Sinn Fein polls surge on Irish unification pledge

Credit: Reuters - Politics
Published on February 4, 2020 - Duration: 01:10s

Sinn Fein polls surge on Irish unification pledge

Irish nationalists Sinn Fein have surged to the top of an opinion poll five days ahead of an election that looks set to be a major breakthrough for the former political wing of the Irish Republican Army.

Francesca Lynagh reports.

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Sinn Fein polls surge on Irish unification pledge

The Irish nationalist party Sinn Fein has surged to the top of an opinion poll in what could be a major breakthrough for the former political wing of the IRA - just five days ahead of Ireland's election - on a platform calling for a referendum on uniting the island.

Support for left-wing Sinn Fein came out at 25%, ahead of both center-right Fianna Fail, and Leo Varadkar's governing party Fine Gael.

Both parties have flat-out refused to govern with Sinn Fein because of their IRA links and opposing economic policies.

Ultimately, Sinn Fein - headed up by Mary Lou McDonald - has rejected the idea of entering into a coalition government without a commitment to immediately start planning for the unification referendum - a vote it would push to be held within five years.

But analysts say Sinn Fein is unlikely to emerge as the largest party.

It simply doesn't have enough candidates running, they say.

To have a shot, it would need to get nearly all of its 42 candidates elected to the 160-seat chamber.

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