Poll Toppers at the 2009 Local (City and County Council) Elections

Adrian Kavanagh, 30th January 2014

In the lead up to, and in the immediate aftermath of, the 2011 General Election, I produced a post reviewing the poll toppers in each of the different constituencies at the 2007 General Election and their subsequent fate at the 2011 contest. This found that over half of the TDs who had topped the poll in their constituencies in 2007 subsequently were not holding seats after the 2011 contest: ten of these TDs opted to retire from politics ahead of the general election while a further twelve of these poll-topping TDs lost their seats at this contest.

Figure 1: The fates of the 2007 General Election poll toppers at the 2011 General Election.

Could a similar fate lie in store for those City or County Councillors who topped the poll in their electoral areas at the 2009 City and County Council elections? That remains to be seen. Indeed, by default due to the abolition of the Dual Mandate ahead of the 2004 elections, a number of the 2009 poll-toppers will not be eligible to contest these elections in any course. A study of the 171 current/former City and County Councillors (as listed in the table below), who topped the poll in their electoral areas at the 2009 contest, finds than an impressive number of these went on to subsequently win seats at the following general election (or indeed in a subsequent by-election (or rather one held on the same day, as in the case of Maureen O’Sullivan) : thirty one of these (18.7%) would win seats at the Dail election in 2011 while a further five (2.9%) would win seats in Seanad Eireann. Thus the 2009 poll toppers group would account for over 19 per cent of the membership of the new Dail after the February 2011 contest (and well over one-third of the new membership of this). Marking a further reduction in the numbers of the poll topper who are likely to be defending their seats in May 2014, a further fourteen (8.2%) of these have announced their intention to retire from politics at these elections (or have already done so) and this number may increase further over the coming months. All in all and at this point in time, close to thirty percent of the candidates who were poll toppers at the 2009 contest will not be defending these seat at the May 2014 elections. 

