Video Duration 02 minutes 17 seconds

Ireland general election: Sinn Fein surges ahead

Early counting suggests left-wing party making big gains as voters heed message of health and housing.

Initial counting for Ireland‘s general election shows Sinn Fein surging to take 24.5 percent of the first-preference votes.

That has put the left-wing party just ahead of the centre-right parties, Fianna Fail and Fine Gael, who have dominated mainstream politics for nearly a century.

As counting continues it looks like no one party will win enough seats for an outright parliamentary majority.

Al Jazeera’s Paul Brennan reports from Dublin, Ireland