Adrian Kavanagh, 17th February 2016
Every hurling team cannot be Kilkenny. Every rugby team cannot be New Zealand. Every Eurovision country cannot be Ireland. For every poll-topper, there has to be the candidate at the bottom of the pile. While Enda Kenny, Shane Ross, Gerry Adams, Pearse Doherty, Michael Lowry, Michael Ring, Mick Wallace and Michael Noonan were notching up huge personal votes at the 2011 General Election, other candidates were not faring as well. But, as the experience of Luke Ming Flanagan shows, candidates who struggle to win votes in earlier elections can go on to bigger and better things. And sure, as they always say, you usually have to lose an election before you win one…
This post outlines the candidates who won the smallest numbers of first preference votes at the 2011 election.
|Peadar O Ceallaigh||FN||Dublin South-East||18|
|Benny Cooney||IND||Dublin Central||25|
|John Keigher||IND||Dublin South-East||27|
|Liam Johnston||FN||Dublin Central||48|
|Matt Larkin||IND||Limerick City||59|
|Thomas Hollywood||IND||Dublin Central||65|
|Thomas King||IND||Galway West||65|
|Eamonn Zaidan||IND||Dublin South||71|
|John Hyland||IND||Dublin Central||77|
|Noel Watson||IND||Dublin South-East||89|
|Gerard Linehan||IND||Cork South-Central||90|
|Sean Kearns||IND||Roscommon-South Leitrim||91|
|Finbarr O’Driscoll||IND||Cork South-Central||92|
|Fergus O’Rourke||IND||Cork North-Central||95|
In total, 20 candidates (out of 566) fell into the category of candidates who won less than 100 first preference votes at the 2011 General Election (with six of these candidates winning less than 50 first preference votes). All of these were male candidates. Most (or 90%) of these candidates were independents, while Fis Nua accounted for the remaining two candidates/remaining 10%. A significant chunk of these candidates tended to be based in urban constituencies.
The candidate who polled the lowest overall vote in the state at this election was Fis Nua candidate, Peadar O Ceallaigh, who won 18 first preference votes in the Dublin South-East constituency. He did, however, improve his vote numbers (increasing to 40 first preferences) when he contested the Dublin West by-election in that same year.