Exit poll predicts ‘tie’ between three main parties in Ireland

A dog waits for its owner outside a polling station during general elections in Dublin, Ireland, 08 February 2020. EPA-EFE/AIDAN CRAWLEY

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The three main political parties have tied in first preference votes, according to an exit poll for the Republic of Ireland’s general election.

The earliest indications from the poll suggest there is little difference between Fine Gael, Sinn Féin and Fianna Fáil.

Polling closed in the general election at 22:00 GMT.

Counting to elect the 33rd Dáil (Irish parliament) will begin on Sunday in all 39 constituencies.

The poll was commissioned jointly by RTÉ, The Irish Times, TG4 and UCD and included sampling of 5,000 respondents at 250 polling stations.

RTÉ says voting appears to have been “solid”.

However, there is no expectation of a spike in voting compared to 2016 despite it being the first ever Saturday general election vote.

Factors that may have affected turnout include the poor weather and international rugby.

The exit poll indicates that Fine Gael secured 22.4% of first preference votes, closely followed by Sinn Féin (22.3%) and Fianna Fáil (22.2%).

It also suggests the Green Party secured 7.9% of first preference votes, followed by Labour (4.6%), Social Democrats (3.4%), Solidarity People Before Profit (2.8%).

Indications are that Independents took 11.2% of first preference votes.

Read more via BBC/RTE News/The Irish Times

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