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Final Irish election results leave nation in political limbo

Published:Friday | March 4, 2016 | 12:02 AM
Rival election posters for Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny and Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin adorn a lamp post in Dublin, Ireland.


The final results from Ireland's election a week ago have been declared following an overnight recount of disputed ballots in the Irish midlands.

Politicians from the two outgoing government parties, Fine Gael and Labour, won the last two parliamentary seats in the Longford-Westmeath constituency.

Yesterday's results mean the centrist Fine Gael remains the largest party in Ireland's 158-seat parliament with 50 seats, down 26 seats from the 2011 election. The second-largest party, Fianna Fail, more than doubled its seats to 44, while left-wing Labour retained seven seats, a 30-seat loss.

Ireland now faces weeks of inter-party negotiations to see whether Fine Gael's leader, Prime Minister Enda Kenny, can forge a new coalition. The country's two main parties, Fine Gael and Fianna Fail, never have shared power.