Sinn Féin: Right wing Fine Gael/Fianna Fail coalition would be terrible for the country

Pearse Doherty talks #GE16 as Coalition parties face a voter backlash and Sinn Féin is set for big gains

Sinn Féin: Right wing Fine Gael/Fianna Fail coalition would be terrible for the country

Niall Carson / PA

Sinn Féin finance spokesperson, Pearse Doherty has stated that all signs point towards the party having a "very good day" today as the results of yesterday's General Election are revealed.

Sinn Féin stands at 16%, up from 10%, making the party one of the big winners from yesterday's election according to exit polls.

"If the exit polls translate into what is actually going to happen when all the votes are counted - we will see a big increase in Sinn Féin's vote, an increase of up to 50% in Sinn Féin's vote," the politician told Newstalk.

Speaking from the Donegal count centre where Sinn Fein looks likely to secure two seats, Mr Doherty said there had been a "collapse in the Fine Gael vote" in the constituency.

He added that he believed that Sinn Féin has grown its support by delivering a message of "hope" and promising to deliver a "fair recovery."

The Newstalk Breakfast panel suggest that it is unlikely that a stable Government can be formed - and that a grand coalition of Fine Gael and Fianna Fail could be the only viable option - when this proposition was put to Mr Doherty he said that he believes that it would be a bad outcome:

"It would be terrible for the country, obviously, you've got a right-wing conservative Government. You have two parties, one who designed the austerity measures, the other one who implemented them with relish," he told Newstalk. 

Such a coalition could greatly enhance the position of Sinn Féin as the clear leader of the opposition, with a high chance of another General Election coming in the near future. 

An exit poll published this morning by RTE shows Fine Gael and Labour well short of a majority, in line with last night's exit poll published by the Irish Times.

The poll puts Fine Gael support at 24.8%, down from 36.1% from the 2011 election. The Labour Party receives 7.1%, compared to 19.5% in 2011.

That means support for the Coalition has dropped from 55.6% in 2011 to 31.9%.