Electoral Area Seats Poll Topper Votes
Borris 4 Thomas Kinsella FG            1,238
Carlow East 4 Jennifer Murnane O’Connor FF            1,090
Carlow West 5 Michael Abbey FG                864
Muine Bheag 4 Jim Townsend LAB            1,050
Tullow 4 John Pender FF            1,168
CARLOW 21
Bailieborough 7 Niamh Smyth FF            1,019
Ballyjamesduff 6 Paddy Smith FG            1,177
Belturbert 5 Maura Maguire-Lynch FG            1,334
Cavan 7 Charlie Boylan SF            1,354
CAVAN 25
Ennis East 5 Johny Flynn FG            1,402
Ennis West 4 James Breen IND            1,747
Ennistymon 5 Martin Conway FG            1,820
Killaloe 6 Joe Cooney FG            2,780
Kilrush 6 Christy Curtin IND            1,733
Shannon 6 John Crowe FG            1,577
CLARE 32
Bandon 3 Alan Coleman FF            3,370
Bantry 5 Mary Hegarty FG            1,827
Blarney 4 John Gilroy LAB            4,538
Carrigaline 6 Seamus McGrath FF            3,996
Fermoy 4 Patrick O’Driscoll FG            2,559
Kanturk 4 Timmy Collins IND            3,343
Macroom 4 Michael Creed FG            4,655
Mallow 5 Dan Joe Fitzgerald FF            2,034
Midleton 6 Michael Hegarty FG            3,591
Skibbereen 7 Jim Daly FG            2,739
CORK COUNTY 48
Donegal 5 Barry O’Neill FG            2,189
Glenties 5 Seamus O’Domhnaill IND            2,011
Inishowen 7 Padraig MacLochlainn SF            2,131
Letterkenny 7 Ciaran Brogan FF            2,552
Stranorlar 5 Cora Harvey SF            2,226
DONEGAL 29
Balbriggan 5 Ken Farrell LAB            3,388
Castleknock 4 Joe Higgins SP            3,787
Howth-Malahide 5 Peter Coyle LAB            3,781
Mulhuddart 5 Patrick Nulty LAB            1,898
Swords 5 Claire Daly SP            3,192
FINGAL 24
Clondalkin 6 Robert Dowds LAB            2,449
Lucan 5 Derek Keating FG            4,146
Rathfarnham 4 Cait Keane FG            3,639
Tallaght Central 6 Mick Duffy LAB            3,125
Tallaght South 5 Eamonn Maloney LAB            2,344
SOUTH DUBLIN. 26
Ballybrack 5 Denis O’Callaghan LAB            2,543
Blackrock 4 Marie Baker FG            2,855
Dundrum 5 Jim O’Leary FG   3,583
Dun Laoghaire 6 Richard Boyd Barrett PBPA            4,091
Glencullen-Sandyford 4 Lettie McCarthy LAB            2,818
Stillorgan 4 Barry Saul FG            2,602
DUN LAOGHAIRE 28
Ballinasloe 5 Paul Connaughton FG            2,563
Connemara 7 Thomas Welby IND            2,584
Loughrea 7 Michael Fahy IND            2,247
Oranmore 4 Jim Cuddy IND            1,614
Tuam 7 Sean Canney IND            3,273
GALWAY 30
Dingle 3 Brendan Griffin FG            2,038
Killarney 7 Danny Healy-Rae IND            2,958
Killorglin 5 Michael Healy-Rae IND            3,198
Listowel 5 Robert Beasley SF            2,523
Tralee 7 Arthur J Spring LAB            3,155
KERRY 27
Athy 4 Mark Wall LAB            3,284
Celbridge 6 Catherine Murphy IND            4,499
Clane 4 Brendan Weld FG            2,288
Kildare 6 Paddy Kennedy IND            1,869
Naas 5 Anthony Lawlor FG            2,113
KILDARE 25
Ballyragget 5 Maurice Shortall LAB            2,004
Callan 4 Billy Ireland FG            1,269
Kilkenny 7 Andrew McGuinness FF            1,880
Piltown 6 Tomas Breathnach LAB            1,653
Thomastown 4 Pat O’Neill FG            1,459
KILKENNY 26
Borris in Ossory 6 John Joe Fennelly FF            1,758
Emo 4 Tom Mulhall FG                747
Luggacurren 4 James Daly FG            1,179
Mountmellick 4 Paddy Bracken FF                928
Portlaoise 7 Willie Aird FG            1,483
LAOIS 25
Ballinamore 5 Paddy O’Rourke FF                877
Carrick on Shannon 7 Enda Stenson IND                983
Drumahaire 5 Enda McGloin FG                814
Manorhamilton 5 Sean McDermott FG                691
LEITRIM 22
Adare 7 Leo Walsh FG            1,833
Castleconnell 7 Mary Jackman FG            1,993
Kilmallock 5 James Heffernan LAB            2,282
Newcastle 5 Jerome Scanlon FG            2,823
Rathkeale 4 John Sheahan FG            1,901
LIMERICK 28
Ballymahon 6 Larry Bannon FG                928
Drumlish 4 Martin Mulleady FF                886
Granard 4 PJ Reilly FF                677
Longford 7 Peggy Nolan FG                977
LONGFORD 21
Ardee 5 Pearse McGeogh SF            1,536
Drogheda East 6 Gerald Nash LAB            2,142
Drogheda West 4 Paul Bell LAB            1,904
Dundalk Carlingford 5 Peter Savage FF            1,643
Dundalk South 6 Thomas Sharkey SF            2,236
