Post #GE16 realignment: The more things change, the more they stay the same…

Pollsters do their best with a good product that is often granted a status of political reality it was never intended to carry. Polls are useful, as Janan Ganesh put it, “as contextual information, not the story itself”.

The press’s polls obsession made it difficult for either Fine Gael or Fianna Fail to get past questions about vote share (historically their lowest combined total in the history of the state) with the implication they were lying if they suggested they could avoid a grand alliance.

In fact the two older parties will take almost 100 seats (nearly a 2/3 of all seats) in the Dail. In the short term, such a super majority may prove less unstable than any minority government but it would also leave the country without a functional Opposition.

Besides, the numbers themselves are not impossible without such a grand coalition. Fine Gael have had a bad election, but as Nicholas has noted their machine has been robust enough to keep them significantly ahead of Fianna Fail.

That matters not because of any protocol but because the basic thresholds can be crossed much more easily than Fianna Fail will be able to. It may be as Mick Wallace pointed out last night, that most independents don’t lean left they lean right.

Still that’s not the key to getting back into the Taoiseach’s office for Enda Kenny. What most rural independents really want is barrels of pork and local concessions for the Parish and the county. And there will be plenty of them both as groups and individuals.

More than enough to get past the Fianna Fail-Sinn Fein block on the Opposition benches, but insufficient for the magic number needed for a majority government. However it could get the country through another year, two and maybe even longer.

Enda Kenny has been weakened by this election, but he and Fine Gael are certainly not finished. Fianna Fail having demanded his head as a minimum price for their loyalty – which short of a heave during the negotiation process – is a guarantee neither will happen.

If they cannot make it themselves, Fianna Fail will take time on the opposition benches to integrate a fresh team of parliamentarians (which doubles the size of the old one) and to build a new to push beyond their small but substantial beachhead in Dublin.

The truth is that – almost without even the most senior people in the media noticing it – Fianna Fail ran a policy rich centre-left manifesto against Fine Gael’s centre right platform. That’s an argument far better suited to opposite benches than two parties on the same side.

Such polarisation – short of another set of compromising global shocks – might very well lead to a proper re-alignment of Irish politics. But perhaps not in any of the ways the current media establishment had previously anticipated.

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  • kensei

    Not sure what you mean Mick. It’s clear Fianna Fáil have won this election and it’s a rejection of the current government. It must be true, they keep saying it. What do you mean they’ve less seats?

    More seriously, I can’t see how a government is cobbled together without grand coalition. Even FF-SF – already ruled out – would need a shed load of independents to hit the mark. All of the larger groupings that might have a chance of the requisite discipline are even further left than SF. They doesn’t look to be a stable government aside from the grand coalition. Labour won’t go back in after such a drubbing, FG propped by 30 independents seems like a disaster.

    Given the FF line above, I think we’ll end up in a second election at this point. FF is bullish but that’d be a risk. There is no guarantee if independents get squeezed they’d break their way. SF could get squeezed too, but maybe they are big enough now to resist it and make an argument as a counterweight. I could see the Social Democrats making further gain too, but Labour look buggered regardless.

  • George

    Wondering where you have heard that FF have demanded Kenny’s head as a price for their loyalty. I thought the common view was that the only way they would go in with FG was if Kenny stayed at the helm as they have the measure of him.

  • mickfealty

    Martin said it repeatedly during the debates, and in interviews throughout the campaign George. It’s not an impulsive afterthought, nor even a condition. It’s a price FG won’t pay and another lock on the chances of co-option.

  • mickfealty

    “would need a shed load of independents to hit the mark….”


  • whatif1984true

    FF + FG coalition just means the Opposition have got REAL close, not that there is no opposition. Just like NI they have to try to work together. No One would say SF and the DUP are not in opposition to each other but the current Stormont arrangements are a very loose quasi coalition.

  • mickfealty

    The Executive has considerable protections in NI that do not exist in the Republic.

  • kensei

    Stability on that one? That’s an awful lot of roads to fix.

