Here’s be my estimation of how the seats in Dublin at the last election would have gone under the proposed boundaries by the Constituency Commission released today.
The purpose of this is really to show the notional result for future comparisons, rather the counterfactual of exactly how the last election would have been fought, as the boundaries would have changed party behaviour, but I’ve made a few assumptions about personalities in different constituencies.
In particular, these include:
- Paschal Donohoe to have stood for Dublin North-West rather than Dublin Central, having originally been elected to Dublin City Council for Cabra–Glasnevin, and Glasnevin now in DNW;
- Alex White rather than Eamonn Maloney to have been the second Labour TD in Dublin South-West, to cover both ends of the constituency, and
- Peter Mathews not to have been selected for Dublin Rathdown, a three-seater rather than a five-seater.
|Dublin Bay North||Tommy Broughan (Lab)
Richard Bruton (FG)
Terence Flanagan (FG)
Finian McGrath (Ind)
Aodhán Ó Riordáin (Lab)
|Dublin Bay South||Lucinda Creighton (FG)
Kevin Humphreys (Lab)
Eoghan Murphy (FG)
Ruairi Quinn (Lab)
|Dublin Central||Joe Costello (Lab)
Mary Lou McDonald (SF)
Maureen O’Sullivan (Ind)
|Dublin Fingal||Clare Daly (SP)
Alan Farrell (FG)
Darragh O’Brien (FF)
James Reilly (FG)
Brendan Ryan (Lab)
|Dublin Mid-West||Robert Dowds (Lab)
Frances Fitzgerald (FG)
Derek Keating (FG)
Joanna Tuffy (Lab)
|Dublin North-West||Paschal Donohoe (FG)
Dessie Ellis (SF)
Róisín Shortall (Lab)
|Dublin Rathdown||Olivia Mitchell (FG)
Shane Ross (Ind)
Alan Shatter (FG)
|Dublin South-Central||Catherine Byrne (FG)
Eric Byrne (Lab)
Joan Collins (PBP)
Aengus Ó Snodaigh (SF)
|Dublin South-West||Seán Crowe (SF)
Brian Hayes (FG)
Cáit Keane (FG)
Pat Rabbitte (Lab)
Alex White (Lab)
|Dublin West||Joan Burton (Lab)
Joe Higgins (SP)
Brian Lenihan (FF)
Leo Varadkar (FG)
|Dún Laoghaire||Seán Barrett (FG)
Richard Boyd Barrett (PBP)
Eamon Gilmore (Lab)
Mary Mitchell O’Connor (FG)
The result from Dublin in 2011 was 18 Labour, 17 Fine Gael, 4 Sinn Féin, 2 Socialist Party, 2 People Before Profit, 1 Fianna Fáil and 3 Independents.
On this projection, the result with the revised boundaries would have been 17 Fine Gael, 14 Labour, 4 Sinn Féin, 2 Fianna Fáil, 2 Socialist Party, 2 People Before Profit and 3 Independents.
Quite a different result in all. But let me know if you think I’ve estimated anything poorly, or just generally overestimated how beneficial this would have been to Fine Gael as against Labour.
Now that we have the full list of members of the Seanad and their party affiliations, we can make comparative chart between the sizes of parliamentary parties after this election and after the 2007 election.
|People Before Profit||0||2|
On Wednesday, I saw my Independent TD Stephen Donnelly walk through the lobbies to vote for Enda Kenny, making Wicklow one of 7 constituencies where all TDs voted for him. It is one of the features that shows the scale of the government’s majority. On the other side, there were only two constituencies, Dublin Central and Dublin South-Central, where more than one TD voted against him. I thought I could indulge myself in just one more dry numerical post from the election, if probably the last for now, showing the breakdown of the vote for Enda as Taoiseach by constituency, those in favour, those against and those not voting. Read more…
- The final results are now in: 76 Fine Gael, 37 Labour, 20 Fianna Fáil, 14 Sinn Féin, 5 United Left Alliance and 14 Independents. It is a particularly good year for Independents, who since 1933 have collectively only before hit double figures 1948 and 2002. They are a disparate group, so here is a brief summary of their backgrounds.
