Sinn Fein to take last seat through multiple transfers?

In Dublin South-Central Aengus O Snodaigh is currently 769 ahead of Eric Byrne of Labour who is fighting for a second seat for Labour… Brid Smyth, of People before Profit vote transfers should break towards SF’s sitting TD… but there are still some counts to go before we’ll have a clear result… some nails to be bitten down to the quick?


  • slug

    Who is this roisin healy?

  • slug

    Looks like she’s a hospital candidate.

    This is proving to be THE cliffhanger.

  • Valenciano

    I don’t see it as a cliffhanger Slug. 700 votes is way too much of a gap for Byrne to overturn, especially with a running mate Mary Upton, an incumbent TD, still in the race. She seems to be getting the Lion’s share of transfers to date and it would be a massive shock at this point if SF lost there.

  • If Aengus wins this it will be a welcome pick me up for Sinn fein following yesterdays results. A loss of one seat would be very disappointing but by no means totally disasterous.

    Now that the dust has settled many SF actvitists that I spoke to last night feel that this election result had much more to do with idealogical preferences rather than a direct rejection of SF as a party. The broad left sufferred across the board and, in many ways, this could ultimately prove to be the best thing that has happened to the party for years.

    Most activists are now agreed that Southern Ireland should be come the pivotal point of all th party’s work over the next 5 years. Electorally, the Nationalist battle has been won in The North. The SDLP do not have the party machine or the quality of candidates to challenge SF in the next 5-10 years. There are no more John Hume’s or Seamus Mallons waiting in the wings…

    Most activists also agree that the party must now move much closer to the centre ground and abandon some of its more left-wing policies.

    Sinn Fein is a party which responds well to electoral setbacks,as Joe Hendron and many SDLP colleaguse have discovered to their cost.

    I feel that this poor result will galvanise the party. After all, there were still 5-6 seats in Donegal, Dublin, Sligo-Leitrim and West Meath which are potentially very, very winnable in the next election.

    The Big Bonus of course has been the demise of Michael McDowell. Despite our poor results, there were many, many pints of stout downed by Republicans across the length of Ireland last night at his demise. All the best now Michael and in the words of Padraig Pearse – “We seem to have lost. We have not lost. To refuse to fight would have been to lose; to fight is to win.

    Onwards and upwards…

  • Yokel


    The problem is if Upton gets a thumping surplus and then its her transfers which may well break for Byrne.

    There’s potentially 10k of votes in play here, Byrne needs 700 odd more of those than Aengus.

    A longer shot yes, but Byrne’s moment of opportunity to close the gap is coming up and if he’s a kick in the arse off Aengus (within a couple of hundred) when the Green gets eliminated then he’s anything but dead and buried. Bear in mind as well that Catherine Byrne may well get over the line and have a modest surplus before the Green gets eliminated. That surplus will break Eric’s way as well.

    However, If Collins & Smith break more for Aengus over Byrne then that should give him enough there and then for Byrne not to be able to close.

  • When interviewed on RTE’s election programme yesterday afternoon Aengus said that he believed he would actually get elected as Ballyfermot voters are very parochial in their voting preferences. He said he was elected last time on large numbers of surplus votes from Ballyfermot voters and he expected that this would be the case again. He may be wrong of course, but bearing in mind other results yesterday, i dont think he would have spoken with such optimism unless he was reasonably confident…

  • Yokel

    He can afford to be confident, he’s got 700 odd votes of a gap, he’s just not there yet.

    Bear in mind everyone thought he was a shoo in, inclding Connolly House. There shouldnt have been this sweat at all. The fact there is a danger, from a Labour candidate in a constituency where Labour have never won 2 shows something has gone wrong, although possibly not fatally.

    At the moment the gender element looks like its influencing many transfers. At some point though it’ll be all about the party and thats where Aengus could possibly be caught if he’s unlucky.

  • Count 6 has just been anounced in Dublin South Central and SF’S Angus O’Snodiagh has increased his lead over The Labour candidate by another 450 votes and now leads him by 1150 votes so it looks like SF will regain this seat…

  • Yokel

    In that case its all over, Byrne needed to hang in during Collins & Smiths transfers.

  • GavBelfast


    A good piece with a great alternative endng. Very entertaining.


  • redhaze


    quote “Most activists also agree that the party must now move much closer to the centre ground and abandon some of its more left-wing policies.”

    You mean drop even more of their left-wing policies.

    If they were to do this surely they are moving closer to being FF Mark II. If this happens, there will be less to distinguish itself, and thus I would ask, what would drive people to switch parties to another quite like the one you have been committed to?

    Bottom line is that this was SF’s big chance to shine and it didn’t happen. The PR coup associated with the ‘Agreement’ at Stormont and the likely feel-good bounce that SF would have expected to benefit them will not arise again.

    Lean times ahead i’d expect.

  • redhaze


    quote “i dont think he would have spoken with such optimism unless he was reasonably confident…”

    Have you been watchign the results. What of the optimism and confidence from all the SF camp that spoke of at least 10 seats as if they were a foregone conclusion?