    I read up about the Healy Raes yesterday. What the hell is wrong with Kerry?

  • mickfealty

    It would have to be a pretty conservative, unadventurous administration, but so long as the ship doesn’t roll it’s manageable for a time. Plus, this would be the first FG government re-elected to power, why would they not take the opportunity in whatever way they can?

    As you say, FF would have to proceed carefully, but having just come in from the cold, they’d be very happy not to be seen to pull the trigger too quickly. Again, Martin’s leadership provides the template. And making capital along the way where they can.

    The national coalition would have been a better fit for the conditions of 2008-12, but the mathematics did not arise then. Now the mathematics arise, the conditions don’t require it. Besides, if there is one thing the two parties agree on it is that it would be a disaster if SF were allowed to sit on the opposition benches by themselves.

  • whatif1984true

    It seems a battle of EGO’s as to whether they form a coalition. If they do not then one of them must expect to triumph the second time round. there is no sound basis to expect either would succeed.
    With the economy improving FG will get more out of a coalition. However do FF see the writing on the wall, 2 party politics is fading fast as it is every where else.

  • mickfealty

    I don’t think you are taking account of the degree to which the FF revival has succeeded here. Two seats in Sligo, two in Cavan Monaghan, two in Mayo, two in Donegal (at the expense of a sitting SF TD). That’s the only project for them just now.

    Dublin (where they did much better than they dared to hope) is next. A voice like Jim O’Callaghan’s is likely to get run out a lot in the next week or two, after which he settle in to be the Dublin spokesman to facilitate re-build there.

  • JohnTheOptimist

    The risks for FF are not all one way, as some think. FF could be taking an equally big risk in NOT going into coalition with FG. The risk is in not getting their foot in government at the start of a period of strong economic growth. Of course, that growth isn’t guaranteed, but its distinctly possible.

    Its clear that FF can not lead a government in the new Dail as the numbers simply aren’t there. I say that with some regret as I’d vote FF if I lived south of the border. Even FF + SF look like totalling only 66. So that leaves 3 possibilities:

    (1) No government is formed and there is another election almost immediately.

    (2) FF ‘supports’ a minority FG government for 6 months, a year, or whatever, then brings it down at a time of its choosing on some issue or other, and wins the subsequent election.

    (3) FF go into coalition with FG for a full 5-year term.

    In my view (3) is infinitely preferable. Ireland needs political stability at this dangerous time in global affairs (possible Brexit, possible Trump Presidency etc).

    I base my comments below partly on my own sleepy-late-night back-of-the-envelope estimations of the final result (could easily be wrong as there are 12 seats left to be filled and some are very close):

    FG 50
    FF 44
    SF 22
    IND 17
    Lab 8
    IA 6
    AAA/PBP 6
    SD 3
    Grn 2

    Lets take these in turn:

    (1) Why should the result be different if there was another election immediately The country certainly wouldn’t want it. Few TDs would want another election before they’ve hardly collected a single month’s pay cheque. The party that brought it about could easily get a hammering.

    (2) The option of bringing the government down in a year or so and then sweeping to victory in the subsequent election might not be as easy to achieve as is thought.

    First, there would be the little matter of bringing down the government. Lets say a minority FG government (with initial FF support) gets established over the Spring and Summer. Then, lets’s say by the end of the year FF decide the time has come to bring it down and sweep to victory in the subsequent election. It would take 79 TDs to vote down the government, but, if the arithmetic above turns out to be correct (and it may not), only 72 TDs could be guaranteed to vote to bring down the government in any FF-arranged ‘confidence motion’ (FF + SF + AAA/PBP). I doubt if Labour in their present state would want another election soon. I doubt if the Greens or SD would either as they will want time to build up support. As for the Independents, well, if you had a cushy 80k a year job, with several months holiday, and you took the job on expecting it would be a 5-year job, would you vote to bring it to a possible end after 6 months or a year? There would have to be some big issue for the small vulnerable parties and /or lots of independents to vote for an early election and risk losing their seats. During periods of austerity, there may well be such big issues (e.g., budget tax increases). But, during periods of growth, there may well not be. What if the next budget is like the last one and involves mostly tax cuts and spending increases? Not certain, of course, but a distinct possibility. What independent TD is going to vote for an election (and risk losing his job) over something like that?

