February 11, 2020 / 12:09 AM / 9 days ago

Ireland's Fianna Fail edge out Sinn Fein on election seat count

Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin celebrates after the announcement of voting results, at a count centre during Ireland's national election, in Cork, Ireland, February 9, 2020. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Ireland’s main opposition party Fianna Fail edged out surging nationalists Sinn Fein by 38 seats to 37 to emerge as the biggest party in the country’s 160-seat parliament after counting in a national election concluded on Monday.

Sinn Fein’s low number of candidates meant it could not capitalize on winning the popular vote but for the first time it overtook Prime Minister Leo Varadkar’s Fine Gael, which fell to 35 seats in the highly fractured parliament.

A combination of two of the three big parties would require the support of other lawmakers or smaller parties to form a government. The Greens were next up with 12 seats, followed by the center-left Labour and Social Democrats on six seats each.

Reporting by Padraic Halpin; Editing by Kim Coghill

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