Voting Pact

Today's election was the first examination of the FG/ Labour transfer pact which is expected to continue into the General election when those two parties hope to form a government together. It's difficult to extrapolate how this pact worked in practice from results in Meath since both Sinn Féin and Labour were eliminated on the same count. Also in Kildare North FG may not have benefited from Labour transfers in the numbers they might otherwise have expected since the independent candidate was in fact a former member of the Democratic Left and the Labour Party.

The true test of this alliance will come at the next general election. However with Sinn Féin share of the vote continuing to rise in the 26 counties continues, SF seem well placed to at least double their number of Dáil seats. Both the Green party and the PD's seem to be going backwards based on last year's results and both may have an insignificant number of TD's. This could leave the interesting situation where Fianna Fáil may have no possible viable coalition powers if the PD's slump and Labour tie themselves to Fine Gael. Sinn Féin will most likely hold the balance of power and in that situation we could be seeing a very different atitude from Bertie Ahern.

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