same time, “Independent and others” have gained position in recent weeks. “It is clear that disaffected voters who turned to Sinn Féin are now looking elsewhere”Mr. Roche analyzed.

A recent survey, Published on May 10, even putting them ahead of all other parties. Although a very diverse and fragmented group, the way the Irish electoral system works means that this group's combined support does not translate into seats in the European Parliament.

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How the votes are distributed among the candidates will determine who gets the rest after the main parties win nine or 10 seats in the European Parliament, which is hard to predict now.

No rise of the far right

Ireland will be an exception on the European scene, as no far-right MEPs sit in parliament.

While the ruling party Fine Gael is part of the European People's Party (EPP) and Fianna Fáil is part of Renew Europe, the other parties, including the main opposition Sinn Féin, are all to the left of the party.

But “The campaign has just begun”And “A lot can change between now and Election Day.”, according to Mr. Roche. It seems like “Whatever the outcome on June 7, the outcome of the general elections likely to be held before the end of the year is still highly uncertain.”

[Édité par Anna Martino]

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