Adrian Kavanagh, Friday 11th July 2014 – updated Tuesday 15th July 2014 This post will look at ministerial appointments by constituency and by region, in the wake of today’s Cabinet reshuffle, and will consider whether Geography had an influence on these, while also contrasting these with the initial government appointments made back in March 2011. (This post will be updated after further changes to the junior ministerial ranks are announced next week.) With just thirty ministerial and junior ministerial posts to be distributed, this meant that just 18.1% of Dail deputies and just 28.6% of the (105) Fine Gael and Labour TDs will be taking up these posts.
|Kerry North-West Limerick||1|
Of the senior ministerial positions, four (26.7%) have been taken up by female deputies – up notably on the two positions awarded to females initially in March 2011. However the number of females in the junior ministerial ranks has fallen from four to two. The Labour Party has done notably better than Fine Gael has in this regard. Four of the seven current female Labour Party TDs (57.1%) now hold either ministerial or junior ministerial position as against only two of the eleven current female Fine Gael TDs (18.2%). By contrast, seven of the twenty seven current female Labour Party TDs (25.9%) now hold either ministerial or junior ministerial position as against seventeen of the sixty current female Fine Gael TDs (28.3%). Thus, female TDs in Labour appear to have been more than twice as likely than their male counterparts to earn ministerial or junior ministerial office, but female TDs in Fine Gael were notably less likely than their male counterparts to earn ministerial or junior ministerial office.
Dublin still dominates in terms of the regional distribution of senior ministerial posts, but not to the same extent as in 2011, with seven (46.7%) – as opposed to nine (60.0%) in March 2011 – of cabinet posts being taken by deputies from this region – with 23.3% of the 30 Fine Gael/Labour Dail deputies in this region now holding full cabinet position. Including confirmed junior ministerial positions (and ahead of today’s junior ministerial appointments), Dublin can be seen to account for 36.8% of all ministerial and junior ministerial positions although as a region it accounts for only 27.7% of the state population.
Four (26.7%) of cabinet posts – up from three (20.0%) in 2011 – are now held by deputies from the Munster region – with 13.3% of the 30 Fine Gael/Labour Dail deputies in this region now holding full cabinet position. Two (13.3%) of cabinet posts – similar to the numbers in March 2011 – are now held by deputies from the Leinster region – with 7.1% of the 28 Fine Gael/Labour Dail deputies in this region now holding full cabinet position. Two (13.3%) of cabinet posts -up from just one in 2011 – are now held by deputies from the Connacht-Ulster region – with 11.8% of the 17 Fine Gael/Labour Dail deputies in this region now holding full cabinet position.
With Simon Coveney, Michael Noonan and now Jan O’Sullivan added into the equation, urban-based deputies account for two-thirds (66.7%) of all cabinet positions, amounting to just under one quarter (22.2%) of the 45 urban-based Fine Gael/Labour deputies. Four (33.3%) cabinet posts went to rural-based deputies, with 8.3% of the 60 rural-based Fine Gael/Labour deputies attaining these posts.
Given the very obvious Dublin and urban bias that is still evident in terms of senior ministerial appointments, Geography does not seem to have played a significant influence in shaping the reshuffle, although there is a somewhat greater degree of geographical balance evident in these relative to the initial appointments in March 2011. There was a greater geographical balance to the junior ministerial appointments than with the cabinet appointments back in March 2011. This is still very much the case, although Connacht-Ulster is decidedly more under-represented on the junior ministerial ranks now than was the case back in 2011. Dublin is also under-represented in this regard, though the over-representation of this region on the cabinet offsets this notably.
Two (13.3%) of junior ministerial posts – down from three (20.0%) in 2011 – are now held by deputies from the Dublin region, while six (40.0%) of the junior ministerial posts – up from four (26.7%) in 2011 – are now held by deputies from the Munster region. Five (33.3%) of the junior ministerial posts – up from four (26.7%) in 2011 – are now held by deputies from the Leinster region – while two (13.3%) of junior ministerial posts – down from four (26.7%) in 2011 -are now held by deputies from the Connacht-Ulster region. Urban-based deputies account just over one quarter (26.7%) of all junior ministerial posts (4), with the remaining (11) junior ministerial positions (73.3%) being taken up by candidates based in the other, more rural constituencies.
Overall, the Dublin region accounts for nine cabinet or junior ministerial posts – amounting to 30.0% of all of these – with this region slightly punching above its weight given that it accounts for 27.7% of the state population. Overall numbers here have fallen quite notable from a combined total of twelve following the initial March 2012 appointments. This means that the best represented region in terms of combined ministerial and junior ministerial appointments is now Munster, with ten cabinet or junior ministerial posts – amounting to 33.3% of all of these – well up on the combined total of seven posts assigned to this region in March 2011. The Munster region is now more than his punching above its weight given that it accounts for 27.2% of the state population. Leinster now accounts for seven cabinet or junior ministerial posts – amounting to 23.3% of all of these – with this region being notably under-represented in terms of appointment levels given that it accounts for 26.8% of the state population. The overall numbers of appointments involving Leinster TDs is, however, slightly up on the March 2011 level of six ministerial/junior ministerial appointments (20.0% of total). Connacht-Ulster now accounts for four cabinet or junior ministerial posts – amounting to 13.3% of all of these – with this region being notable under-represented in terms of appointment levels given that it accounts for 18.2% of the state population.
24 constituencies now have either a minister or a junior minister, or both, while 19 other constituencies have no minister or junior minister. A number of constituencies now have two ministerial or junior ministerial appointments – Dublin West and Limerick City (both being full cabinet positions) as well as Cork North-Central, Dublin North-Central, Mayo and Wexford.