Independents’ day? Rise and rise of smaller parties

Independents’ day? Rise and rise of smaller parties View Gallery
From left: Social Democrat candidate for Meath East Aisling O’Neill; Stephen Donnelly; Róisín Shortall; and Catherine Murphy, during the launch of the Social Democrats first manifesto document on O’Connell Street in Dublin Collins

The establishment political parties have to be constantly looking over their shoulders

For decades, Irish voters were in two-and-a-half channel land with Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and Labour. But the near wipe-out of Fianna Fáil in the last general election has opened up the political spectrum for more choices this time out.

There will be over 120 independent candidates, including 20 from the Independent Alliance, and there are new parties in the shape of Renua (22 candidates) and the Social Democrats (14 candidates). The Socialist...

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