Brexit uncertainty will have a knock on effect on Ireland’s European elections. The Taoiseach speaking Midleton in Cork notes that…
What we might have to do on the day of the count is count the votes twice,” he said.
“Once as though (for instance) it might be a five seat (constituency) and one as if it were a four seat (constituency).”
Such double counting will significantly lengthen the European Parliament constituency counts in Ireland next May.
STV PR means that Ireland (north and south) already has the longest wait in EU democratic politics to find out who is elected. Since the quota needed is calculated by the number of seats in each multi member constituency Leo is hinting that two separate counts will be needed in Ireland South and Dublin (where Ireland’s two bonus UK seats were due to be redistributed).
But that could lead to a further uncomfortable outcome since it is often the case that last places are almost always awarded to MEPs who fail to make quota. In an exceptionally tight race this could mean that someone elected in a three seat contest could find themselves unseated in a four horse race as counting continues down the card and two new MEPs designated to take their places if and when the UK leaves the EU.
How likely that is is hard to say, but it is certainly possible.
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