    Confidence means little this time round.

  • curious

    SF’s last chance to save a 4th seat at Dublin South Central

    7th count Quota: 7,922

    Ó SNODAIGH, Aengus* SF 5772

    UPTON, Mary* Lab 7136

    McDERMOTT, Tony GP 3416

    BYRNE, Eric Lab 4754

    BYRNE, Catherine FG 6719

  • My contact at the count tells me that one or two Labour activists in Dublin South Central have privately conceded defeat in the battle for the 5th seat. It looks like Sinn Fein have succesfully retained their seat and will still have 4 seats in the New Dail.

  • redhaze

    amazing how macswiney fails to respond to comments put directly to him…or should I copy this and put it in the other threads to just to make sure my little gem of a comment is picked up, just as he does?

  • curious

    SF’s last chance to save a 4th seat at Dublin South Central

    8th count Quota: 7,922

    Ó SNODAIGH, Aengus* SF 6509

    UPTON, Mary* Lab 7759

    McDERMOTT, Tony GP +++++++ 3781 votes for transfer

    BYRNE, Eric Lab 5332

    BYRNE, Catherine FG 7050

  • Pat Doherty

    Looks like the sinners have lost another one here, and macswineys contact at the count is either pissed, stupid, or both. maybe too many pints of guinness when cheering on the demise of mcdowell caused him to forget which pile to watch. fg and labour to win last 2 seats.

  • redhaze

    Pat Doherty,

    Any chance you can let us in on whats happening?

    You seem confident that Sf is gone here, on what basis?

    Not having a go, just curious as I don’t have any rolling info.

  • Rubicon

    C. Byrne (FG) 7,663
    E. Byrne (Lab) 6,227
    A. O’Snodaigh (SF) 6,932

    Mary Upton (Lab) has almost 1,100 excess to transfer – it’s going to be very close but if I was a betting man I’d fancy the vast majority of transfers will go to party running mate and Byrne will just pip O’Snodaigh.

    Think I’ll keep my money in my pocket just the same 😉

  • Valenciano

    PatD, hard to know how you work that one out.

    AFAIK the votes which will be transferred will be from the last bundle, which came from the Greens. Some of them will go non-transferable and some on to FG. In such a situation 1100 transfers doesn’t seem enough to close a 700 gap.

  • redhaze


    Thanks for that.

    Where are you sourcing the info from today?

  • Rubicon

    redhaze – I’m on the RTE site ( and clicking on the detailed counts button.

    RTE have provided excellent cover in this election – and offered the best coverage of the last election here.

    Valenciano – I think you may be right about it only being the Green votes that will be transferred. If that’s the case, the system is different from NI’s where the entire 9020 votes would transfer and then be weighted. It’d account for there being no factions in the transfers.

    Just counting the Green transfers would put SF safe I think.

  • Rubicon

    Is counting the last bundle only a consequence of it being a manual system? If so, we may see some new converts in the Labour party in favour of electronic voting ;).

  • Valenciano

    Rubicon, I don’t think that in NI they do transfer all the votes, just the last sub-parcel received. The difference with NI and ROI is that in NI ballot papers can be transferred at a value of less than 1, whereas for Dail elections (but not Senate elections) they simply select a random number of ballot papers and transfer them at full value.

  • Damien Okado-Gough

    Greens have been counted and they’re now counting Mary Upton’s transfers. She has around 1100 to be distributed and her Labour running mate is around 700 short of the SF candidate. This could be very, very close indeed.

  • redhaze


    Thanks for that.

    I have been folowing RTE too but missed the ‘Detailed Counts’ option.


  • Valenciano

    Yep, the transferred votes will be the second preferences of the greens which transferred to Upton.

    SF hold their seat.

  • Rubicon

    Thanks for that link Valenciano. In NI the system could be quite worrying since the last parcel of votes could come from a particular poling station. Both systems put a large element of chance in to transfers that makes some votes more valuable than others. Manual counting no doubt hsa much to do with it – or we could be waiting weeks for the results.

    I like the manual system and watching the politicians sweat it out – it reminds them who their true bosses are. Electronic counting would take the craic right out of it – but – would its benefit be that we get the politicians we ALL voted for?

  • Yokel

    I should have had more confidence in my feeling about Upton getting a thumping surplus.

    More interestingly, the FG’er is less than 300 away from a majority and its possible Upton could get her home, though unlikely. Thus we’d then have anything of her surplus with possibly a fingerful of between Aengus & Byrne. The FG-ers surplus would be enough for Byrne. There seemed to be a reasonable gender run of votes across the women acandidates so it shouldnt be discounted that the FG-er could get there on Upton’s transfers.

  • Gerry Kelly

    Let’s hope the ex Stick snakes it. It is funny to hear MacSwiney call the Dail the Dail. Glad to see the narco boys getting house trained. I hope The Deputy – Paisley’s loyal lap dog, refers to it as The Dail in future.
    It looksl ike Sean Crowe will be back on the industrial wage. What was he at Hall mark – a toilet cleaner? – before Gerry ordered him to be a full time politician. O’Snodaigh can join his Protestant family playing the banjo and pint swilling. Guess he’ll miss the Dail bar.