    Second, there is no guarantee that FF would defeat FG in the election that followed.
    It depends a lot on the economy, of course. No one can predict this (I certainly can’t). For all I know there could be a global recession. But, as of now, the omens look good for the Irish economy. Tax revenues continue to grow rapidly, so there may well be scope for tax cuts. Unemployment is falling quite rapidly and (barring said possible global recession) could well be a lot lower in a year’s time than now. The recovery could well be more firmly established in people’s minds than it is now. Like Heineken, in a year’s time it might have reached parts of the country it hasn’t yet reached. And, Enda Kenny might well step down after the Easter Rising centenary commemorations and be replaced by a younger more popular leader. All of this is hypothetical, of course, and not guaranteed to happen, but its distinctly possible. The point is that Oppositions don’t necessarily always improve their positions in elections and sometimes Governments do, especially during periods of economic growth. Ask the UK Labour Party,

    (3) The only real argument against an FG/FF coalition is the belief that at the 2021 election SF would sweep to victory over the outgoing FG/FF coalition. This is daft. Its time that the leaders of FG and FF showed some backbone and stopped living in awe of SF. The reality is that SF have bombed in this election (excuse pun). They are a busted flush. Even after the worst global recession since the 1930s, SF can’t go above 14 per cent. Its their limit. They can’t go above it, no matter what. Their 13.8 per cent in this election is almost identical to Martin McGuiness’s vote in the 2011 Presidential election. They are stuck at that level and will never go higher. Its true that, if FG and FF went into coalition, then, over time, some more sensible left-wing opposition party might develop that would mount a serious challenge to the current ‘big two’, possibly based of Labour, SD and the Greens getting together. But, we are at least a decade, and probably more, away from that and, even if did happen, it wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing.

  • Discuscutter

    If the electoral needs for FF to be further to the right than FG in 6 months time is there, then their new policies will reflect that.

  • Discuscutter

    Kenny will be gone before the Summer.

  • murdockp

    Who would have thought a resource that Ireland has far too much of, water, would be responsible for bringing down a political party.

    It should have done the same in NI, but in NI you can do what ever you wish as a politician and get away with it is a party first, electorate second form of democracy if that even makes sense.

  • Jack Stone

    “The reality is that SF have bombed in this election (excuse pun). They are a busted flush. Even after the worst global recession since the 1930s, SF can’t go above 14 per cent. Its their limit. They can’t go above it, no matter what. Their 13.8 per cent in this election is almost identical to Martin McGuiness’s vote in the 2011 Presidential election. They are stuck at that level and will never go higher.”

    That is quite the gamble. Certainly, Sinn Fein has a bit of baggage and the media onslaught/storm of bad timing hurt Sinn Fein in the end of the campaign but it is a gamble to assume that the Sinn Fein of today is the Sinn Fein of tomorrow. Their support amongst the youth (who’s low turnout in GE16 is one of the reasons Sinn Fein was snakebit) shows a weakening of that reality. The party trends younger, if anything that shows that Sinn Fein has growth potential the more time passes from the Armalite Diplomacy. If a party was able to offer Gerry a graceful way out (a chance to run for President with all holders of an Irish passport being able to vote or Ambassador to the States) then perhaps that is no longer true. They did grow to be the 3rd largest party (and Fianna Fail did raid their pantry a bit). A Cleanskin Sinn Fein or as the older electorate dies off, well Sinn Fein’s growth would be nearly assured. Certainly they were much less transfer phobic this time rather than the past . There were also the unforced errors in the election. I’m sure Gerry is hoping for a hung parliament and a second shot. Anyway, Fianna Fail will tack more towards the center in the next few months and want a second shot at the election anyway (although the horse trading over the next few weeks will be interesting). It would be madness for them to go into government with FG when negotiation or another toss of the dice might net them control of the government.

