DUBLIN – Voting has begun in Ireland's national election, but only for fewer than 1,000 people on a few islands.
Leaders of the political parties are winding up their campaigns Wednesday, two days before most people have a chance to vote.
Wednesday's balloting was limited to the islands of Arranmore, Gola, Inishboffin, Inishfree, Tory Island, Clare Island, Inishbiggle and Inishturk. In all, 954 people on the islands are eligible to vote.
The early voting takes place to be sure that rough weather won't prevent the ballot boxes from getting to the counting center this weekend.
The latest opinion polls show the opposition Fine Gael party with a strong lead, but it's unclear whether the party has enough support to win an outright majority.