Adrian Kavanagh (First posted on 19th April 2017 – this post will be updated as and when new candidates are selected/declared)
The run in to the next general election, which can take place at any stage over the next four years, has officially commenced given that the Labour Party has now started the process of selecting their candidates for the next general election contest, commencing with the selection of Ged Nash as their candidate for the Louth constituency on 12th April 2017. (See this post for a list of the candidate for the 2016 General Election and an analysis of candidate selection trends ahead of this contest.)
This post will track all candidate selections or candidate declarations, with respect to the next general election, as and when these happen (and I become aware of them!). This will also take account of the fact that there might be changes to Dail constituencies between now and the next general election, but only if the report of the 2017 Constituency Commission is put into law by a new Electoral Act before the next general election takes place. Until the 2017 Constituency Commission report is officially enacted, this post will assume that general election constituencies (and their seat numbers) will remain the same as for the February 2016 General Election.
As of now (as far as I am aware), 4 candidates have been selected to contest the next general election, or have – in the case of independents – declared their intention to contest the next general election. 2 of these candidates are women (50.0%) and 2 of these candidates are men (50.0%). Continue reading
Adrian Kavanagh, 19th April 2017
Following an announcement by Theresa May yesterday and a House of Commons vote to confirm this today, a “snap” general election is now scheduled to be held in the United Kingdom on Thursday 8th June 2017. What do the latest opinion poll figures suggest in relation to the likely number of seats that each party will win in that contest? As the last general election in the United Kingdom showed, this is a hazardous task to engage in, as the votes to seats ration can be skewed by geography and spatial differences in terms of support gains/losses for the different parties. For instance, Labour’s overall share of the vote increased in 2015, relative to the 2010 General Election, by 1.5%, but the extent of the party’s support/seat losses to the Scottish Nationalist Party in Scotland (returning with just 1 of the 41 seats that the party had won there in 2010) meant that most of the 701,147 votes won by Labour in Scotland were effectively wasted votes. Continue reading
The final/definitive population by area Census 2016 figures were published earlier today (at 11 am), showing a population level within the state of 4,761,865, marking a notable increase (of 173,613 – 3.8%) on the 4,588,252 population level recorded for the 2011 Census. (The provisional figures published back in July 2016 only under-estimated this national population figure by 3,889 people – only out by 0.08%.) This now leaves an average population of 30,138.4 per Dail Deputy across the State (for the current 158-Dail seat context). Given that the Constitution explicitly states that the population per TD ratio nationally (this does not apply to individual constituencies) must not exceed 30,000 (or indeed fall below 20,000), this means that the smallest number of Dail deputies, which can be envisaged in the Constituency Commission review of Dail constituency boundaries, is 159, which is a higher number that the current membership (158 TDs) of Dail Eireann. As a result, the extent of the boundary changes that will be required is probably more extensive than would have been envisaged prior to the publication of the preliminary population figures back in July 2016. Continue reading
Posted in Census 2016, Constituency Commission, Election boundaries, Uncategorized
Tagged 2017, Carlow-Kilkenny, Cavan-Monaghan, Census, Clare, Constituency Commission, Donegal, Dublin Central, Dublin Fingal, Dublin North West, Dublin West, Galway East, Galway West, Kildare South, Laois, Limerick City, Limerick County, Mayo, Offaly, Sligo-Leitrim, Tipperary
Adrian Kavanagh, 2nd March 2017
After a series of poor figures across opinion polls in the earlier months of 2017, this morning’s Irish Times-Ipsos MRBI poll brings better news for Fine Gael – offering the party its highest support level across most of the recent polls and leaving it standing just one percentage point behind Fianna Fail. Fianna Fail’s support level here is in line with that party’s strong showing across most of the polls carried out in the first few weeks of 2017, as is Sinn Fein’s – given that the Irish Times/Ipsos-MRBI opinion poll was published on 8th December 2016, the four percentage points gain for that party in this poll can be seen to reflect trends in other polls across the past few weeks/months. As it stands, the three largest parties command a combined support level of 78% in this opinion poll (roughly fifteen percent higher than the combined support level for these parties in the February 2016 election), while support for Labour, a number of the smaller parties/groupings and independent candidates has declined relative to the support levels at the last general election. Could it be that the Irish party system is becoming less fragmented, with support levels starting to harden around the three largest parties???
The 2nd March Irish Times/Ipsos-MRBI opinion poll estimates party support levels as follows: Fianna Fail 29% (down 1% relative to the previous Ipsos-MRBI opinion poll), Fine Gael 28% (up 1%), Sinn Fein 21% (up 4%), Independents and Others 18% (down 2%) – including Anti-Austerity Alliance-People Before Profit 3%, Social Democrats 1%, Green Party 3%, Independents 10% – Labour Party 4% (down 2%). My constituency-level analysis of these poll figures estimates that party seat levels, should such national support trends be replicated in an actual general election, would be as follows: Fianna Fail 54, Fine Gael 54, Sinn Fein 34, Labour Party 1, Anti Austerity Alliance-People Before Profit 3, Social Democrats 1, Green Party 2, Independents 6. Continue reading
In July 2016, immediately following after the publication of provisional population by area figures by the Central Statistics Office for the 2016 Census, a new Constituency Commission was set in place to begin the process of redrawing European and general election constituency boundaries in light of the changes in population between 2011 and 2016 as revealed in these figures. The previous (2012) Commission had reduced the number of TDs down from 166 to 158, but population increase across the state between 2011 and 2016 means that the smallest number of TDs that the Constitution (should be at least one TD for every 30,000 people) will allow is now 159. (The new Commission can choose to go for either 159 or 160 Dail seats.) As with the 2011-12 review, the process of reviewing Dail and European constituency boundaries commenced much earlier for this Commission than for those between 1980 and 2007. Between 1980 and 2007, the process started after the publication of the final, or definitive, population by area census figures by the CSO (usually published a year after a Census was held). Following the ruling on the McGrath/Murphy High Court case in 2007, the Commission must now commence the process of redrawing Dail and European election constituency boundaries after provisional census figures are published although they cannot publish the final report until after the final or definitive population by area census figures have been published. Given that there tends to be little difference between provisional and final census figures for large areas such as constituencies, very few final tweaks may be needed should a draft version of the final report be available ahead of the publication of the final census figures and the published report is likely to be available some weeks after these figures are released.
In total, 418 public submissions were made to the 2017 Constituency Commission before the closing date for submissions (10th January 2017). This is well down on the 533 submissions that were made to the 2012 Constituency Commission (21.6% reduction), but still compares highly favourably with the 335 submissions made in the case of the 2007 Constituency Commission and the 99 submissions made in the case of the 2004 Constituency Commission. Continue reading
Adrian Kavanagh, 6th-10th January 2017
This article will offer a geographical perspective on the election results at the 2016 USA Presidential election. I have purposely held off on writing this article for the past few weeks, as election results still needed to be finalised in many US states a number of weeks after the election took place on 8th November 2016.
Figure 1: States won by Trump (red) and Clinton (blue) at the 2016 Presidential Election contest. Maine is shaded in purple, because Trump won one electoral college vote there (Congressional District 2), even though Clinton won that state. Alaska (won by Trump) and Hawaii (won by Clinton) are not included here.
This article will focus on the “where” of the recent electoral contest – what states saw the biggest increase/decrease in support for the different parties/candidates, as well as how these trends relate to overall regional trends within the USA over the past few decades, as well as the degree to which the number of voters increased/decreased across the different US states. In order to keep this post relatively focused/concise, most of this account will focus on teasing out the Republican Party support patterns at this election, but also within the context of the trends evident at other recent presidential election contests.