LOUTH 26
Ballina 6 Michelle Mulherrin FG            1,921
Belmullet 4 Micheal McNamara FF            1,503
Castlebar 7 Michael Kilcoyne IND            2,330
Claremorris 6 Patsy O’Brien FG            2,760
Swinford 4 Gerry Murray SF            2,218
Westport 4 Peter Flynn FG            1,694
MAYO 31
Dunshaughlin 7 Brian Fitzgerald IND            2,410
Kells 5 Catherine Yore FG            1,751
Navan 7 Francis Deane IND            1,813
Slane 6 Eoin Holmes LAB            2,088
Trim 4 Ray Butler FG            1,933
MEATH 29
Carrickmacross 5 Padraig McNally FF            1,343
Castleblaney 4 John O’Brien FF            1,949
Clones 4 Heather Humphreys FG            1,554
Monaghan 7 Seamus Treanor IND            1,300
MONAGHAN 20
Birr 4 Peter Ormond FF            1,481
Edenderry 6 John Foley FF            1,649
Ferbane 4 Eamonn Dooley FF            1,257
Tullamore 7 Barry Cowen FF            1,626
OFFALY 21
Athlone/South Roscommon 6 Tony Ward IND            1,643
Boyle 4 John Cummins FF            1,321
Castlerea-Ballaghadereen 7 John Kelly IND            2,230
Roscommon 5 Martin Connaughton FF            1,239
Strokestown 4 Tom Crosby IND            1,181
ROSCOMMON 26
Ballymote 4 Gerard Mullaney FG            1,438
Dromore 4 Michael N. Clarke IND            1,408
Sligo Drumcliff 6 Joe Leonard FG            1,527
Sligo Strandhill 7 Tony McLoughlin FG            2,019
Tobercurry 4 Margaret Gormley IND            2,162
SLIGO 25
Nenagh 6 Jim Casey FF            1,478
Newport 5 Phyll Bugler FG            1,370
Templemore 5 Michael Smith FF            1,791
Thurles 5 Seamus Hanafin FF            1,590
TIPPERARY NORTH RIDING 21
Cahir 4 Seanie Lonergan LAB            1,139
Cashel 4 Jack Crowe FG            1,264
Clonmel 7 Seamus Healy WUAG            2,336
Fethard 6 Jimmy O’Brien FG            2,438
Tipperary 5 Michael Fitzgerald FG            2,034
TIPPERARY SOUTH RIDING 26            9,211
TIPPERARY 47
Comeragh 6 Liam Brazil FG            1,732
Dungarvan 6 Damien Geoghegan FG            1,300
Lismore 4 James Tobin FF            1,023
Tramore 7 John Carey FG            1,113
WATERFORD COUNTY 23
Athlone 6 Kevin Boxer Moran FF            1,771
Coole 4 Frank McDermott FG            1,335
Kilbeggan 4 Joseph Flanagan FG            1,768
Mullingar East 4 Michael Dollard LAB            2,032
Mullingar West 5 Johnie Penrose LAB            1,643
WESTMEATH 23
Enniscorthy 5 Paddy Kavanagh FG            1,926
Gorey 5 John Hegarty FG            2,386
New Ross 4 Denis Kennedy FG            1,911
Wexford 7 George Lawlor LAB            2,210
WEXFORD 21
Arklow 5 Vincent Blake FG            2,041
Baltinglass 3 Tommy Cullen IND            1,934
Bray 7 Christopher Fox IND            2,043
Greystones 4 Simon Harris FG            3,119
Wicklow 5 Jimmy O’Shaughnessy LAB            1,918
WICKLOW 24
Cork City North Central 5 Mick Barry SP            2,096
Cork City North East 4 John Kelleher LAB            1,024
Cork City North West 4 Dave McCarthy IND            1,419
Cork City South Central 5 Lorraine Kingston LAB            1,778
Cork City South East 7 Des Cahill FG            1,776
Cork City South West 6 John Buttimer FG            2,070
CORK CITY 31
Artane-Whitehall 5 Larry O’Toole SF            2,702
Ballyfermot-Drimnagh 4 Michael Conaghan LAB            2,341
Ballymun-Finglas 5 John Lyons LAB            3,721
Cabra-Glasnevin 5 Mary Fitzpatrick FF            3,088
Clontarf 5 Damian O’Farrell IND            4,194
Crumlin-Kimmage 4 Eric Byrne LAB            3,652
Donaghmede 4 Sean Kenny LAB            4,119
North Inner City 6 Maureen O’Sullivan IND            2,859
Pembroke-Rathmines 6 Eoghan Murphy FG            2,637
South-East Inner City 4 Kevin Humphreys LAB            2,598
South-West Inner City 4 John Gallagher LAB            1,574
DUBLIN CITY 52
Galway City Central 4 Billy Cameron LAB            1,065
Galway City East 6 Terry O’Flaherty IND            1,139
Galway City West 5 Donal Lyons IND            1,843
GALWAY CITY 15
Limerick City East 4 John Gilligan IND                972
Limerick City North 6 Michael Hourigan FG            1,533
Limerick City South 7 Joe Leddin LAB            1,113
LIMERICK CITY 17            3,618
LIMERICK 45
Waterford City East 6 Davy Daniels IND            1,291
Waterford City North 4 Hilary Quinlan FG                963
Waterford City South 5 John Halligan IND            1,430
WATERFORD CITY 15

