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The Irish election 2007

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Sceala Irish Craic Forum Discussion:     The Irish election 2007

Today is the main voting day in the Irish general election for a new government. RTE reported that turnout was slow but steady, with the bulk of voters expected to turn out this evening after work.
The number of TDs to be elected to the 30th Dáil is 165, since the Ceann Comhairle, Dr Rory O'Hanlon, is automatically returned. There are 466 candidates standing for the positions in the Dail.
Fianna Fáil is fielding 106 candidates, followed by Fine Gael with 91 candidates. The Labour Party is running 50 candidates, while the Progressive Democrats are represented by 30 candidates. The Green Party is fielding candidates in all 43 constituencies. Sinn Féin has candidates in all but three constituencies. Some 104 other candidates are running. The Workers' Party, the Christian Solidarity Party and the Socialist Party are registered as political parties, and their candidates will be described as members of these parties on the ballot papers. However, candidates representing groupings such as the People Before Profit Alliance, the Fathers' Rights Responsibilities Group and the Immigration Control Platform will appear on ballot papers without their groups' names as these groups have either not been registered as political parties. There are also dozens of non-aligned or Independent candidates.
With weather conditions much better than polling day five years ago, all the parties are hoping for a bigger turnout that the 62% recorded in 2002.
Voting was said to be slow to steady in Dublin and the capital's commuter counties, though polling stations were busy as many cast their votes on their way to work. There was a similar picture in Wexford and in south Tipperary where officials said they had a busier morning than five years ago.
Leaders cast their votes
Taoiseach Bertie Ahern cast his vote shortly after 11am at a school on Richmond Road in Drumcondra. In Co Mayo, Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny and his wife Fionnuala cast their votes in the parochial centre in Castlebar at around 9.45am. Labour leader Pat Rabbitte, PD leader Michael McDowell and Green Party leader Trevor Sargent have also cast their votes.
Counting begins at 9am tomorrow morning but exit polls will shed some light on what is predicted to be the tightest election in years.
More than three million people in Ireland are entitled to vote for candidates in what will be the 30th Dáil, in one of the tightest General Election contests in history.
Irish Voters may be required to produce a driving licence or other form of identity at polling stations, but they will not be prevented from casting their ballot if they have not received a polling card. In addition, a bank or savings or credit union book containing address in the constituency; a cheque book; a cheque card; a credit card; a birth certificate, or a marriage certificate will be accepted, as long as the voter brings along a further document that establishes clearly that they live in the constituency.
Polling ends at 10.30pm tonight.

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