  • Gopher

    Lets see, SF did not get the clear win they touted, they did not get the largest party and Gerry Taoiseach that they also touted. They did not get holding balance of power and senior SF ministers in Government as they touted. They did not become the leader of the left as touted as expectation dropped. They did not get minor coalition partner, they did not get 20%, 18% or 15% as touted. It was amusing as the bar lowered as this election and count progressed.

    Add to this they now will have to *defend* 22-23 seats in an election liable to be called this year against the revenant FF and have demonstrably shown they, SF cant win. SF’s strategy is in tatters. Obviously Marty will be First Minister after the 2016 assembly election and all will be well, aint that right boys?

  • JohnTheOptimist

    ” It would be madness for them to go into government with FG when negotiation or another toss of the dice might net them control of the government.”

    Fine, I have no problem with what you say, just as long as it is fully recognised that it is indeed a gamble that could go either way. Its not a one-way bet. Careful consideration is required by FF before rejecting the chance of sharing in government now, rather than blithely assuming they can do better next time. As of now, the election result is a draw and FF could easily negotiate 50 per cent of posts in the next government. Go for it, I say (as an FF supporter in the north).

    But, lets say they reject this option and go for the option of another election in a year which they hope to win. They’d effectively be saying ‘Two birds in in the bush is worth one in the hand’. The last person to do that was the England captain in the recent rugby world cup. England had the option in the last minutes v Wales of kicking a penalty for a draw. They chose instead to go for the win. Must have seemed a great idea at the time, but we know how it worked out. I’m not saying for certain FF’s gamble would fail. Merely, that it should be recognised that it is a gamble and that gamble could fail just as easily as it could succeed.

    It all depends on the economy (which I am no more able to predict than anyone else). If there is a global recession and the Irish economy turns down, with unemployment increasing, tax revenues falling and the minority FG government needs to bring in a harsh budget in the autumn, then its very likely it would fall and FF win the subsequent election. So, their gamble would have paid off. In that case, kudos to all those like yourself who advised FF to stay out of government this time. You would be basking in the glory of having been proved right.

    But, its by no means certain that will happen. If the Irish economy continues to grow strongly, unemployment continues to fall, and there is scope for a giveaway budget in the autumn, then FG would be in the driving seat and could win any election called. The world is full of governments who got into power as minority governments, but then consolidated their position because they came to power at just the right time in the economic or political cycle. The SNP were a minority government in Scotland in 2007. Labour could have gone into coalition with them but rejected the option. Now, in 2016 the SNP are still there and stronger than ever. Governments tend to be defeated during recessionary times, but tend to be re-elected during boom times. FF won every election in the 1960s and the 2000s, which were boom times. At the moment Ireland is halfway between. A bad recession in 2008-2011, now recovering strongly, but not yet to the point where the recovery is benefitting everyone. It is quite possible that in a year the boom will have consolidated and will have spread to all regions and all social groups. If that occurs (and, of course, its not certain), FF will have missed the bus.

    Regarding SF, they have fallen below the worst predictions. They have flopped spectacularly. SF are world leaders in the art of, after every disaster, bombarding their gullible and not very bright supporters with long-term predictions of future glorious victory. I remember attending a SF meeting at Queens in October 1972. I went out of curiosity, rather than support. How the audience erupted in rapture when the speaker predicted that ‘Ireland would be free in seventy-three’. At least it rhymed. Then, on 1 Jan 1974, the SF New Year statement proclaimed that 1974 would be the ‘year of victory’. Then, in 1978 Gerry Adams Ard-Fheis speech that ‘one more heave would see the Brits’ leaving. We are still waiting. Then, post GFA all those confident SF predictions about how demographics would inevitably lead to a United Ireland within 20 years. Its now 2016 and, under SF leadership, the nationalist vote in N. Ireland is falling sharply, while support for a United Ireland in the polls has collapsed (as Arlene Foster gleefully pointed out recently), Meantime, in the south, SF have been predicting for the past 20 years that they’d eventually overtake either FG or FF, but the reality is that, despite the aftermath of the worst global recession since the 1930s, they are further away from that today than they were after the last election and show no sign whatever of making the breakthrough they repeatedly claim is imminent.