- Stephen Donnelly for Wicklow
Studied Engineering in UCD and MIT and Public Administration and International Development at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Worked for McKinsey, an international management consultancy firm.
- Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan for Roscommon–South Leitrim
Ming has been standing for election since 1997, when he stood in Galway West, against his then landlord Frank Fahey. He contested the 1999 European election and the 2002 general election unsuccessfully, but was eventually elected to Roscommon County Council in 2004. He became Mayor of the Council in 2010. He first became noted for his campaign to legalize cannabis, and from an interview this week, his focus will be on cutting the cost of government while making local government more meaningful.
- Tom Fleming in Kerry South
Fleming was a lifelong Fianna Fáil member, a councillor since 1991. He ran as John O’Donoghue’s running mate in 2002 and 2007 and left in January of this year when Fianna Fáil decided to run only one candidate.
- Noel Grealish in Galway West
Grealish was elected as a Progressive Democrat councillor in 1999. He became a TD in 2002 after Bobby Molloy did not contest the election. He acted as leader in 2009 when Ciarán Cannon left to join Fine Gael after the party had voted to dissolve. After the dissolution of the Progressive Democrats, he continued to formally support the government until September 2010. He will be voting for Enda Kenny on 9 March.
- John Halligan in Waterford
Halligan was elected to Waterford City Council as member of the Workers’ Party in 1999. He left the party in 2008 to vote in favour of service charges.
- Michael Healy-Rae in Kerry South
Son of Jackie Healy-Rae, who was an Independent TD and supporter of Fianna Fáil since 1997, Michael has been a councillor since 1999.
- Michael Lowry in Tipperary North
Elected first for Fine Gael TD in 1987, he was Minister for Transport, Energy and Communications from 1994 to 1996. He was dismissed as a Minister when it was revealed that Ben Dunne had paid for an extension to his house. He has contested every election since as an Independent, topping the poll on each of four occasions. He supported the Fianna Fáil/Green government from 2007 through to the vote on the Finance Bill earlier this year.
- Finian McGrath in Dublin North-Central
Elected as an Independent councillor 1999, he was first elected to the Dáil in 2002. He supported the Fianna Fáil/Green/PD government from 2007 to 2009.
- Mattie McGrath in Tipperary South
McGrath was a Fianna Fáil councillor from 1999 to 2007, when he was elected to the Dáil. He left the Fianna Fáil parliamentary party in 2010 in opposition to their support for the ban on the Meath stag hunt.
- Catherine Murphy in Kildare North
Murphy was a member of the Workers’ Party, but broke away to form Democratic Left in 1992, joining Labour in 1999. She has been an Independent since the 2004 local elections. She was a county councillor from 1991 until her election to the Dáil in 2005, in the bye-election caused by the appointment of Charlie McCreevy to the European Commission.
- Maureen O’Sullivan in Dublin Central
O’Sullivan is a schoolteacher and was Tony Gregory’s election agent. She was co-opted to Dublin City Council in 2008 and won the bye-election in 2009 caused by Gregory’s death.
- Thomas Pringle in Donegal South-West
Pringle was first elected to Donegal County Council in 1999 and was re-elected in 2004 and 2009. He was a member of Sinn Féin from January 2004 to November 2007. He is a patron of the left-wing Eurosceptic People’s Movement. He will be remembered in this election as the man who unseated Tánaiste Mary Coughlan.
- Shane Ross in Dublin South
At the time of his election on Friday, with the second-highest vote in the country, he was the longest serving Senator, having represented Trinity graduates since 1981. He was a member of Fine Gael in 1990s, being elected to Wicklow County Council for Bray in 1991 and unsuccessfully contesting the 1992 general election for the party. He is well known as a Sunday Independent journalist and as the author recently of The Bankers and Wasters.
- Mick Wallace in Wexford
Property developer and soccer manager who has supported left-wing causes. He has urged Labour to stay out of government with Fine Gael.
Of these, and to generalize just to get an idea of which of them will work together, Stephen Donnelly, Ming Flanagan and Shane Ross are most focused on efficient government spending, Tom Fleming, Noel Grealish, Michael Healy-Rae, Mattie McGrath and Michael Lowry would be centre-right or conservative constituency champions with backgrounds in centre-right parties, while John Halligan, Finian McGrath, Catherine Murphy, Maureen O’Sullivan, Thomas Pringle and Mick Wallace are broadly left-wing.
