General Election 2016

On the day of the general election, it seems logical to write a quick note about the current situation. Rather than explicitly outline my personal political beliefs, I want to briefly note what I see as the huge hope that exists in the country today. Having being ravaged by numerous austerity budgets and in the context of a huge upsurge in voter registration for the marriage referendum, it seems that there is a real potential for change.  For this election, the number of young people registered to vote has significantly increased, with one survey claiming 84% of young people will vote tomorrow. The previous Fine Gael/ Labour coalition will face a number of hurdles if they are to be re-elected. The ‘other’ alternative, Fianna Fail, has increased in favour, but again, this support is not as clear cut as it once was.  Ireland is no longer a ‘two-party’ country.  Sinn Féin, Anti-Austerity Alliance/ People Before Profit, Social Democrats and a number of Independents have seen significant increases in support.  Even if the same government is re-elected, this election has shown a widespread increase  in awareness of political events in Ireland and I think that regardless of the outcome, this should be celebrated.  As I leave it, Enda Kenny has once again declaring yesterday that he and his party would not get into a coalition government with Fianna Fáil, with these two parties leading current opinion polls, Ireland is in an interesting position on the eve of #GE2016.

Rachel.

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