  • Slater

    Fianna Fail will and should get the first chance to form a government, perhaps with a few independents or even Labour being offered jobs and policy lures.
    Amazing recovery by Fianna Fail in just one election cycle. The people have short memories while east Ireland flip flops in party support every time always hunting out novelty or expressing anti-political rage.

    FG was undoubtedly defeated except in Dublin and should go into (restrained) opposition.

    Sinn Fein’s 22 TDs (and 13%) are well down on their hopes, opinion poll ratings and the media expectations.

    Hardest of all for them to take is that they missed their target of a TD in everyone of the 40 constituencies by a huge margin. Just over half is all they could manage. Not a national party, whatever that means, nor leaders of the left as the Trotskyites and Corbynistas have not offered to even share that crown.

  • Ryan A

    Agreed. It is somewhat telling that despite the catastrophe of FF the last time they were in government the electorate en-masse gave them a second chance over SF. George Hook’s analysis of still not being acceptable in certain areas was spot on – They really couldn’t have been wider of the mark on Chris Andrews who wasn’t even in contention for the last seat in DBS.

  • kensei

    Parties tout stuff all the time. I suspect their internal planning was very different. This is definitely a push on, they’ve seats to defend but also seats they’ve left out there. Slower growth is probably more stable growth, if they can manage it.

    Another election would likely be as unpredictable as this one, so I’d be wary of crowing on any side.

  • kensei

    Bertie Ahern has been seemingly everywhere in the media. It’s amazing. I know he got out just before the crash, but he’d have had a angry mob after him in 2011.

  • Gopher

    “If they can manage it” I’m sorry but the status quo was never in the play book. It was revolutionary politics sweeping away the old. Problem is SF look “old” and somewhat weary. SF have reached the culmination point in the South just as in the North and once again the North becomes a subsidiary theatre, 22 TD’s need supporting. Dunno if there is internal debate in SF given the nature of the party North and South but if “stable” growth is the the new directive I would not be surprised if there was not long hard looks at the strategic direction. Gerry looks kinda threadbare

  • kensei

    The current election in the Republic is far from the status quo.

    I’d be shy of pronouncing categorical judgments. All the people that said FF were finished last time were wrong.

    A quick election will be unpredictable; SF could gain or lose. The number might fall for them to hold the balance of power. Or not. If the Dail goes the distance, they’ve plenty of time to get media exposure for new TDs – including new Senators for those that missed out and build profile. Gerry might retire.

    Ten years ago they might have got wiped out; they look a fixture now. The people that get most exercised seems to be SFs opponents.

    I don’t believe SF will ever displace FF or FG, except in extraordinary circumstances, personally. I can see them doing a Labour like role in the future. That might influence other parties in ways beneficial to Nationalism overall. But I might be wrong too.

  • Robin Keogh

    You are quite incorrect. The expectations were not outlined by any member of the party (SF). What you are quoting is media and pundit expectations, none of which were shared or endoresed by the party. Ever since the Carlow Kilkenny by election I have said on here, dozens of times that 15% is the number we should hope for. That was a view shared by my colleagues here in Wicklow where we hit 16% comfortably and won a seat on the second count. A 60% increase on 2011.

    Private polling carried out by all parties in all constituencies over the last few weeks clearly suggested that we were never in the running for hitting the high teens. In fact we got a few nice surprises in cork and north dublin.

    Equally some nasty stings in Donegal and Dublin West. But thats politics. After the recounts are complete we will have 24 seats in the next dail.

    Most interesting for me is that in 2011 we got only 8.5% of seats with 9.9% of the vote. Today we have 16% of seats with just 14% of the vote, a tiny seat bonus but an indication that our transfer toxicity is slowly breaking down.

