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« on: February 16, 2005, 10:08:41 am »
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The government has conceded to the opposition and by-elections will now take place on March 11 in the Meath and Kildare North constituencies.
The vacancy in Kildare North arises because of Former Minister for Finance Charlie McCreevy (Fianna Fáil) has become the EU Commissioner for the Internal Market.
The vacancy in Meath arises because Former Taoiseach (Prime Minister) John Bruton (Fine Gael) has taken the position of EU representative to the United States in Washington D.C.

It was the governments wish to hold the elections after the Easter break, but they have changed their mind because the leading opposition parties (Fine Gael and Labour) threatened to hold up Dáil (lower house of Irish parliament) business.


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« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2005, 10:10:12 am »
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Meath candidates include:
Cllr Shane Cassells (Fianna Fáil);
Mr Shane McEntee (Fine Gael);
Cllr Dominic Hannigan (Labour);
Cllr Joe Reilly (Sinn Féin);
Ms Sirena Campbell (Progressive Democrats);
Mr Fergal O'Byrne (Green Party).

Candidates in Kildare North will include the Fianna Fáil candidate to be selected tomorrow night;
Cllr Darren Scully (Fine Gael);
Cllr Paddy MacNamara (Labour);
Senator Kate Walsh (Progressive Democrats);
Cllr Catherine Murphy (Independent);
Cllr J.J. Power (Green Party).



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« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2005, 10:16:20 am »
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It should be noted that no Government has won a by-election since 1982.

For the results of the last general election see:
http://www.oireachtas.ie/documents/a-misc/elec02-01.pdf
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« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2005, 10:21:24 am »

Could you do a little summary of demographics/political breakdown in both constituencies?
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« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2005, 10:37:47 am »
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% 1st Preference Votes by Party in 2002.

Meath (a 5-seater constituency):
Fianna Fáil 44.92% (between 3 candidates, got 3 seats)
Fine Gael   27.23% (between 3 candidates, got 2 seats)
Sinn Féin     9.43% (1 candidate)
Labour        4.26% (1 candidate)
Greens        3.65% (1 candidate)
Others       10.51% (Between 5 candidates, 4 non-party, 1 Christian Solidarity Party)

Kildare North (a 3-seater):
Fianna Fáil 43.21% (between 2 candidates, got 1 seat)
Fine Gael   17.54% (1 candidate, got 1 seat)
Labour       21.38% (1 candidate, 1 seat)
PD              11.88% (1 candidate)
Greens        5.99% (1 candidate)
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« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2005, 10:41:29 am »
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The Irish Times on Kildare North:
Commuter issues will be to the fore in the by-election in Kildare North, the fast-growing constituency that epitomises the rapid development of Dublin's periphery in the boom years.

With many young families moving into the constituency because of high house prices in Dublin, issues such as childcare and schools will be prominent in the campaign. The population growth has also led to calls for a greater Garda presence on the streets.

The main health question surrounds Naas hospital, where new units remain unopened despite a multi-million-euro investment programme.


On Meath:
Sensitive environmental questions will be raised during the campaign. These centre on controversial plans for an incinerator at Carranstown, near Duleek, and the M3 motorway project, through the Tara archaeological complex.


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« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2005, 10:50:40 am »

Great stuff Smiley
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« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2005, 06:28:54 am »
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That#s one thing I've always been wondering about...by-elections in Ireland...I take it they are fptp or what? Or Australian?
Anyways, sounds...strange...to elect MPs proportionally and then have one-member by-elections.
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« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2005, 07:24:44 am »
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That#s one thing I've always been wondering about...by-elections in Ireland...I take it they are fptp or what? Or Australian?
Anyways, sounds...strange...to elect MPs proportionally and then have one-member by-elections.

Unfamiliar as I am with the Australian system, I shall try to explain what the procedure here will be.

With only one seat 50% + 1 vote is required to be elected. It is still PR-STV (Proportional Representation by means of a Single Transferable Vote) which is used.

To figure out the quota (i.e. number of votes required) the total valid poll is divided by the number of seats available (in these cases 1), then add 1.

If no candidate achieves the quota on the basis of the first preferences, the lowest placed candidate has his/her second preferences distributed.
Again if no candidate has gained the necessary votes the next lowest candidate will be eliminated and their next highest preferences will be distributed.

