Irish PM's pro-EU party ahead in European vote, polls suggest
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Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar's staunchly pro-EU Fine Gael party appears to be in the lead in European elections, according to an exit poll on Friday, after a campaign dominated by concerns about Brexit.
Centre-right Fine Gael candidates were ahead in two of Ireland's three constituencies, with the Greens coming first in Dublin, the poll of around 3,000 voters conducted by TV channels RTE and TG4 in Dublin suggested.
The Irish press are speculating that the Green Party may not have fielded enough candidates to take full advantage of their support according to polls, in what the media are referring to as a ‘Green wave’ across the country as counting gets underway.
Ireland: RED C exit poll shows a Green wave on the green island. The Green Party (Greens/EFA) performed much better than all opinion polls predicted, becoming the largest party in the capital Dublin. Best election result in party's history. #EP2019 #EUelections2019 pic.twitter.com/cZmaqSAKHSEurope Elects (@EuropeElects) May 24, 2019
In the South constituency, Fine Gael was on 16 percent, while the other main centre-right party Fianna Fail and centre-left Sinn Fein were on 13 percent.
In the Midlands-North-West, Fine Gael was on 25 followed by Sinn Fein on 15 and the Greens on 12.
In Dublin, the Greens were on 23 followed by Fine Gael on 14 and Fianna Fail on 12.
Irish PM warns on 'dangerous' Brexit
As he cast his vote in Dublin earlier on Friday, Varadkar warned that Brexit was entering a "very dangerous" phase following the resignation of Prime Minister Theresa May as a more hardline politician could replace her.
"But whatever happens, we're going to hold our nerve.
"We're going to continue to build and strengthen and deepen our alliances across the European Union and we'll make sure that we see Ireland through this," he said.
EU28: How would the EU Parliament look like based on what polls and exit polls say? We already updated our projection with the exit poll for Ireland. Greens/EFA has overtaken the national-conservative ECR Group. #EP2019 #Europawahl2019Europe Elects (@EuropeElects) May 24, 2019
Live projection: pic.twitter.com/SX4mMW3MlL
(FRANCE 24 with AFP)