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Thursday 7 December 2023 Dublin: 9°C
international reaction

"Foes must become allies": Here's how the world has been reporting on our election

Most are agreed that it’s time for Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael to set aside a century of civil-war politics and form a government together.

THE IRISH GENERAL election isn’t just news here – it’s also making headlines across the world.

Here’s what they’ve been saying.

The New York Times

ny times headline

This rather staid headline tops this NY Times’ article on how things have been going this weekend.

Things look a bit livelier in its summing up of the early tallies:

ny times 2 NY Times NY Times

They picked up on the talk of an earthquake:

Political analysts believe the most likely result will be a hung Parliament, in which no single party has enough seats to take power. It is little surprise then that “earthquake” is the word used most on social media to describe the results so far.

wash post Washington Post Washington Post

Over in the Washington Post, they had this to say:

“… a comprehensive exit poll and partial official results from Friday’s election suggest that the governing Fine Gael of Prime Minister Enda Kenny and the main opposition Fianna Fail offer the most obvious combination to create a stable new government.”

We do like their ‘foes must become allies’ line.

guardian headline Guardian Guardian

In The Guardian, they again brought up the idea of Fianna Fail and Fine Gael being enemies:

Senior sources in Fianna Fáil, which expects to double its representation from 21 TDs in the last parliament to around 41 this time, said they would resist pressure to force them into government with their old Irish civil war enemies Fine Gael.

telegraph The Telegraph The Telegraph

The Telegraph leads with the suggestion that Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael will avoid a so-called grand coalition to prevent Sinn Féin from becoming the main party in opposition.
“The parties could form a grand coalition to govern Ireland, but are held back by old enmities that date back to Ireland’s civil war and the prospect that such a move would allow Gerry Adams’s Sinn Fein to foment left-right split in Irish politics.”
“We’re not going to play hind tit to Fine Gael,” said Rory Scanlan, a Fianna Fail member from Dublin in his 60s told Reuters, using a pig-farming analogy to explain how unappealing it would be for his party to enter a coalition as a minority partner.

Sky News for its part sent this slightly perplexing tweet early on Sunday evening.

Perplexing as Enda Kenny hadn’t made an appearance anywhere on Sunday.
Ireland’s Prime Minister has vowed to remain in office despite the coalition government suffering huge losses in the general election,” the article proper said.
Enda Kenny said his Fine Gael party would seek new allies with the sole aim of creating “as stable a government” as possible.
With several coalition combinations on the table, Mr Kenny refused to be drawn on the prospect of a pact with traditional adversaries Fianna Fail.

el mundo El Mundo El Mundo

Spain is a country that has been repeatedly brought up over the last days due to its own political strife and the period of political chaos that Ireland seems to be heading for.
The Spanish paper El Mundo sees the election result as a punishment for a pro-austerity government.
“Fine Gael would have achieved a Pyrrhic victory according to the exit polls,” the paper says.

The parallels with the situation in Spain are obvious: analysts foresee a “ungovernable” situation unless the two major parties bury their historical grudges in order to seal a “grand coalition”.

But the ‘Taoiseach’ Enda Kenny and opposition leader Micheál Martin have spent the election campaign denying that option.

le monde Le Monde Le Monde

France’s Le Monde keeps things simple.
“The outgoing government of Enda Kenny is in serious trouble,” it says. Hard to argue with that.
Will Ireland end up with a Spanish scenario, unable to form a government? The formation of a coalition will be something of a puzzle.
Exit polls give Fine Gael (centre-right), the party of the current Prime Minister Enda Kenny, 26% of votes. This is a drop of ten points from its 2011 parliamentary victory  - too narrow a margin to form a majority in Parliament.


austalian The Australian The Australian

The Australian’s headline is a simple one: “Ireland Election – voters maul major parties”.

“Ireland’s ruling coalition has been ousted by voters angry at the country’s uneven recovery, leaving Prime Minister Enda Kenny facing the prospect of trying to secure a deal with his biggest rival,” it says.

His government appeared to be the latest victim of European voters’ growing antipathy to mainstream politics, hit by a backlash against years of austerity and a perception that Ireland’s poor are not benefiting from the fastest economic growth in Europe.
With prospects for a new ­coalition government in deep disarray, weeks of protracted negotiations are on the cards after Mr Kenny ruled out resigning or re-running the poll.
Additional reporting Aoife Barry

Read: THE WINNERS: Here are all the TDs who have been elected so far

Read: THE LOSERS: The TDs we’re saying goodbye to after they lost their seats

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