DUBLIN, Ireland — Prime Minister Charles Haughey appeared to fall short in his fifth attempt to achieve a majority for his party in parliamentary elections, state television said today.
The real surprises were the surge of the left, with gains for the Labor Party and the Workers Party, and the collapse of the center-right Progressive Democratic party, the electoral partner of Fine Gael.
Computer projections for the RTE network indicated that in Thursday's election Haughey's Fianna Fail party won no more than 77 seats, a loss of three from its position when the Dail (Parliament) was dissolved in May.
Ballot boxes were opened Friday morning, and by early today 122 seats had been decided: Fianna Fail 55, Fine Gael 38, Labor Party 12, Progressive Democrats 4, Workers Party 7, Democratic Socialist 1, Green Party 1, independent and others 4.
Roger Garland, the Green Party winner, was the first of his party to win a seat in the Dail.
If Haughey forms a coalition, it would be the first time since 1969 that an Irish government won a second term.