  • Greenflag 2

    Forgive and choose NOT to remember too much . It’s the Republic’s way . Probably a bridge too far for those in NI to understand much less emulate .

  • Robin Keogh

    People said SF had reached its peak in 2002, 2007 and 2011. They were wrong. And they are wrong now.

  • mickfealty

    Not in public perhaps Robin, but in private 23 was the minimum figure I heard quoted. As I noted pre-election, if it is in the expected drop zone, then why would there be a crisis on the figures?

    You are right too that the new SF seat bonus is coming in from all over the shop. Between the Healy Raes and the collapse of Arthur Springs vote Martin Ferris sailed through with minimum effort.

    Although in the Kerry case it’s as much a point of weakness as it is strength since if there’d been three Healy Raes running the Ferris seat would have been washed away.

    Right to water has broken down old barriers with the left and made them transfer friendly there for the first time. The shock in Donegal was pure them or us, brought on by the strength of the FF vote.

    It was clearly predicted that it could happen here on Slugger, for reasons that were and are outside the parties direct control.

  • Robin Keogh

    The mess in Donegal is our own fault. We have two seats there for sure, so that mistake will not be made again. Waiting on longford and dublin bay north which will bring us to 24, shocking dissapointment at Dublin West and Pauldonnely just missing out. In short, we should have been on 26. Must try harder.

    Fianna Fail got the grey vote in spades which is a conundrum, not just to me but for many people wondering how irish memories are so short. You hit the nail on the head recently in your comment that we forgive mistakes but not weakness. And like it or not FF and MM were strong in the campaign.

    The truth is Mick, SF as an organisation at the moment cannot manage a revolutionary swing towards the party on the ground logistically. It is far more stable to build slowly and confidently rather than smash through a ceiling with nowhere to land.

  • whatif1984true

    40+ is a long way from a strong majority irrespective of ‘improved’ performance over the last election.

  • John Collins

    Nothing major. The Electoral commission made both counties Tipp and Kerry into one constituency each and I cannot help thinking this had something to do with getting all of these independents out. If it was it badly backfired and five of the ten seats in these counties are now occupied by Independents.
    I also think it is now time to revisit our system of elections. We should ditch the PRSTV for a straight vote first past the post system. It is the only way to guarantee a stable government in the future.

  • consul

    Very good election, extremely satisfying outcome overall. Martin’s statement on Dáil reform is also welcome. Hopefully the markets won’t panic if it takes a couple of months to form a government. Should be a big enough window.

    The most necessary reform is to do away with the whip system. People who support the whip system under any circumstances can only be described as democrats in the very loosest of terms.

  • Ryan A

    I would sit tight on Longford as it stands. The transfer trends are that FG/FF/Labour transfer more to each other than any to SF and as it stands one candidate of those three will be eliminated to likely push the other two ahead of Hogan.

  • Robin Keogh

    Ya you could be correct but i think the independent alliance surplus might help us out. Will know in just a few hours 😉

  • Ryan A

    It has already been allocated. Next up is FF exclusion more than likely. It probably won’t push the second FG candidate up the pecking order although I could be wrong, they’ll be excluded and Penrose is home and dry.

  • John Collins

    Not so sure Ferris would have lost his seat in the event of a third Healy running. Brassil of Fianna Fail, the same gene pool as the Healys, was the last man elected. Apart from all that running a third candidate might have actually rebounded on the HR machine, as it did with SF in Donegal.

  • Robin Keogh

    Where is it now, i cant find any live coverage

  • Discuscutter

    They are about ten seats behind FG, why would they get the change to form a Govt. ?

    The numbers show that the only Govt. will be FG/FF.

    The idea that the circa 20 independent + SD+Labour + Greens will all come on board for FF and give a close to majority Govt. is woeful.

    The choice is simple either FF agrees to a deal with FG or it says the electorate need to turn out again.

  • mickfealty

    I didn’t take a exact note of the exact transfer figures, but Ferris was massively ahead of Brassil in terms of what he got from Danny.