Table 1: Poll toppers by electoral area at the 2009 Local Elections. Note: Poll topper here is taken to mean the candidate who won the most first preference votes, not the candidate who was the first to be elected. 

Looking at the trends in the above table, it can be seen that no one party had an outright dominance in terms of which parties, or groupings, the 2009 poll toppers haled from. Not surprisingly, Fine Gael did account for most of these with sixty four (37.4%) of the poll toppers in 2009 being candidates of this party. Labour (33 – 19.3%), the Independents/Non Party grouping (32 – 18.7%) and Fianna Fail (29 – 17.0%) are grouped relatively closely together as the groupings/parties accounting for the next largest cohorts of poll toppers.  The relatively high number of independent/non-party candidates in this grouping is not surprising. While they cannot rely on the financial and organisational supports that party candidates enjoy, this is not as much of a drawback in local elections (or at least those up to 2009) given the smaller areas covered by local electoral areas relative to the much larger general election constituencies. Independent candidates also do not have to “share” a constituency with a running mate and hence are not limited by vote-management (e.g. constituency division or bailiwicking) in the way that party candidate on a multiple-candidate ticket would be. Sinn Fein accounted for eight (4.7%) of the poll toppers in 2009, while five (2.9%) poll toppers came from the group of left-wing parties that would form the United Left Alliance at the 2011 contest. Since the 2009 contest, five of these poll toppers have switched allegiances in terms of their party/grouping memberships.  There was a notable gender dimension here too, as 152 of the poll toppers were male (88.9%) and only 19 (11.1%) were female. The most “successful” of the poll toppers group in 2009, in terms of raw first preference votes, was Fine Gael’s Michael Creed with 4,655 votes in the Macroom electoral area (his running mate, Derry Canty, also polled very well with 4,046 votes). The next largest first preference vote won in the state in 2009 by a poll topper was Labour’s John Gilroy’s 4,538 votes haul in Blarney, followed by the 4,499 votes won by Catherine Murphy (Independent) in Celbridge. The smallest number of votes won a poll topper was the 677 votes won by PJ Reilly (Fianna Fail) in Granard, just ahead of the 691 votes won by Sean McDermott (Fine Gael) in Manorhamilton and the 747 votes won by Tom Mulhall (Fine Gael) in Emo. Of course, the raw number of first preference votes is reflective of other factors (constituency size, voter turnout levels, as well as the relative level of competition in a constituency) than popularity. Another way to compare the support levels won by the 2009 is to look at their percentage share of the vote, or their vote as a proportion of the quota in their constituency, and these figures are illustrated in the table below.

