Early parliamentary elections will take place this Saturday 8 February in the Republic of Ireland with ALDE Party member party Fianna Fáil well placed to improve on its last election result. The poll is taking place just one week after the United Kingdom left the European Union and is being held on a Saturday for the first time since 1918.
Since launching its election campaign, the party has been out campaigning and outlining its plans for government as they look to build upon the 44 seats it won in the last election, the election of an MEP to the European Parliament and the recent by-election wins.
The Fianna Fail manifesto outlines how it will build an Ireland for all and will emphasise its commitment to fighting to tackle the crises in healthcare, of climate change, and the lack of affordable housing.
According to the most recent and final poll before the vote, released on Monday 3 February, Fianna Fáil stand at 23% of first preference votes nationwide and are the most popular choice for government, with more voters expressing a preference for a coalition government involving that party than any other. Sinn Féin, while atop the poll at 25%, is not standing candidates across all constituencies and is the party that the highest number of voters do not want to see in government. Fine Gael and current Teasioch Leo Varadkar are back in third place at 20%.
“Ireland has many strengths, but we also face many serious challenges,” party leader Micheál Martin TD wrote. “The biggest of these is to make sure that we have a country which serves all of its people. People are struggling to access our health services when they need them. Communities feel abandoned and believe that decency and fairness have been forgotten.”
“Fine Gael are still proud of their record and it wants five more years in power with the same plans and the same Ministers. Ireland has had nine years of over promising and under delivery. I want that to change after February 8th,” he continued.
“I believe our country needs a new government. A government that has the will and ability to deliver real progress on health, housing, crime and the cost of living.”
The 160 members of Dáil Éireann will be elected by single transferable vote (STV) from 39 constituencies, each returning between three and five TDs (Member of Parliament). This will be the first general election in Ireland which there is a female candidate running in every constituency.
ALDE Party Vice President Timmy Dooley TD is seeking re-election in his constituency of Clare.
Fianna Fáil also has two Members of the European Parliament, Barry Andrews and Billy Kelleher.