Dublin, Feb 11: Fianna Fail replaced Fine Gael to be Ireland's largest party by winning the largest number of parliamentary seats in the country's 2020 general election, according to the official results. Fianna Fail won a total of 38 seats in the 160-seat Dail, the lower house of the Irish parliament, followed by Sinn Fein (37 seats), Fine Gael (35 seats), Green Party (12 seats), Labour Party (6 seats), Social Democrats (6 seats) and Solidarity-People Before Profit (5 seats), the Irish national radio and television broadcaster RTE reported.
Though becoming the largest party now, Fianna Fail lost seven seats in the election compared with the 45 seats it held in the last Dail while Fine Gael lost 12 seats, making it now the third largest party in the Dail. The number of seats held by Sinn Fein and Green Party in the Dail witnessed a rapid increase. The number of Sinn Fein's seats in the Dail increased by 15 from 22 seats in the last Dail while Green Party replaced Labour Party to be the fourth largest party in the Dail with 12 seats, up four-folds from the past.
The situation in which the top three parties are closely tied in the number of their seats in the Dail will make the formation of the next government very difficult, said Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar. Analysts said that it could take weeks to see the new government formed. A total of 515 candidates, either fielded by different parties or running on their own, competed in 39 constituencies across the country in the general election held on Saturday. Over 3.4 million people were eligible to vote and the actual turnout was 62.9 percent, lower than that of the 2016 general election, according to official statistics released here. The term of the Dail shall not last more than five years, according to Irish laws. (UNI)