  • Yokel

    You may be speaking too soon there Gerry. It’s a stretch for Byrne.

  • Rubicon

    This 10th count is taking forever! I think Catherine Byrne (FG) is home and dry – but the 2 boyos Eric and Aengus must be sweating it out. Whoever wins – they’ll be entering the 30th Dail a few pounds lighter ;).

  • Yokel

    Recount requested..theres bugger all in it but these things rarely change, SF hand on by 10s of votes by the looks of it

  • Damien Okado-Gough

    Who requested the recount? Anyone know?

  • Yokel

    Labour have reqwuested accorsding to the info I have, whether they get it is another story.

  • Damien Okado-Gough

    Thanks Yokel. That would certainly suggest that SF have it.

  • redhaze


    Possibly just a bit off thread, but I was just considering the fact that Sf did decidedly worse in Dublin than elsewhere.

    Could this be a result of the fact that approx one year ago their activist base took a big hit with many of its most active members forming a new group called eirigi?

    Perhaps all the busing down of people from Belfast is irrelevant if you do not have a strong local activist base?

  • latcheeco

    Can opponents can now ask big G, “what’s your alternative?”

  • Rubicon

    redhaze – you may have a point – but I remember hearing that turnout in working class areas was down across the board. I’m not sure as to the accuracy of that but it was discussed on RTE without challenge. If true, SF would be hurt by it and local activism is just one of many possible reasons.

    I’d like to know more about this supposed low turnout in poorer areas – it may be marginal to the larger preference movements that seem to have focussed on FF/FG.

    You’re right about Dublin though and perhaps the urban vote is just more volatile.

  • redhaze

    Well its just a thought.

    A volatile electorate with a serous lack of serious activists on the ground wouldn’t help their prospects.

    For instance, a year ago they lost a number of activists in Dublin, including the Dublin SF Organiser, National Education figure, Mary Lou’s sister, etc.

    May be seeing part of the fall out from that now.

  • David Ford

    Rubicon (post 3)

    In NI STV elections, every paper in the last parcel received by an elected candidate (ie the transfer that put them over the quota) is checked and all transferable papers transfer at an appropriate value (surplus divided by number of transferable papers to two decimal places).

    There is no question of some coming from a particular polling station.

  • Rubicon

    Thanks for that clarification David.

    Dublin South Central now in and Aengus O’Snodaigh has finished with 7,001 just 69 votes ahead of Labour’s Eric Byrne. SF hold the seat.

  • slug


    “I don’t see it as a cliffhanger Slug. ”

    Well I turned out to be right 🙂

  • Rubicon

    David F. – I’m still wondering about this last parcel received by an elected candidate. Since you’re sure that parcel wouldn’t come from a particular area I guess “parcels” must be pretty well shuffled. As soon as a candidate exceeds the quota are the “parcels” then formed – a parcel for each candidate who then receives a transfer?

    The reason I ask is that a candidate who exceeds the quota can do so in many different way. Although the system in the South is slightly different, the selectivity of transfers still seems to apply. Eg; in the Dublin South Central constituency it would appear that a Labour candidate was elected by Green transfers and it was these that were then transferred – rather than a selection of the overall votes the Labour candidate (Upton) got. The impact could have put a Labour candidate in instead of SF – unless I’ve got this wrong.

  • Valenciano

    Rubicon, re:NI elections, the ‘parcel’ that I was referring to (and which David Ford helpfully clarified) earlier is *all* the ballot papers received by the candidate in the count that took them over the quota. If NI rules were applied to ROI there wouldn’t be any need for shuffling as the votes of the Green Party candidate would inevitably come from different polling stations.

  • Valenciano

    Slug, SF have remained ahead just as I predicted so no cliffhanger 🙂

  • PeaceandJustice

    That’s a pity O’Snot held the seat. But overall the Sinn Fein-IRA terrorist movement has received a clear message from the people of Eire – to paraphrase another contributor – “thanks for not killing people anymore, now get lost!”

    2004: election worker for O’Snot convicted of IRA membership – Gardaí discovered a document containing the names of up to 20 Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael TDs and details of their movements.

    2004: Mrs O’Snot fined for a breach of the peace.

    2005: Five members of SF-IRA found in a van with fake gardai uniforms, a stun gun and CS gas … oh and campaign posters for Mr O’Snot.

  • curious

    ‘SF have remained ahead just as I predicted so no cliffhanger :)’

    SF may have just managed to salvage this last seat but Losing one seat out of 5 is a 20% loss.

  • Valenciano

    RTE’s results now have O’Snod elected beating Byrne by 69 votes.

  • David Ford


    Sorry. Parcel is a techncal term meaning all papers received at a particular stage or substage. Brian Cowan’s (only) parcel had 19,000 papers in it.