Electoral Area Poll Topper Votes % Quota
Borris Thomas Kinsella FG 23% 1.13
Carlow East Jennifer Murnane O’Connor FF 26% 1.30
Carlow West Michael Abbey FG 21% 1.28
Muine Bheag Jim Townsend LAB 20% 1.00
Tullow John Pender FF 26% 1.32
Bailieborough Niamh Smyth FF 10% 0.80
Ballyjamesduff Paddy Smith FG 13% 0.92
Belturbert Maura Maguire-Lynch FG 19% 1.11
Cavan Charlie Boylan SF 15% 1.23
Ennis East Johny Flynn FG 18% 1.06
Ennis West James Breen IND 31% 1.54
Ennistymon Martin Conway FG 18% 1.10
Killaloe Joe Cooney FG 24% 1.71
Kilrush Christy Curtin IND 15% 1.07
Shannon John Crowe FG 16% 1.11
Bandon Alan Coleman FF 26% 1.03
Bantry Mary Hegarty FG 15% 0.91
Blarney John Gilroy LAB 24% 1.21
Carrigaline Seamus McGrath FF 17% 1.19
Fermoy Patrick O’Driscoll FG 19% 0.95
Kanturk Timmy Collins IND 23% 1.13
Macroom Michael Creed FG 22% 1.09
Mallow Dan Joe Fitzgerald FF 14% 0.82
Midleton Michael Hegarty FG 15% 1.02
Skibbereen Jim Daly FG 15% 1.19
Donegal Barry O’Neill FG 15% 0.88
Glenties Seamus O’Domhnaill IND 13% 0.81
Inishowen Padraig MacLochlainn SF 13% 1.06
Letterkenny Ciaran Brogan FF 13% 1.06
Stranorlar Cora Harvey SF 19% 1.14
Balbriggan Ken Farrell LAB 19% 1.15
Castleknock Joe Higgins SP 28% 1.40
Howth-Malahide Peter Coyle LAB 17% 1.02
Mulhuddart Patrick Nulty LAB 14% 0.86
Swords Claire Daly SP 20% 1.23
Clondalkin Robert Dowds LAB 16% 1.10
Lucan Derek Keating FG 27% 1.61
Rathfarnham Cait Keane FG 21% 1.05
Tallaght Central Mick Duffy LAB 13% 0.92
Tallaght South Eamonn Maloney LAB 15% 0.92
Ballybrack Denis O’Callaghan LAB 18% 1.09
Blackrock Marie Baker FG 24% 1.18
Dundrum Richard Boyd Barrett PBPA 24% 1.41
Dun Laoghaire Jim O’Leary FG 20% 1.40
Glencullen-Sandyford Lettie McCarthy LAB 26% 1.30
Stillorgan Barry Saul FG 23% 1.14
Ballinasloe Paul Connaughton FG 19% 1.13
Connemara Thomas Welby IND 16% 1.26
Loughrea Michael Fahy IND 12% 0.98
Oranmore Jim Cuddy IND 17% 0.87
Tuam Sean Canney IND 17% 1.39
Dingle Brendan Griffin FG 22% 0.88
Killarney Danny Healy-Rae IND 16% 1.26
Killorglin Michael Healy-Rae IND 21% 1.28
Listowel Robert Beasley SF 15% 0.93
Tralee Arthur J Spring LAB 18% 1.45
Athy Mark Wall LAB 29% 1.44
Celbridge Catherine Murphy IND 26% 1.81
Clane Brendan Weld FG 22% 1.08
Kildare Paddy Kennedy IND 12% 0.83
Naas Anthony Lawlor FG 16% 0.96
Ballyragget Maurice Shortall LAB 23% 1.38
Callan Billy Ireland FG 19% 0.96
Kilkenny Andrew McGuinness FF 18% 1.41
Piltown Tomas Breathnach LAB 16% 1.12
Thomastown Pat O’Neill FG 19% 0.96
Borris in Ossory John Joe Fennelly FF 20% 1.39
Emo Tom Mulhall FG 13% 0.67
Luggacurren James Daly FG 21% 1.05
Mountmellick Paddy Bracken FF 15% 0.77
Portlaoise Willie Aird FG 18% 1.42
Ballinamore Paddy O’Rourke FF 17% 1.04
Carrick on Shannon Enda Stenson IND 18% 1.48
Drumahaire Enda McGloin FG 18% 1.06
Manorhamilton Sean McDermott FG 16% 0.97
Adare Leo Walsh FG 15% 1.24
Castleconnell Mary Jackman FG 15% 1.19
Kilmallock James Heffernan LAB 18% 1.09
Newcastle Jerome Scanlon FG 23% 1.37
Rathkeale John Sheahan FG 20% 0.99
Ballymahon Larry Bannon FG 15% 1.06
Drumlish Martin Mulleady FF 20% 0.99
Granard PJ Reilly FF 17% 0.84
Longford Peggy Nolan FG 15% 1.23
Ardee Pearse McGeogh SF 15% 0.89
Drogheda East Gerald Nash LAB 21% 1.44
Drogheda West Paul Bell LAB 26% 1.30
Dundalk Carlingford Peter Savage FF 16% 0.94