Precisely the five I’d have picked myself: Andrew Doyle (FG) – 16th count, Billy Timmins (FG) – 17th count, Simon Harris (FG) – 19th count, Anne Ferris (Lab) – 19th count and Stephen Donnelly (Ind) – 19th count.
This result, in the order elected, mirrors the result in Dublin South, where Independent Shane Ross, one Labour and three Fine Gael were elected.
I did fear through the count, delayed by Dick Roche’s demand for a recount in the unsuccessful hope that he might escape the ignominy of coming tenth, that Sinn Féin’s John Brady might get the fifth seat. Donnelly eventually passed out Brady on the 16th count, on the distribution of Tom Fortune’s votes, a Labour councillor who, like Donnelly, lives in Greystones. On the last count, Donnelly had a margin of 112 votes, and I’ll give credit to Brady for not requesting a partial recount even after they’d become the fashion here. I was impressed with Donnelly’s short campaign focused on the important national economic issue and he will be an asset to the Dáil.
I am glad from a party political level that Wicklow will be one of five constituencies to elect at least three Fine Gael TDs. Our three have a great balance between them in terms of personal strengths, backgrounds and geography. I’ve got to know them since joining the party in the summer of 2009, and am really pleased to see them get in. I remember saying at a meeting in Greystones before Christmas that to get three seats, the party would probably have to poll at least 38%. They got 39%, with a brilliant division of the vote, at 14%, 13% and 12% respectively.
And I have a personal fondness for Anne Ferris, as the candidate standing anywhere in this election whom I’ve known the longest, when I met her in the time coming up to the 1999 local elections, when she was a councillor and office manager for Liz McManus, then the only TD with a full-time constituency office in Bray (new TD Simon Harris has one as well now too).
Don’t mean to sound too gushing, I just am quite pleased, not many constituencies that returned just the ones I’d have picked myself.
Political nerds have a dilemma on election count days. There’s a choice between going to a count centre and seeing the votes as they come in or staying at home or at an election results party to see national results and television analysis and interviews. I opt for the former, having gone to count centres at general and local election counts since 1997 (nine times in all now, including both Lisbon referendums).
The RDS is probably the place where it balances out to a degree. There are enough counts going on that one can get a decent feel for what’s going on and with supporters from around Dublin there, there’s a good buzz around too. One of the best things about count centres is the cordiality between members of different parties. I was tallying for the first time, for Dublin South-Central, and was standing next to a group of Sinn Féin talliers, chatting the odd bit when not concentrating on the votes in front of us. In general party activists can get along well, we can all respect the commitment we have to our different, but the day of the count is the one day when all sniping can really be put aside, as we all experience the emotions of ups and downs, seeing effort pay off or not.
I liked the chance to meet those from the particular cross-party networks I’d built up from my political activity before Fine Gael, those in the PDs and those I’d met through the Lisbon campaign. As someone who experienced the feeling of a count day on the collapse of a party, I appreciated the disappointment of the Green Party members. To a lesser extent too, I can sympathize with Fianna Fáil supporters. I think given everything, they deserved to lose badly in this election, as Mary O’Rourke acknowledged again on Pat Kenny this morning, but one shouldn’t yet dismiss or sneer at the good intentions of their members. I think anyone active in a political party should have found themselves nodding with Conor Lenihan in his reaction to Vincent Browne last month.
Below are the final estimations of seats based on constituency betting from Paddy Power. When compared with the estimation at the beginning of the campaign, there has been a clear shift to Fine Gael and a notable further shift from Fianna Fáil, which the Greens could benefit from in Dublin North and Dublin South.
This gives a final prediction from Paddy Power, with a comparison to 2007, of 78.5 Fine Gael (+27.5), 33 Labour (+13), 22.5 Fianna Fáil (-55.5), 14 Sinn Féin (+10), 4 United Left Alliance (+4), 2 Green (-4) and 12 Independents (+7).
In any case, how accurate this is will stand as an indicator of how reliable a measure Paddy Power is for these purposes.
Between all constituencies, the seats estimated by this measure fall as follows: