The varying costs of the last southern election per constituency…

CHEAP SEATS: One of the advantages the big parties in #AE17 is how the scale of their operation drains costs.  Karl Brophy has tweeted this fascinating breakdown of costs from the last Irish election… Spend per seat won in € for #ge16 AAAPBP 44,460FF 38,361FG 55,377SF 28,269Greens 73,396.Soc Dems 63,529Labour 154, 816 — Karl Brophy (@KarlBrophy) January 13, 2017 The Greens only won two, so at 73,396 those were a costly capture. But a desperate Labour party throw everything they … Read more

“Many very candid positions have been stated in private which have yet to be repeated in public.”

So the Fianna Fail Parliamentary party went into conclave at 7 this evening now that they have failed to attract any support from the independents. But it clear now that Micheal Martin is taking any deal he might have done with them off the table.  At this stage that does two things. It quickens the endgame and it is probably clear enough to absolve FF of any responsibility for where that endgame now lands the 32nd Dail. If the independents … Read more

And meanwhile… the Republic still has no government.

Lest we forget, Oireachtas TV is covering the resumption of the Nomination of Taoiseach this afternoon at 2.30pm. If you are confused (and you probably should be) here’s Pat Leahy’s take on the current state of affairs… There is an ever-present fear in both the big parties that the Independent TDs are not sufficiently serious about actually doing a deal with them that would stick through the inevitable vicissitudes of life in government. They might want to be in government, … Read more

A new election would favour no one but Fianna Fáil…

Sarah Bardon in the Irish Times quotes Willie O’Dea…  ’ Limerick City TD Willie O’Dea said the people of this country voted to get rid of the outgoing government and the party could not accept any partnership or coalition. He said: “The people who are supporting me and who are asking about my views . . . certainly didn’t contemplate that I would be part of this arrangement which would ultimately involve putting Enda Kenny back as taoiseach and sharing … Read more

Why a Grand Coalition would be a Grand Mistake for Fianna Fail

There is a lot of talk about coalitions and minority governments going on these days since the Irish electorate gave a collective “huh?” to the main parties. As I noted earlier there have now been the first talks between the Taoiseach and Fianna Fail leader about possibly forming some sort of grand coalition. It has to happen some commentators say and it has surely been a long time coming, but I want to give a different perspective as to why … Read more

Leinster House’s deadly slow choreography aimed at giving the 32nd Dail a meaningful narrative?

In the Irish Times Pat Leahy lays out what he thinks will happen in the days after  what’s likely to be another choreographed failure to form a government in the Dail today.  What will be discussed is not a coalition or even a shared programme, but the terms under which Fianna Fáil might enter into a “confidence and supply” arrangement with a Fine Gael-led minority government. Under such an arrangement, Fianna Fáil would consent to the formation of government (probably … Read more

Government Formation: Reconciling Irreconcilables?

The noise that has emanated from politicians – past and present – and pundits about what the next government might look like has been difficult to make sense of in recent days.  Equally trenchant arguments have been made, on the one hand, that Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael will form a coalition and, on the other, that such a grand coalition is impossible. Some have advocated for a minority Fine Gael government, supported from the opposition benches by Fianna Fáil.  … Read more

Willie Penrose displaces Bannon and wins Labour speaking rights

Literally the last man through, at 5.30 this morning Labour’s Willie Penrose snatches a victory of sorts for Labour from an otherwise black abyss of utter defeat… …chief returning officer Imelda Brannigan gave the latest results and Bannon with 7,081 was six behind Penrose. Following his elimination a devastated Bannon told reporters that given the close margin he will have to take careful advice on “whether or not to purse a legal option”. Notwithstanding any appeal, with seven deputies now … Read more

Final words from John Bowman on #ge16

A tradition in Irish election broadcasts is the final thoughts of broadcaster, John Bowman. Since there will be a lot of speculation over the coming days, here is his final analysis of Election 2016; To say this election is unique goes without saying. It’s historic, it’s seismic, it’s awesome in its consequences and as the deluge subsides what does one see? Is the integrity of the quarrel between Fianna Fail and Fine Gael intact or will it melt? Is the … Read more

#GE16 – FG *will* win more seats than FF…

Another dramatic Irish election, with the exit polls proving to have underestimated the substantial fall in support for the government parties. Fianna Fáil have lurched back to within 1.2% of Fine Gael as largest party, 24.35% to 25.52%, and overnight the two were both on 28 seats. That’s the sort of margin where you can get the party with fewer votes ending up with more seats once the local factors in each constituency come into play. But I’ve crunched the … Read more

#GE16 Exit Polls show Government parties set for a beating

Well it’s all over and we are just waiting for the vote to be counted but two exit polls make terrible reading for the government and should make Fianna Fail and Sinn Fein happy. RTE Irish Times/MRBI Some takeaways If true this is Enda Kenny’s worst ever General Election performance as leader, he scored 27.1% in 2007 and 36.1% in 2011. Fianna Fail are back in business; in places like Munster and parts of Dublin, the party will increase its … Read more


Dublin Fingal This 5 seat constituency replaced the old Dublin North. It is augmented by the addition of over 17,000 people from Swords who were formerly in Dublin West. Clare Daly who is closely associated with Wexford TD Mick Wallace and running under his ‘Independents for Change’ banner is a safe bet to be the first elected here. The first shoots of the rebirth of Fianna Fáil in Dublin will see Darragh O’Brien re-elected following a five year sojourn in … Read more


Cavan Monaghan The constituency redraw removed over 13,000 people from west Cavan and reduced this constituency from five to four seats.  This also had the effect of leaving the population evenly divided between Cavan and Monaghan. It is likely that each county will elect two TDs. In Monaghan, Fine Gael Minister Heather Humphries will benefit from her ministerial position and also the defection of her former party colleague Sean Conlon to the independent ranks to hold onto her seat. She … Read more

Why #GE16 has turned me off

No longer do the youth of Ireland vote for party principles, or familiar faces. We do not want our national parliamentarians working on potholes or medical cards, we want them working on making the weak in our society strong. We live in a world so much bigger than Fianna Fail or Fine Gael. We have realised that the political party system is designed to bury social issues, not address them.

#GE16 S&W’s final round ups: 1 The Rest of Leinster

The Rest of Leinster In golfing parlance, the penultimate day of a major championship is known as “moving day”.  At this stage, many of the contestants have been discarded and the big players are jostling for position to decide the final rankings. Over the next couple of days, the public will make up their minds about Election 2016 and will undoubtedly make fools of all the pundits and muppets attempting to apply logic to a popularity contest. As we are … Read more