Trends observed during the elections counts (May 24th-25th 2014)

Adrian Kavanagh, 24th-25th May 2014 (being updated during the day) My thoughts/observations as the election counts progress during the weekend – I’ll be updating these regularly.

3.00pm, Sunday May 26th

Another good individual result for a Labour candidate in Drogheda where Paul Bell finished in second place with 1,411 votes and was elected on the second count. Labour could take two of the ten seats here.

2.30pm, Sunday May 26th

Female candidates filled the first three seats in the Kildare-Newbridge electoral area, with Fianna Fail’s Fiona O’Loughlin and Suzanne Doyle and Fine Gael’s Fiona McLoughlin-Healy. A fourth female candidate, Joanne Pender, is likely to be elected in that nine seat constituency.

2.00pm, Sunday May 26th

Independents win a huge 60% share of the vote in Killarney – filling the first three seats in that constituency with the likelihood of a fourth independent candidate being elected on a later count. Danny Healy-Rae won a huge 4,388 first preference vote number.

Sinn Fein win 30% of the vote in the nine seat Tralee constituency, with Toireasa Ferris topping the poll with 2,679 and her running mate, Pa Daly, also being elected on Count 1 with 2,122 votes. With close to three quotas here, the party might again have taken an extra seat if they had run a third candidate.

1.30pm, Sunday May 26th

Very strong performance by Independents in the Galway City East electoral area, taking three of the six seats there. There was also a first Sinn Fein seat in Galway City for Mairead Farrell. She could very well be the youngest female candidate to win a seat in these elections.

1.00pm, Sunday May 26th

There have been some very strong performances by female candidates in these local elections. Female candidates won 57% of the vote and four out of the six seats in the Rathfarnham electoral area. In all, female candidates won 32.1% of the vote across all the electoral areas in the Dublin region.

A lot of Sinn Feim candidates have been elected on the first counts in different constituencies in these local elections, but sometimes with no other Sinn Fein candidate to transfer these surpluses to. Sinn Fein won a whopping 54% of the vote in Tallaght South, but only ran two candidates in this constituency and obviously missed out on an extra seat or even two due to under-nomination. Sinn Fein also had over three quotas in the Clondalkin electoral area but only ran two candidates there.

12.00pm, Sunday May 26th

There have been some very strong performances by female candidates in these local elections. Female candidates won 52% of the vote and four out of the six seats in Crumlin-Kimmage and they won 67% of the vote and four out of the six seats in Blackrock. 

Deirdre Kingston came from 9th place on the first count in Blackrock to edge out Lola Hynes of People Before Profit Alliance for the last of the six seats there, despite having trailed her by exactly two hundred votes on the first count.

11.30pm, Sunday May 26th

It looks as if Seamus McGrath of Fianna Fail may have won the largest personal vote in the state in these local elections, with 4,700 first preferences in Ballincollig-Carrigaline.  

The first count in the Borris in Ossory-Mountmellick electoral area in Laois has been announced – no one has been elected yet and Fine Gael’s John King has topped the poll.

Despite a bad result nationally, there has been some good personal votes for Labour Party candidates in a number of electoral areas, with most of these seeming to be located in the more middle class urban areas and some of the more rural constituencies. For instance, Jane Horgan Jones won nearly two thousand first preference votes in the very competitive Clontarf ward and comfortably retained her seat there, whereas Grace Tallon acchieved a similar result in Dundrum. Labour look as if they could actually gain a seat in Portlaoise, whereas Cathal Rasmussen has done well to take a seat for the party in Cobh. There have been some Labour poll toppers in these local elections, incuding Ken Farrell (Balbriggan) and Lettie McCarthy (Glencullen-Sandyford).

11.00pm, Sunday May 26th

One of Fine Gael’s strongest results in these local elections looks to have come in the Muinebeag electoral area in Carlow, where the party took four of the eight seats there.

12.00pm, Saturday May 25th

Sinn Fein’s Aidan Mullins has stormed to victory in Graiguecullen-Portarlington, topping the poll there and exceeding the quota on the first count. Also looks like two Fine Gael seats here for Tom Mulhall and John Moran, an Independent seat for Ben Brennan and two Fianna Fail seats for Padraig Fleming and one out of Paschal McEvoy or Willie Murphy. Two sitting councillors, James Daly and Ray Cribbin, will lose their seats.

11.00pm, Saturday May 25th

Given the day that was in it, the Lettie McCarthy poll topping performance for Labour in Glencullen-Sandyford looks highly impressive. A good vote here too for Fine Gael’s Neale Richmond sees him take the second seat here, but his three running mates are occupying the final three position in terms of votes on the first county and he may well be Fine Gael’s only seat here.

Grace Tallon has also polled well for Labour, all things being considered, in Dundrum and she is in contention for a seat there. Sinn Fein’s Sorcha Nic Cormaic has topped the poll, with Shay Brennan (Fianna Fail), Green Party deputy leader Catherine Martin, Fine Gael’s Brian Murphy and Ross-alligned Independent, Seamas O’Neill, separating Nic Cormaic and Tallon at present.