The process continues until either a candidate gets the quota or until only two candidates remain, in which case whoever has the highest tally is deemed elected.
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« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2005, 07:27:35 am »
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Yes, that's the Australian system. Smiley
They use that for every seat at every election.
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« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2005, 06:48:07 am »
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Fianna Fáil have chosen their candidate for Kildare North.

From rte.ie:
Áine Brady, a teacher and a mother of four teenage children, has been selected as Fianna Fáil's candidate for the Kildare North by-election.

She defeated four other candidates at a party convention in Maynooth tonight.

Ms Brady is a sister of the Government Chief Whip, Tom Kitt, and the former Fianna Fáil TD for Galway East, Michael Kitt.

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« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2005, 07:13:22 am »

Who do you think'll win each seat?
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« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2005, 07:26:47 am »
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Who do you think'll win each seat?

At this stage it's tough to say.
It has been 23 years since a government won a by-election.
In spite of the tendency to deliver anti-government responses in such contests, Fianna Fáil is well placed in both having taken more than 43 per cent of the vote in the general election of 2002.
Since then however, Fianna Fáil's vote has fallen sharply in the local elections. But Fine Gael will have a battle on its hands to retain John Bruton's seat in Meath, while the threat to Charlie McCreevy's seat in Kildare North will likely come from Labour and the Independent candidate who supposedly has a strong local support base.

It should also be noted that this weekend the Fine Gael and Labour leaders will be in discussions regarding a vote-transfer pact which could have significant implications.

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« Reply #13 on: February 24, 2005, 10:34:47 am »
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Without official polling, the closest guide onecan produce is Ladbrokes latest odds as reported in today's Irish Times. Astheir profitlines depend on this kind of thing, I'd consider them a reasonable source of predictions. Candidates ordered from favourite down.

MEATH:
Cllr Shane Cassells (Fianna Fáil)  4-6
Mr Shane McEntee (Fine Gael)     6-4
Cllr Joe Reilly (Sinn Féin)             10-1
Cllr Dominic Hannigan (Labour)   14-1
Ms Sirena Campbell (PD)             20-1   
Mr Fergal O'Byrne (Green Party)  25-1

KILDARE NORTH:
Cllr Catherine Murphy (Independent)  evens
Áine Brady (FF)                                    5-4
Cllr Darren Scully (FG)                          5-1
Cllr Paddy MacNamara (Lab)                6-1
Senator Kate Walsh (PD)                    10-1
« Last Edit: February 24, 2005, 10:37:26 am by Jas »Logged

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« Reply #14 on: February 24, 2005, 10:41:38 am »
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Two other independant candidates have emerged in Kidare North:

Mr Seanán Ó Coistín is standing on an "independent republican" platform. The virtually unknown 24-year-old from Kilcock, ran in the local and European elections, polling less than 110 votes in the former.

He believes that there are many issues, such as alcohol abuse, lack of public transport, and a united Ireland, that are not being addressed by the mainstream parties.


The third independent candidate, 53-year-old Mr Gerry Browne, is a life-long Labour party supporter from Leixlip, who failed to get a party nomination. Running as an Independent Labour candidate, his main issue is the health service, and his own party's policies towards it.

"They are sleepwalking themselves towards a full-blown privatised healthcare system like they have in the United States."

He is also concerned at the pact between Labour and Fine Gael, which he says will lead to a dilution of the party's policies, in order to get into government.

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« Reply #15 on: February 24, 2005, 10:44:05 am »
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The leading Independant and apparant frontrunner is Ms Catherine Murphy.

A long-time local representative, she has three general elections and one European election under her belt.

A former Workers Party member, she followed most of her party leadership to Democratic Left in the early 1990s and subsequently to Labour in 1998, but left in 2003 following a long-running dispute with the party leadership that dated back to before the 2002 general election.

She says that she was promised, but did not receive, a Seanad nomination from the party in return for not putting her name forward in Kildare North, in order to give sitting TD, Mr Emmet Stagg, a clear run.

Her departure from Labour did not appear to damage her. As an independent she topped the poll in Leixlip area in the town and county council elections last year, and now enjoys one of the highest profiles of any local councillor in the north of the county.

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« Reply #16 on: February 24, 2005, 10:46:27 am »
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It should also be noted that the two main opposition parties, Fine Gael and Labour, have agreed a vote transfer
pact.

The governemnt coalition parties, Fianna Fáil and the Progressive Democrats, have no such pact. Indeed all the PD leader and Tánaiste (Deputy PM) Mary Harney has said is that informal arrangements may be made in either constituency between the parties.
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« Reply #17 on: February 24, 2005, 05:22:12 pm »

Great stuff Smiley
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« Reply #18 on: March 15, 2005, 06:24:38 am »
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Just to note the results.