Dundalk South Thomas Sharkey SF 19% 1.36
Ballina Michelle Mulherrin FG 16% 1.11
Belmullet Micheal McNamara FF 17% 0.83
Castlebar Michael Kilcoyne IND 16% 1.26
Claremorris Patsy O’Brien FG 19% 1.31
Swinford Gerry Murray SF 25% 1.23
Westport Peter Flynn FG 20% 1.02
Dunshaughlin Brian Fitzgerald IND 14% 1.14
Kells Catherine Yore FG 13% 0.77
Navan Francis Deane IND 12% 0.93
Slane Eoin Holmes LAB 16% 1.14
Trim Ray Butler FG 20% 0.99
Carrickmacross Padraig McNally FF 16% 0.95
Castleblaney John O’Brien FF 27% 1.34
Clones Heather Humphreys FG 24% 1.20
Monaghan Seamus Treanor IND 13% 1.06
Birr Peter Ormond FF 21% 1.03
Edenderry John Foley FF 17% 1.21
Ferbane Eamonn Dooley FF 16% 0.80
Tullamore Barry Cowen FF 14% 1.11
Athlone/South Roscommon Tony Ward IND 21% 1.44
Boyle John Cummins FF 23% 1.15
Castlerea-Ballaghadereen John Kelly IND 24% 1.92
Roscommon Martin Connaughton FF 20% 1.20
Strokestown Tom Crosby IND 22% 1.09
Ballymote Gerard Mullaney FG 24% 1.22
Dromore Michael N. Clarke IND 22% 1.10
Sligo Drumcliff Joe Leonard FG 20% 1.38
Sligo Strandhill Tony McLoughlin FG 25% 1.99
Tobercurry Margaret Gormley IND 36% 1.82
Nenagh Jim Casey FF 14% 0.96
Newport Phyll Bugler FG 15% 0.88
Templemore Michael Smith FF 20% 1.22
Thurles Seamus Hanafin FF 17% 1.01
Cahir Seanie Lonergan LAB 17% 0.85
Cashel Jack Crowe FG 19% 0.96
Clonmel Seamus Healy WUAG 22% 1.74
Fethard Jimmy O’Brien FG 24% 1.67
Tipperary Michael Fitzgerald FG 22% 1.34
Comeragh Liam Brazil FG 21% 1.47
Dungarvan Damien Geoghegan FG 15% 1.07
Lismore James Tobin FF 18% 0.88
Tramore John Carey FG 12% 0.99
Athlone Kevin Boxer Moran FF 17% 1.18
Coole Frank McDermott FG 20% 1.02
Kilbeggan Joseph Flanagan FG 24% 1.22
Mullingar East Michael Dollard LAB 31% 1.56
Mullingar West Johnie Penrose LAB 22% 1.33
Enniscorthy Paddy Kavanagh FG 14% 0.82
Gorey John Hegarty FG 17% 1.03
New Ross Denis Kennedy FG 16% 0.78
Wexford George Lawlor LAB 12% 0.93
Arklow Vincent Blake FG 16% 0.96
Baltinglass Tommy Cullen IND 23% 0.92
Bray Christopher Fox IND 14% 1.15
Greystones Simon Harris FG 32% 1.59
Wicklow Jimmy O’Shaughnessy LAB 16% 0.96
Cork City North Central Mick Barry SP 26% 1.59
Cork City North East John Kelleher LAB 19% 0.94
Cork City North West Dave McCarthy IND 23% 1.17
Cork City South Central Lorraine Kingston LAB 25% 1.53
Cork City South East Des Cahill FG 15% 1.24
Cork City South West John Buttimer FG 23% 1.63
Artane-Whitehall Larry O’Toole SF 17% 1.00
Ballyfermot-Drimnagh Michael Conaghan LAB 19% 0.97
Ballymun-Finglas John Lyons LAB 22% 1.33
Cabra-Glasnevin Mary Fitzpatrick FF 18% 1.09
Clontarf Damian O’Farrell IND 20% 1.22
Crumlin-Kimmage Eric Byrne LAB 25% 1.27
Donaghmede Sean Kenny LAB 25% 1.24
North Inner City Maureen O’Sullivan IND 24% 1.68
Pembroke-Rathmines Eoghan Murphy FG 15% 1.05
South-East Inner City Kevin Humphreys LAB 27% 1.37
South-West Inner City John Gallagher LAB 19% 0.95
Galway City Central Billy Cameron LAB 21% 1.03
Galway City East Terry O’Flaherty IND 13% 0.91
Galway City West Donal Lyons IND 21% 1.26
Limerick City East John Gilligan IND 20% 1.02
Limerick City North Michael Hourigan FG 18% 1.28
Limerick City South Joe Leddin LAB 14% 1.09
Waterford City East Davy Daniels IND 19% 1.36
Waterford City North Hilary Quinlan FG 23% 1.13
Waterford City South John Halligan IND 24% 1.45