10.30pm, Saturday May 25th

In Blackrock, where Marie Bakey (Fine Gael) and Mary Hanafin (Fianna Fail) were elected on the first count, female candidates won two thirds of the first preference votes cast there.  A similar trend should ensue in terms of the seat numbers, with Kate Feeney (Fianna Fail) certain to be elected and with Lola Hynes (People Before Profit) and Celine Moorkens (Green Party) vying for the last seat here.

10.00pm, Saturday May 25th

John Bailey has been elected on the first count in the Dun Laoghaire electoral area. Fine Gael have done well there with 30% of the vote, although Bailey is some distance ahead of his three running mates and they may be looking to win just two seats here. A good vote and equally good vote management here for the two People Before Profit candidates, Melisa Halpin and Karl Gill.  See:

Hugh Lewis of People Before Profit has topped the poll in neighbouring Killiney-Shankill. Very good votes for Sinn Fein’s Shane O’Brien and Fianna Fail’s Jennifer Cuffe may give them claims to be on their party tickets in Dun Laoghaire come the next general election. Labour have two candidates in the seat positions and this has been one of their better results in what is a more working class constituency. There are probably three or four serious contenders for the final seat here. See:

7.30pm, Saturday May 25th Former Labour Party member, Cian O’Callaghan, has topped the poll in Howth-Malahide. Eoghan O’Brien of Fianna Fail and Daire Ni Laoi of Sinn Fein also elected on the first count. 7.00pm, Saturday May 25th It has been very much Independents Day in Templeogue-Terenure with Dermot Looney topping the poll (and being elected on the first count) and with Ronan McMahon coming in second. Independents have won 38% of the votes here. This has been another good constituency for Sinn Fein, with Fintan Warfield coming in third here. 6.30pm, Saturday May 25th Sinn Fein’s Máire Devine has topped the poll in Tallaght Central with big personal vote for her there. Former Fianna Fail TD, Charlie O’Connor, has also polled very well and currently lies in second place. Mick Murphy of Anti Austerity Alliance and Mick Duff of Labour have also polled well there and look well placed to win seats.  Fine Gael’s Joe Cooney has topped the poll in Killaloe with a huge personal first preference vote for him there.  The first count in Swords has seen Philip Lynam of Sinn Fein topping the poll and exceeding the quota on this count. This has been a disappointing result for Fine Gael, with the party’s two candidates only winning a combined 7% share of the vote in this constituency (which falls inside Dublin Fingal, where the party currently holds two Dail seats). 6.00pm, Saturday May 25th No candidates have been elected in Athenry-Oranmore yet. Fine Gael’s Peter Feeney is leading the way and should be the first to be elected. Kate O’Connell (Fine Gael) has been elected in Rathgar-Rathmines. The Green Party’s Patrick Costello likely to be elected there on the next few counts. The two Sinn Fein candidates have both been elected on the first count in Tallaght South. This looks like a constituency where there may have been another seat for the party if they had run another candidate. Labour’s Martina Genockey has polled well here and she is currently in third place. 5.30pm, Saturday May 25th Daithi Doolan of Sinn Fein has won a seat on the first count in Ballyfermot-Drimnagh with strong votes here for Brid Smith of People Before Profit Alliance and independent candidate, Paul Hand. With Sinn fein looking likely to win two and with Fianna Fail well placed to regain a seat, there may be no seat here for the Labour Party. The North Inner City first count shows a very strong result here for Sinn Fein (especially as former party member, Christy Burke, has also won a seat on the first count as an independent) and for Independents. On the first count, it looks as if there may be just one seat here for the three main parties with Labour struggling here in what was a very strong area for the party in 2009 and in what is Joe Costello’s main support base in Dublin Central. 5.00pm, Saturday May 25th While their European Election poll figures seem disappointing, Fianna Fail seem to be doing better in the tallies and the actual election counts than what was being suggested by the Exit Poll (and the analysis of this). Could they win more seats than Fine Gael? It’s looking a possibility at this stage.  Sinn Fein, the Anti Austerity Alliance and Fianna Fail have won seats in Mulhuddart. Sinn Fein and the Anti Austerity Alliance have both won very large vote shares here – Sinn Fein are on 30% and the Anti Austerity Alliance are on 26% – but their vote management is poor with the leading candidates all running well ahead of their running mates. This poor vote management offers Labour a chance of holding one seat in this electoral area, even though the party is just on 9% of the vote there. The Green Party has pulled off a great result in the Rathgar-Rathmines electoral area, where their candidate, Patrick Costello, has topped the poll there. He is less than two hundred votes off the quota now. Fine Gael’s Kate O’Connell has come in second place there. Mary Freehill has polled very well (given the national trend) for Labour there, while Sinn Fein’s Dominic MacConraoi has polled very well. There is definitely a seat here for Fianna Fail, but probably just one. Transfers should see Jim O’Callaghan (Fianna Fail) and Paddy Smyth (Fine Gael) take the fourth and fifth seats here. Transfers from Henry Upton (Labour) and Kim O’Donnell (People Before Profit Alliance) will determine whether the final seat goes to MacConraoi or Labour’s Oisin Quinn. 