  • Gingray

    “such a super majority may prove less unstable than any minority
    government but it would also leave the country without a functional

    Not sure I agree with this – FF provided the oppostion from 2011, with 20 seats (12% of all seats). The Government parties had 113 of 166 seats (67% of all seats)

    In 2016, if, as you suggest, FF and FG work together they will have a seat total of 92 (58%), with an functional Opposition of 22 (14% of all seats).

    So I think you can say they will continue to lack a functional Opposition, or that an Opposition led by SF would not be functional, but to imply it is worse than what is currently in place is incorrect.

    To be honest I think such a scenario would suit the smaller left wing parties, if they could get speaking rights by forming coalitions.

  • Jack Stone

    Fianna Fail won the campaign. Sinn Fein showed the weakness of growing so much so quickly. Sinn Fein lacked the experience in candidate selection/voter management and I think it cost them 3-4 seats. Fianna Fail received huge transfers from across the board in this election. It wasn’t a Sinn Fein vs Fianna Fail in the election because a good bit of FF’s transfers came from Sinn Fein voters. I think people underestimated the experience, the effectiveness and the efficiency of the Fianna Fail machine.

  • Jack Stone

    What do you mean? Sinn Fein’s weakness is the grey vote. They do horribly with older voters. If anything, Sinn Fein lacks experience and established candidates. A lot of their candidates are young and their voting machine in the south lacks experience. It does not have the local structures/tradition on the ground that a Fianna Fail has but that will change in time. If anything, the results of this election show that Sinn Fein have room to grow and their weakness in this election was growing too much too quickly.

  • Robin Keogh

    FF did not reicieve huge transfers, in fact their result is this election is its second worst result in its history.

  • Jack Stone

    I could be wrong, I have read tons of stuff over the last few days and it all sort of runs together after awhile but I was under the impression that 15% of Fianna Fail’s transfers came from voters who gave their first preference to Sinn Fein. That was the highest percentage of another party receiving transfers from Sinn Fein … if that makes sense.

  • Robin Keogh

    SF transfers went to other left groups where a candidate was available, comparatively speaking.

  • Jack Stone

    Are you sure? I was under the impression that only 11% of Sinn Fein transfers went to Ind/Others and the rest of the groups like PBP had less than 5% each? At least that was the transfer breakdown I read.

  • Robin Keogh

    If u look at Dublin miswest for example. SF eoin o broin topped the poll with one thousand votes to spare, 50% of which went to AAA/PBP. Or look at dunlaoghaire, Shane O Brien of SF was eliminated with 3200 votes; 2200 of which transferred to richard boyd barrett of AAA/PBP, 70%.

  • Jack Stone

    Sure, you can look at specific races and see examples of movement of transfers but I was looking at it at a nation-wide level. The macro view if you will. Am I remembering the numbers wrong?

  • John Collins

    Ferris got 9,456 first preference votes and Brassil got 8,156 and his fellow FF Moriarty got 4,346, a very poor turnout in a constituency where FF often got 4 seats. From Michael HR’s surplus Ferris got 640 votes and Brassil got 486 and from Danny’s Ferris got 116 and Brassil got 77, so in either case that was hardly a decisive gain. What elected Brassil was the huge transfer of 2,460 when Moriarty was eliminated. At the end Deenihan was over 3,000 behind his nearest opponent and well beaten

  • mickfealty

    Thanks for doing the work John!! 🙂

  • John Collins

    No problem Mick. I am have just done a google search for PRSTV. I always thought it was only used in both parts of Ireland, Scotland, Malta and for State Elections in Australia. However I see now that it also used in some elections in India, Pakistan and New Zealand.
    I was once a fan of it, but as I get older I have come to the conclusion that it is now totally outdated and tends to make it very difficult for a stable government to be elected. It has also to be noted that some single issue TDs have been elected on the most ridiculous issues, like the time a Deputy was returned from Donegal because there was little or no coverage for BBC television.