Europe finds the Celtic tiger has a sting in its tail

The election results have suddenly revealed voters’ lack of faith in the government.

Elections aren’t what they used to be. The people of Ireland cast their votes in a late February general election, and when the counting was over, European democracy had produced yet another non-result.

It is far from clear whether a viable coalition can be stitched together to form a government. At the same time, there is no clear reason to go to the polls again.

Ireland’s dead-end election comes on the heels of a similar outcome in Spain, where the first tentative effort at a coalition failed by an embarrassingly huge margin when put to parliamentary vote. Describing the Irish vote as a tie would not quite be correct. The two mainstream parties of the past century, Fianna Fail and Fine Gael, once again won the most support. But for the first time ever, their combined share of the vote fell below 50%. Less than a decade ago it was 69% and higher still in the past. 

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