If the RTE exit poll is to be believed the main government party is likely to stay in position, though it it depends on how badly marked the PDs are by Fine Gael’s modest progress, whether they will have to swap partners. Interestingly, Sinn Fein and the Greens are at the lower end of heir recent poll readings. There is an error margin of about 2% per cent on these figures.
Fianna Fáil is on 41.6% – marginally above what it won in the last election
Fine Gael is on 26.3%, almost 4% ahead of its 2002 result
Potential coalition partner Labour has slipped 1% from the last time, down to 9.9%
The PDs look to be in serious trouble, down to 2.6%, a 1 1/2% drop from 2002
The Greens are up 1%, but will be disappointed to be at just 4.8%
There appears to be no big breakthrough for Sinn Féin, also up just under 1% to 7.3%
Independents and others are down nearly 3% at 7.5%
As they further note:
Of course, the first preference vote does not give a cast-iron indication of how many seats will be won. Fianna Fáil got a huge seat bonus in the last election and the shape of the next Government may still be determined by transfers.