Irish politics has long been dominated by two centre-right parties: Fine Gael, the party of current Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, and Fianna Fail. 

But that appears to be changing as opinion polls suggest Sinn Fein - more associated with Northern Ireland as the former political wing of the IRA paramilitary group - is now the most popular party.

Fine Gael is in third place, meaning a third successive term may be out of reach for Varadkar, who has gained plaudits abroad for campaigning for a Brexit deal that is favourable to Ireland but enjoys less popularity at home. 

Saturday's general election could produce a Parliament where neither of the main parties have a majority, opening the door to Sinn Fein playing a major role in any future government.

Presenter: Adrian Finighan


Eoin O'Malley - Associate professor of political science at Dublin City University's School of Law and Government

Deaglan de Breadun - Political columnist and author of Power Play: The Rise of Modern Sinn Fein

Connal Parr - Lecturer at Northumbria University and an expert in Irish affairs

Source: Al Jazeera News