"Ireland in the balance" - International press gives mixed reaction to GE16

Many publications are pointing to voter anger and a possible hung Dáil

GE16, press, international press, coverage, CNBC, Reuters, Telegraph, Europe, election, Enda Kenny

Amalgamation of international headlines relating to the general election | Image: Jack Quann

Voting has closed in the general election, with more than 3.2 million people eligible to cast a ballot.

Newstalk has been providing analysis in the lead up to the election, and will be doing the same across the weekend.

But how is the outside world looking at this?

Financial broadcaster CNBC pulls no punches, with the headline "Ireland in the balance as it heads to the polls".

It also focuses on polls, suggesting the race is wide open.

"Economists believe that despite the strong economic recovery, public dissatisfaction with their politicians is high, meaning that the formation of a coalition government could be messy", it says.

Germany's Deutsche Welle suggests the election outcome "could leave Ireland ungovernable".

"Without another ready-made administration waiting in the wings - and with none of the three most popular parties willing to govern together - many could support the outgoing government not out of loyalty, but simply because it is the least-worst option", it says.

Bloomberg leads with "Ireland's Bond Market Darling Faces Election-Day Judgment".

"While Irish bonds were world-beaters during (Enda Kenny's) five years in office, opinion polls show the country could become the latest euro member to produce an inconclusive result and weeks of wrangling", it says.

But it also praises the Taoiseach, adding: "The achievements of Kenny, who declined to be interviewed, have been considerable".

"He's on track to be become the first leader of his party to win a second straight term, even if he has to scramble to form a so-called rainbow alliance with more than two parties, or a first-ever grand coalition with Fianna Fail", Bloomberg adds.

The Wall Street Journal says the election outcome is "likely to hit establishment parties", adding: "The likelihood is that Ireland's governing coalition of center-right Fine Gael and center-left Labour will lose its majority".

While the Financial Times headline reads: "Irish election set to be tightest for many years".

The salmon-coloured paper suggests "Ireland could face a period of political uncertainty similar to that in Spain, which is still without a government two months after its pre-Christmas general election".

Britain's Telegraph says voters are going to the polls "amid anger over austerity".

"There is anger over tax increases and cuts to services, with many voters pointing to increased homelessness and poverty and asking: 'what recovery?'", the paper says.

"Those expected to increase their numbers in Dail Eireann...are a group of independent politicians not affiliated to parties, new group the Anti Austerity Alliance/People Before Profit and left-wing republican party Sinn Fein", it adds.

The news agency service AFP headlines: "Austerity-weary Ireland votes in uncertain election", again focusing on indications that Mr Kenny "may struggle to form a majority for a second term due to a potential collapse in support for junior partners Labour".

And Reuters goes with "Irish economy frames voter debate as election kicks off".

"Framed by a debate over how to distribute the profits of an economic growth surge since the country took a sovereign bailout in 2010, the election is unlikely to produce a clear winner," it says.

"It could leave the two biggest parties facing a choice between teaming up in an unprecedented and potentially unstable alliance or casting the country into political limbo", Reuters adds.