How to win a Seanad seat (hint: it’s all about who you know…)

If anyone needed a reason to reform the Seanad the inscrutable series of panel elections this week by an electorate many of the successful candidates were not even permitted to be part of was it. Noel Whelan explains how to win…

They are essentially database elections. Winning a seat is not so much about a candidate’s policy or even profile but about their capacity to mine the list of graduates registered to vote for the relevant colleges and find a means to reach them. Incumbents have a massive advantage because they and their staff can focus, usually for five years, on identifying supporters who are already registered or getting supporters on to the register.

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty

donate to keep slugger lit