Just three weeks after forming an historic coalition with Ian Paisley in Northern Ireland, Sinn Fein has suffered a demoralising electoral setback in the Irish Republic.Read the whole thing here.
Sinn Fein wanted to double its representation in Ireland's parliament, the Dail, putting it in government on both sides of the Irish border. Some polls had predicted that the party could win up to 15 seats, but it only managed to cling on to four of the five seats it held before polling day. The party narrowly escaped losing its only remaining seat....
Good news for Bertie, though:
[T]he Irish Prime Minister, Bertie Ahern, was the clear winner. His Fianna Fail party gained 78 seats, just six short of 84 - the figure needed to form a government in the 166-strong Dail.In other words, Sinn Fein is completely irrelevant to the Republic's political process. Not really surprising. Most of the Irish don't care that much about what goes on in Ulster and that's Sinn Fein's defining issue.