Meath East: First tallies make FG early favourites…

For those of you who have never been to an Irish count, here’s the first boxes being opened… The atmosphere is not unlike a country Mart… It will get more crowded as the day goes on… So far, here’s the tallies for the first preference vote…

The greybeards are saying that the FF candidate needs to take transfers two to one to catch Ms McEntee, but since Labour has already been squeezed for first preferences, I’m sure quite where her transfers are coming from…

Sinn Fein beat their 11.7% vote in the Presidential election, but not by as much as they will have hoped… Particularly given the Labour Party (4%) has come in behind Ben Gilroy of Direct Democracy Ireland (6%).

In 2007 some 25% of the SF vote transfered to FF. The sheer size of the FF vote suggests that Micheal Martin has successfully disentangled his party from the recent past and is reconnecting with a large chunk of its former base…

You can follow it more closely on Twitter on the #MHE13 or on the Irish Times live blog… More as it comes in…

Here’s the’s Tally sheet

– Ouch!!

Micheal Martin chalks up a big advance in real terms with the people who walked away from his party in 2011

Gerry Adams explains that his parties relatively speaking disappointing performance was down to the fact, in his view, that Labour voters stayed at home rather than registering a protest


The first preference totals…


And the ups and downs…

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  • Coll Ciotach

    Do you know something about Thomas Byrne that I don’t? Never heard he was a she. The real story here was the collapse of Labour who have found out that issues such as SSM and Gay Rights are not vote getters but vote losers, they have never polled worse in a Meath East election. Sinn Fein seem to be back where they were in 2002, so not so good for them. Fianna Fail have made a remarkable return to voters favour, up to 20% increase in their vote – they even had northerners canvassing for them, a sign of things to come? McEntee has done well, she will probably hold it. But the message of this election is Labour is destroyed. Only one vote in Meathhill. Time for Gilmore to go – was the Gilmore gale just a summer zephyr?

  • Mick Fealty

    “Her” was meant to refer to Helen McEntee… 37.95% turnout… Down to who was left standing in the wind… the 6% to DDI is interesting from a standing start…

  • Coll Ciotach

    DDI did well to beat Labour into 4th. I do feel that it is a protest vote, and it will disappear eventually. But power to them, they did well.

  • John Ó Néill

    38% turnout, albeit in PR, only one seat up for grabs doesn’t seem to have energised the electorate. More #meh13 than #mhe13.

    I suspect McEntee will be elected subquota and there will be a lowish transfer rate (to anyone).

  • Mick Fealty

    Tight finish makes FF call for SF transfers look smarter than it did at the time…

  • Coll Ciotach

    And the word is that they are transferring well too

  • Greenflag

    62% did’nt bother to vote . They know it’ll make not a damn bit of difference .Helen McEntee should win it .The ‘family’ vote and local sympathy for her father should count in the end . I make 38.5% of 37,95% (turnout ) to be 14.6% of the total electorate .
    Possibly enough to hold the seat in a General Election .

    Labour need a new Leader before the next election or it’ll be back to electing barely enough TD’s to fill a taxi cab .

  • toaster

    Sinn Fein have polled fantastically. The only true party for the people or ireland

  • Coll Ciotach

    Hardly fantastically, they have not made hay out of Labours demise, their percentage in 2011 was a miserable 8.88% and now it is 13.02%. So from a low base, and with a collapse of Labour from 21.04% to 4.57% Sinn Fein did poorly. Their support of abortion was noted, their negative performance in the Dail, Gerry Adams all helped to ensure the votes flowed back to FF. FF have saw their % rise from 19.61% to 32.92% FG even saw a small, and negligable drop of 2.38%.

    All in all the day was Fianna Fáil’s and the loser was Labour. Gilmore must be on dodgy ground. Sinn Fein should have done better.

  • Mick Fealty

    Coll C,

    Only two parties in Ireland fight with a long sword, FG and FF… The effect of the Labour collapse on party morale will be interesting to observe… Noticed a few FFers on Twitter winding up gossip around Eamon’s supposed departure…

    But Hannigan only got in on deserter FF voters. The major part of Thomas Byrnes job was get the back not just from Labour but nick them from SF before they got any big ideas about staying there.

  • Desmond Trellace

    With all due respect to the successful candidate but I suppose there was an element of a sympathy involved.

    Having been to South America recently, I have now realized that when South American countries have over-indulged themselves in unsustainable and unfinanceable projects the only way out is a military junta.

    In Ireland it is Fine Gael.

    (This observation has been made in a disposition of complete objectivity.)

  • Framer

    Pretty amazing resurrection by Fianna Fail. I assumed they had been so disgraced and reduced to such an electoral rump they could not come back, or certainly not for a decade. Rather puts paid to the SF hope of replacing them as the patriotic party.

  • Framer,

    Perhaps you’ve never heard what Harold Wilson said back in the 70s. It was true then and it’s true now: He said, “A week is a long time in politics”.

  • Mick Fealty

    Took more than a week Joe, to be fair! Mick Martin has slowly put his doubters. Bertie never trusted him, which probably made it easier fir Martin to buck the old boss out of the party (remember that?).

    The defenestration of the old party, including some of their bright new hopes did them on favour in detoxifying the brand. And in contrast to SF they have proven themselves serious about policy.

    SF Will be disappointed, but only because their short term ambitions were overblown both by themselves and a media too quick to dance on FFs prematurely dug grave.

    The choice of policy battle grounds have proven to be minor rather than major chords with the electorate.

    The red light on the dashboard is the failure to register as a significant party of protest. That and the rise of FF are likely to create an inward pressure going forward.