Meath first.
Total Poll: 50,183
Spoilt Votes: 477
Total Valid Poll: 49,706

Therefore
Quota (Number of votes necessary): 24,853

The quota is calculated by the total valid poll divided by the number of seats (here 1) and then add 1.

Now the vote:

Count 1:
S McEntee    FG    16,964
S Cassells    FF    16,117 
J Reilly          SF     6,087
D Hannigan  Lab  5,567   
S Campbell  PD    2,679
F O'Byrne     GP    1,590 
L Ó Gógáin   Ind   702 

Count 2 (Distribution of  Ó Gógáin )
S McEntee    FG    17,083 (+119)
S Cassells    FF    16,230  (+113)
J Reilly          SF     6,183  (+96)
D Hannigan  Lab   5,672  (+105)
S Campbell  PD     2,746  (+67)
F O'Byrne     GP     1,744  (+154)

Count 3 (Elimination of Campbell and O'Byrne, because eliminating O'Byrne alone could not help Campbell overtake the next lowest candidate, or help any candidate reach the quota)
S McEntee     FG    18,214  (+1,131)
S Cassells     FF     17,480  (+1,250)
D Hannigan   Lab    7,061  (+1,389)
J Reilly           SF      6,514  (+331)

Count 4 (Elimination of Reilly and Hannigan, same reasoning as Count 3 for double elimination)
S McEntee  FG 24, 047 (+5,833)
S Cassells  FF  21,178  (+3,698)

As it is not possible to further eliminate candidates, and nobody reached the quota, McEntee was deemed elected.

Thus Fine Gael retained the seat vacated in Meath by Fmr Taoiseach (PM) John Bruton.
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« Reply #19 on: March 15, 2005, 06:38:15 am »
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SF actually improved their result here.
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« Reply #20 on: March 15, 2005, 06:39:33 am »
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Kildare North:

Total Poll: 25,524
Spoilt Votes: 211
Total Valid Poll: 25,313

Quota: 12,657

Count 1:
Á Brady             FF    6,201  
C Murphy          Ind   5,985
D Scully             FG    4,630
P MacNamara    Lab  4,507  
K Walsh            PD    2,006  
JJ Power            GP    1,547
G Browne          Ind     226    
S Ó Coistín        Ind     211  
  
Count 2 (Elimination of Browne and Ó Coistin)
Á Brady            FF    6,255    (+44)
C Murphy        Ind   6,189     (+204)
D Scully           FG    4,660     (+30)
P MacNamara  Lab  4,545     (+48)
K Walsh          PD    2,023     (+17)
JJ Power         GP    1,621     (+74)

Count 3 (Elimination of Power and Walsh)
Á Brady           FF    7,265  (+1,010)
C Murphy         Ind  7,176  (+993)
D Scully            FG   5,382  (+722)
P MacNamara  Lab  5,199  (+654)

Count 4 (Elimination of MacNamara)
C Murphy  Ind   8,809  (+1,633)
Á Brady     FF     8,133 (+868)
D Scully     FG    7,421 (+2,039)

Count 5 (Elimination of Scully)
C Murphy  Ind 12,256 (+3,447)
Á Brady     FF   9,818   (+1,685)

Indepenent Catherine Murphy was thus deemed elected.
She takes over the seat of Fmr Finance Minister Charlie McCreevy of Fianna Fáil.
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« Reply #21 on: March 15, 2005, 06:48:28 am »
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SF actually improved their result here.

It is true that in percentage terms SF increased their vote on 2002.
While it is true that turnout is down from almost 60 to 40 per cent,
SF have always prooved themselves as very effective in getting their core vote out.
Looking only at the raw numbers, they gained 45 votes.

It is also worth noting, that Mr McEntee is unlikely to get into the Dáil in the near future as Meath is being divided into 2 3-seater constiruencies for the next election, given the huge increase in population. This means the qota required increases from 16.6%+1, to 25%+1.

In the by-election he achieved little over 12.2%.
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« Reply #22 on: March 15, 2005, 06:55:10 am »
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The state of Dáil Éireann therfore is that FF and thus the govt lose 1 to the Independents.
(* indicating a govt party)

FF*    79
FG      32
Lab    21
PD*     8
GP       6
SF       5
Soc     1
Ind   13

Total 166
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