Adrian Kavanagh, 29th April 2011
Fine Gael 4 seats, Fianna Fail 3 seats, Labour Party 1 seat, Sinn Fein 1 seat
Elected: Jimmy Harte LB, Averil Power FF, Mary White FF, Marc McSharry FF, Imelda Henry FG, Paul Coghlan FG, Colm Burke FG, Catherine Noone FG, Kathryn Reilly SF (Inside panel candidates underlined)
This was another good result in terms of seat gains for Fianna Fail and Sinn Fein with both parties managing to punch above their weight (in terms of their actual share of the Seanad electorate). Despite having 1.8 quotas, Labour was unable to translate this vote into two seats, mainly due to the very crowded field of Labour candidates (5 in all) which militated against Joe Leddin and Lorraine Higgins’s prospects of joining Jimmy Harte in the Seanad. Interesting to note that all four successful Fine Gael candidates in this contest were elected from the “outside” panel.
Fine Gael candidates won a combined number of 444 (or 444,000) first preference votes for this panel (41.6%), while Fianna Fail candidates won 305 (28.6%) and Labour’s five candidates won 186 (17.4%). Sinn Fein’s Kathryn Reilly won 73 votes (6.8%), the Green Party’s Dan Boyle won 19 votes (1.8%) and the five independent candidates won 40 (3.7%).
This was an exceptionally good panel for female candidates, with more females being elected than males. Female candidates won 33.6% of the first preference votes (358) in what proved to be a very good panel contest for them, with five female candidates (Power, White, Henry, Noone and Reilly) winning seats here.
As with the Agricultural panel, this panel proved a happy hunting ground for Connacht-Ulster, with candidates from this region winning 429 votes (40.1%), as against 289 votes (27.0%) for Dublin candidates, 246 votes (23.0%) for Munster candidates and 106 votes (9.9%) for Leinster candidates. The relatively stronger performance by Dublin candidates was reflected in the fact that three candidates from this region – all of whom were female – were elected (Power, White and Noone).