Gerry Adams has good reason to be smiling.
The leader of Ireland’s left-wing nationalist Sinn Fein Party has won his seat in parliament — as counting begins in national elections held Friday.
That means Sinn Fein, which polled at about 16 percent, could potentially become the main opposition party.
“The Sinn Fein party, the independents and the other parties of the left have done really, really well now. It takes time to make change and we have to keep working on it.”
The vote effectively ousted Ireland’s ruling coalition even as the country enjoys Europe’s fastest economic growth.
But many voters are angry over years of austerity measures and an uneven economic recovery they say isn’t reaching the poor.
Labor member Jed Nash was waiting to see if he, too, would retain his seat in parliament — or ”Dail’.
Calling this a difficult weekend for Labor, he said, is an understatement.
“We have acknowledged that the economic recovery that we are experiencing isn’t reaching every kitchen table in Ireland yet.”
Final winners may not be decided until early next week.
But voters have already sent a clear message, making their government the latest victim of a growing antipathy among European voters to mainstream politics.
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