It looks like the more fiscally conservative of the Irish political parties, Fine Gael, will form the next Irish government.  Fine Gael seems to have over 36% of the vote in the just held Irish elections. The current government party, Fianna Fáil, who presided over the Irish bailout by the EU came in fourth with just 15% of the vote. Historically the Fine Gael party has governed with the Labour Party which came in second in Saturday’s vote with about 20.5% of the vote.  The leftist Greens received only 2.7% , the Sinn Féin’s total was 10.1%, Independent candidates received over 15% of the vote and could possibly allow Fine Gael to govern without the support of the Labour Party. Fine Gael sits in the European Parliment with the center-right European People’s Party.

Fine Gael has always portrayed itself as the party of fiscal prudence and minimal government interference in the economy and has advocated generally pro free enterprise policies.  It favors privatization of state assets and non-essential services including the sale of state owned electricity generation services.

It’s social policies however aren’t very conservative-noun and after a November 1995 referundum on legalizing divorce in this Catholic of Catholic nations, a Fine Gael government legalised divorce in Ireland in 1966.  The party has recently pledged its support for civil unions in Ireland, though it opposes same sex marriage. Also, party policy is to promote universal publicly regulated health insurance system that would replace the current two tier, private and government health care system.

All in all another slight shift to the right in Europe.