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Thanks for a very informative read Luis.  There appear to be some similarities with Ireland's political landscape perhaps caused by a somewhat similar electoral system (proportional representation within quite small constituencies) although Ireland uses a Single Transferable Vote rather than a list system in constituencies, which lends itself to a plethora on localist independent candidates without a clear national political agenda. There is also hardly any organised anti-EU vote in Ireland with the left/right divide centering around anti versus pro austerity economic policies.  

The outcome of Ireland's next general election (due by next Spring) is similarly uncertain with the Governing coalition unlikely to gain an overall majority and yet no clear and obvious opposition parties with which it could work.  This is, in some respects, surprising, given that Ireland's economy is again growing at 6%, unemployment is down from 15 to 9%, net emigration is slowing, and a tax rate reduction and spending increase budget is expected in the next few weeks.

The key issue which could lead to the Government's downfall is, surprisingly, a ham-fisted attempt to introduces charges for water services which would hardly raise an eyebrow in the rest of Europe.  But perhaps that issue is only a lightning rod for a general ennui at austerity Government and a desire for a change and some new faces.  Unfortunately the opposition aren't in a position to provide much of this: Fianna Fail, the main opposition party is led by Micheál Martin, a survivor of the Fianna Fail government of bank guarantee fame, and Sinn Fein is led by Gerry Adams, a survivor of the Troubles in N. Ireland.

So some sort of stale-mate is likely to emerge, and it will probably require a second election for a clear governing majority to emerge.

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Sep 28th, 2015 at 12:16:04 PM EST
Looking at the polls it seems to be the plethora that is increasing.
by fjallstrom on Tue Sep 29th, 2015 at 07:29:34 AM EST
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Yes, there is an "anybody but the established parties" feeling widespread, but it is unclear how these independents could contribute to the formation of a majority government. My guess is that we will have a Fine Gael led minority government after the next election which will have to go to the electorate again within a couple of years in the hope of securing a majority. The other possibility is that the independent vote will drift back to Fine Gael and the major parties once an election is called, because general elections are about forming a government, not the local issues on which most independents thrive. My other sense is that the 70-80% who have paid or intend to pay the new water charges will take a dim view of those who haven't (and the politicians who support non-payment) and form the basis of a new governing coalition.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Sep 29th, 2015 at 10:11:43 AM EST
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