4.30pm, Saturday May 25th Ruth Coppinger has won more than twice the number of transfers won by Paul Donnelly on Count 2 in Dublin West. If this trend continues, this should Coppinger-fasten the seat here for the Socialist Party. Paul Donnelly’s best hopes of winning the seat here would seem to be based on hopes of attaining a very strong transfer from McGuinness of Fianna Fail on the Final Count.   The Castlebar count has seen Michael Kilcoyne has become first candidate to be elected at these local elections, with Fianna Fail’s Lisa Chambers coming second there. The vote management by the four leading Fine Gael candidates in Castlebar has been rather impressive, but Fine Gael might still just get three seats here. These results establish Michael Kilcoyle and Lisa Chambers as serious candidates in Mayo for the next general election.  4.00pm, Saturday May 25th Based on the latest tallies for this constituency, it looks as if female candidates (who are on c.52% based on the tally figures) have outpolled male candidates in the Ballymun electoral area.   It’s been a bad day for the Labour Party, but there are areas where their vote has held up to a stronger degree. On a bad day for the party, Labour might have a chance of a gain in Portlaoise where Noel Tuohy has pushed up the party vote to give himself a chance of the last seat there. It looks as if the Labour Party are going to win c.18% of the vote in the Celbridge-Leixlip electoral area and they will have hopes of taking two seats here. This is obviously a much better result than the national picture for the party but this would be a strong Labour area in any case. The strongest performer here seems to be Independent (linked to Catherine Murphy) councillor, Anthony Larkin.  3.30pm, Saturday May 25th Paul Donnelly of Sinn Fein has topped the poll in the Dublin West by-election with 6,056 votes, just ahead of Ruth Coppinger on 5,977. Fianna Fail’s David McGuinness is in third place on 5,053, followed by David Hall (Independent) on 3,803, Eamonn Coghlan (Fine Gael) on 3,715, Roderic O Gorman (Green Party) on 1,856 and Loraine Mulligan (Labour) on 1,505. The sense is that Ruth Coppinger might just edge this contest on tallies, but it is looking VERY close here between her and the poll-topper, Paul Donnelly. Win, lose or draw, it is safe to say that Sinn Fein’s Paul Donnelly now poses a major threat to Joan Burton’s Dublin West seat at the next general election based on these by-election results.  The stronger results for Donnelly and Coppinger relative to the 2011 by-election contest can be put down to differing working class turnout levels at these contests – local elections are always likely to attract higher turnout levels from working class area such as Mulhuddart than presidential election contests. Turnouts in urban working class areas have been generally relatively healthy at recent local election contests but turnouts in these areas are usually lower at referendum and presidential election contests. 3.00pm, Saturday May 25th On tallies it looks as if Rotimi Adebari, the only Non-Irish/UK national to sit on a City/County Council, is likely to lose his seat in the Portlaoise electoral area. The Taoiseach’s brother, Henry Kenny, in trouble in Castlebar, where tallies have him in 9th place in this 8-seat constituency. He might hold his seat, however, if he can stay ahead of his running mate, Brendan Henaghan.  On a review of the tallies that I have seen so far, it looks like it’s “Back to the 80s” for the Labour Party in terms of that party’s support patterns/geography of support – the party seems to be in trouble in working class urban areas but has achieved some good results in rural constituencies such as Castlecomer (Maurice Shortall) and middle class constituencies, such as Rathgar-Rathmines (Mary Frehill and Oisin Quinn could take two of the six seats there). These may be one off trends so I will need to see all the results before I can claim this to be a definite trend.  A number of local election candidates, who are strongly linked to Independent Dail deputies, are polling very well in these elections based on the tally evidence. Danny and Johnny Healy-Rae are topping the poll in Killarney and South and West Kerry respectively, while Jennifer Whitmore (linked to Stephen Donnelly) is polling very strongly in the Greystones electoral area. While the RTE Exit Poll had them at just 22%, Fianna Fail are polling strongly in a number of different counties and electoral areas. In Cavan, tallies have Fianna Fail at 40.6% across all three electoral areas, with Fine Gael at 36.3%, Sinn Fein at 18.6%, Independents at 3.8% and Labour at 0.7%. With the party not faring as well in some other areas and struggling to win 2 or 3 seats in the European Elections, this could well turn out to be a “curates egg” type election for Fianna Fail. These are proving to be good elections for the Green Party. On the basis of the RTE Exit Poll, Eamonn Ryan is a strong contender to win one of the three Dublin seats, while the party looks likely to improve significantly on its disappointing 2009 results at the Council elections, with gains likely in a number of electoral areas in Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown, Fingal and Dublin City. Most of the Former TDs grouping are doing very well in these elections and most of these seem likely to win seats in these local elections. Paul Gogarty – former Green TD, who is running as an independent – is polling very well in Lucan.


About Adrian Kavanagh

Lecturer at the Maynooth University Department of Geography. Email:
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