Table 2: Poll toppers by electoral area at the 2009 Local Elections in terms of their percentage share of the vote/quota. 

Measured in terms of percentage share of the vote, the most popular candidate/poll-topper in the state at the 2009 elections was independent candidate, Margaret Gormley, who won 36.5% of the first preference vote in Tobercurry. The next highest candidates in this regard were Simon Harris (Fine Gael) who won 31.8% of the Greystones first preference vote and Michael Dollard who won 31.2% of the Mullingar East first preference vote. The poll topping candidates with the lowest vote shares were Fianna Fail’s Niamh Smyth (10.0% in Bailieborough), independent candidate Francis Deane (11.6% in Navan) and Labour’s George Lawlor (11.7% in Wexford). When analysed in terms of how their first preference votes compared with the quota in their respective constituencies, the most successful of the 2009 poll toppers in this regard is shown to be Tony McLoughlin (Fine Gael), who won close to twice the quota in Sligo-Strandhill in terms of his first preference vote (1.99 quotas). The next most successful in this regard was former independent councillor, and now Labour Senator, John Kelly with 1.92 quotas in Castlerea and the aforementioned Margaret Gormley, with 1.82 quotas in Tobercurry (just ahead of Catherine Murphy on 1.81 quotas in Celbridge). At the other end of the scale, the lowest placed candidates in this regard were Tom Mulhall (Fine Gael) with 0.67 quotas in Emo and Paddy Bracken (Fianna Fail) with 0.77 quotas in Mountmellick – hey, elections in Co. Laois ARE competitive – as well as Catherine Yore with 0.77 quotas in Kells. 123 of the poll toppers succeeded in winning enough votes to exceed the quota, and hence be deemed elected, on the first count, but the other 48 poll toppers had to wait for a later count before securing their seats.

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About Adrian Kavanagh

Lecturer in Maynooth University Department of Geography.
This entry was posted in Candidates, local elections, Local Elections 2014, Poll toppers and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Poll Toppers at the 2009 Local (City and County Council) Elections

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