The 2019 Local Elections: A Geographer’s Overview

Adrian Kavanagh, 28th March 2019

The 2019 City and County Council elections took place on 28th May 2019.

Perhaps the most notable trend at this election was to do with voter turnout. The average turnout level for the 2019 Local Elections is estimated to stand at 49.7%. This means that more than half the of the registered electorate did not turn out to vote in a local election contest for first time in the State’s history. To me, that’s a disaster. Furthermore, there seems to have been a notable drop in turnout levels, over and above the national average level of decline, in some working class areas, resulting in some very low turnout levels in electoral areas such as Tallaght South (26.9%), where barely over a quarter of the people, who were on the electoral register, turned out to vote.

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Friday’s Elections: Why Voting Matters

Adrian Kavanagh, 23rd May 2019

This year, local, European and referendum elections are taking place on Friday 24th May (TOMORROW!!!), while voters in Cork City, Waterford and Limerick also get to vote on a plebiscite on whether they will have a directly elected mayor for those local authorities. The results of these contests will be determined by many factors – some of these being local, some being national and some even having a European focus – but voter turnout levels on the day will also have a major bearing. Voting matters and – in this post – I will discuss why.

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Local Elections 2019: What is the Most Competitive Constituency?

Adrian Kavanagh, 23rd May 2019

Before I get (possibly deserved) flak from people who are fighting tooth and nail for seats in constituencies that are deemed as “less competitive” here, please (i) accept my apologies in advance, (ii) note that this is a simple number crunch, which cannot capture the realities of the ground game in different electoral areas – something that only politicians/voters in those electoral areas will know much about!

What is the most competitive local election constituency in the state, looking ahead to tomorrow’s local election contests? This post will attempt to offer a “rough” estimate of constituency competitiveness and – in order to do so – will involve the creation of an index – the Kavanagh Constituency Competitiveness Factor (KCCF) – which will allow for a potential ranking of electoral areas based on their individual scores.   

There are various ways that the relative competitiveness of a constituency can be measured, as will be discussed in this post.

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Links to 2019 Local Elections Candidate Selection pages on this Website

Adrian Kavanagh, 21st May 2019

To make it easier for readers to access all the pages relating to candidate selections for the (upcoming) 2019 City and County Council elections quickly, I will list all the relevant pages in this posts.

NB: If you do use this website/any of these pages to gain information for your work (e.g. media reports/newspaper articles, academic research…) please make sure to cite/reference this site. The information gathered on these page has taken a lot of time to do (over thirteen months work) on my part.

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Political Reform in Ireland: My Personal Electoral and Political Reform Agenda

Adrian Kavanagh, 20th May 2019

As we approach the upcoming local, European and referendum elections on May 24th and as this is “Elections Week” for the Geographical Society of Ireland’s Year of Geography series, I have decided to mark both these events by (again) revisiting my earlier post on what I would consider my political reform priorities to be.

In my opinion, Ireland’s record on political reform very much amounts to a case of “something done but a lot more to be do”, which is rather disappointing given that there was a significant opportunity space in play to bring in political reform measures in the wake of the Economic Recession in the late 2000s. The perception, to a large degree, is that much of the reform effort across the 2010s has been driven by the belief that the Irish people had a very negative opinion of politics and that the main thing they really wanted to see changed in Irish politics was a significant overall reduction in politician numbers. However, the experience of the past few years has shown that while people may like the idea of fewer politicians in theory, they are less enthusiastic when faced with the practicalities of this. This was seen in the rejection of the Seanad Referendum in October 2013 and negative reactions to the abolition of Town/Borough Councils and the reduction in County Councillor numbers in rural areas ahead of the 2014 Local Elections.

Ultimately my sense is that more democracy – assuming that cost/benefit concerns are addressed and that real power invested at all levels, local as well as national – is better than less democracy.

My approach in terms of what I stress in terms of a political reform agenda is to be as pragmatic as popular and avoid populist and knee-jerk approaches to these issues. Reflecting the 5 C’s that act as barriers against female participation in electoral politics, I should we can talk about a different cohort of 5 C’s – the 5 C’s, or principles, that should shape all political reform processes.

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Local Election pages on different County/City Council websites

Adrian Kavanagh, 29th April 2019

This page/post aims to identify/provide links to webpages on different City Council and County Council websites, which provide useful information relevant to the upcoming Local Elections.

The level/range of information provided by these webpages seems to vary quite dramatically. Most, as of now, do seem to include “guides on postering” details, as well as details on how candidates can get nominated, but little more in some cases (where there is especially useful extra information/resources provided by a site/webpage, I’ll note this below). It is probably still very much early days (late April 2019), as of now, so the level on information on these webpages/websites is likely to increase over the coming weeks.

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2019 Local Elections candidate selections for the “Other” political parties/groupings

Adrian Kavanagh, 19th March 2019

The groups/parties listed here are smaller parties that had – at least by the middle of March 2019 – selected only a relatively small number of Local Elections 2019 candidates, including Aontú, the Workers Party, Renua, Eirigi and Republican Sinn Féin. As such – and mainly due to the time pressures being experienced by the owner/creator of this website – candidate selections for all of these parties will be logged in this “all in” post.

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Posted in Candidates, Candidates Local Elections 2019, local elections, Local Elections 2019 | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments