People Before Profit Alliance and the Workers’ Party – their electoral chances… June 30, 2010Posted by guestposter in Irish Politics, The Left.
Many thanks to AK of the Irish Election Literature Blog for the following analysis of some of the left wing parties prospects at the upcoming General Election. This is a part of a continuing series by AK. Other posts are here and here…
People Before Profit Alliance
In the 2007 General Election Richard Boyd-Barrett got 5,233 votes and was 700 votes ahead of Ciaran Cuffe on the first count. Cuffe though pulled well ahead on transfers. The other current TDs are Labour Leader Eamon Gilmore, Sean Barrett of Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil ministers Mary Hanafin and Barry Andrews.
Of course since then there have been boundary changes and the constituency lost a seat and is now a four seater.
The reduction in seat numbers wont have done Boyd-Barrett any favours but the actual boundary changes won’t have done him any harm in that it was some of the more affluent areas such as Foxrock and Carrickmines that were lost to Dublin South. This comprised 11,673 voters.
Assuming a similar turnout to 2007, in the new four seater Dun Laoghaire the Quota should be in the region of 10000 votes.
In the two LEAs People Before Profit stood in Dun Laoghaire Rathdown they polled 6,266 votes, Boyd Barrett getting 4,091 of them, and both it candidates Hugh Lewis and Richard Boyd-Barrett were elected. In the 3 LEAs that in the main now make up the constituency (Ballybrack, Blackrock and Dun Laoghaire) Fianna Fail polled 5,711 votes.
To be in with a shout Boyd-Barrett needs the 6,266 voters from the Local Elections to vote for PBP again, which is a vote of around 12% (20% is the quota). He will more than likely also need to pick up a few hundred votes elsewhere from other areas of the Constituency.
If all that happens , there should be enough transfers from Sinn Féin and elsewhere to win the seat.
However with Gilmore’s appeal and a decent running mate (one capable of getting enough votes to overtake Cuffe) its hard to see all the PBP Local Election vote staying. Cuffe may take a few of them too.
I suspect Boyd-Barrett is now more transfer friendly than he was in 2007 and Cuffe won’t get either the same first preference vote or the same amount of transfers.
So with Gilmore and one From FG (Not sure if Sean Barrett is retiring again) almost certain. We are left with Boyd-Barrett, Cuffe, Hanafin (who I suspect may decamp to Dublin South), Barry Andrews, Bailey or Regan of FG and Gilmore’s running mate fighting it out for two seats.
Were Boyd-Barrett to win then at least two of Dun Laoghaire’s current TDs would have to lose their seats. Cuffe looks a goner, at least one of the Fianna Fail seats must surely be gone (if not both). Then the complicating factor of a Fine Gael vote of 36% or so in the Local Elections and of course Gilmore’s attraction.
I can’t help feeling that even a ‘Gilmore Gale’ may not win a second seat for Labour here. Gilmore and Oisin Quinn failed to get a quota between them in 2007, but more relevant is that the Labour vote fell here in the local Elections.
Another factor is the recent formation of ‘An Fís Nua’ which if it runs a candidate could impact on RBBs vote enough to scupper his chances.
Still a likely outcome being Fine Gael 2, Labour 1, with RBB contesting with Fianna Fail for the last seat.
Dublin South Central.
Sean Ardagh and Michael Mulcahy of Fianna Fail, Mary Upton of Labour, Catherine Byrne of Fine Gael and Sinn Féin’s Aengus O’Snodaigh
Mary Upton is safe and Labour will take one of the Fianna Fail seats too (I can’t see them winning 3 seats). Catherine Byrne also looks safe.
So we should have Joan Collins, Ardagh/Mulcahy and O’Snodaigh fighting it out for the final seat.
In the local Elections between (Ballyfermot Drimnagh, Crumlin-Kimmage and South West Inner City) People Before Profit polled 5,463 votes, Fianna Fail (which included both Catherine and Charlie Ardagh) polled 4,418 votes ,Sinn Fein, which included the now departed Louise Minihan polled 3,909 votes.
As mentioned before in the Sinn Féin analysis I think O’Snodaigh could be in danger. All depends I think on how badly Fianna Fail do.
Fianna Fail will have two TDs and a vote split evenly enough between them. The defeat of both Catherine and Charlie Ardagh at the locals indicates that there isn’t a big personal vote for Sean Ardagh and there wouldn’t be a huge personal vote for Mulcahy either. So it’s highly unlikely that either will be in a position to buck a national trend of Fianna Fail polling badly. They will also be transfer toxic as proved by the Local Elections. (In Ballyfermot-Drimnagh, Fianna Fail ran 2 candidates. David Gaynor had upon his elimination in the 7th count less votes than the combined first preferences of himself and his running mate. It was a similar story for Catherine Ardagh in the South West Inner City Ward who also had less votes than the combined first preferences of herself and her running mate).
You also have to factor in a huge amount of local issues that have been caused by the cutbacks.
Joan Collins should be elected with O’Snodaigh possibly scraping in depending on how bad the Fianna Fáil vote is and if Labour transfer to him.
Dublin Mid West
Gino Kenny is highly unlikely to win a seat here but stranger things have happened. At Present Mary Harney, Fianna Fáil’s John Curran, Paul Gogarty of the Green Party and Labour’s Joanna Tuffy are the TDs. Harney is supposedly retiring and Fine Gael’s Derek Keating or Frances Fitzgerald should take that seat. Tuffy should be safe and as the Labour vote will need to treble for them win a second seat its unlikely they will.
Fianna Fáils John Curran should get in although that is by no means certain (The final Fianna Fáil candidate had less votes than the party first preference total in Lucan although they did slightly better in Clondalkin).
It’s Gogarty’s seat that is in the biggest danger. In 2007 Gogartys % vote dropped from its 2002 figure. In the local elections in Gogartys Lucan heartland the Green Party dropped from 14.42% in 2004 to 4.77% in 2009. In Clondalkin in dropped from 6.35% to 4.37%.
Its hard to call who can take it as there will more than likely be a group of candidates in Kenny and the Sinn Féin candidate (and possibly a Labour candidate too) and even the second Fine Gael candidate all within a few hundred votes of each other.
If it were a perfect scenario, Kenny could somehow scrape in, but highly unlikely.
Its hard to see PBP being in with a shout anywhere else.
The Workers Party
For The Workers Party there is an outside possibility of winning a seat in Waterford but its hard to see any of their candidates coming close to winning a seat.
In Cork North central Ted Tynan would need to be ahead of The Socialist Party’s Mick Barry and Sinn Féin’s Johnathan O’Brien to be in with a chance and that is highly unlikely.
In Waterford where Davy Walsh was elected to the City Council in 2009, the Workers Party also came very close to winning two other seats on Waterford City Council (within 8 votes in Waterford East and 56 votes in Waterford South Ward). They polled 1,426 votes in total (8.5% of the vote). Former WP councillor John Halligan polled 1430 votes. So on that there isn’t really a Dail seat, especially considering no candidates were run outside of the City.
There is though the possibility of increasing a candidates profile in the forthcoming by election (whenever that may be) and from that being in a better position to challenge for a Dáil seat.
The frustrating thing for The Workers Party and indeed the wider Left is that there really should be a Left seat in Waterford, given both the tradition in Waterford City and County and of course the scandal that was Waterford Glass. Wishful thinking but I can’t help wonder If there is a Left candidate in Waterford capable of uniting the various factions in City and County.
There are a few other Left groups that may put forward candidates.
Éirígí policy is not to stand in Stormont or Westminster elections. They didn’t put up any candidates in the Republics 2009 Local Elections (although this may in part be due to party policy as to electoral strategy not being fully decided at the time). They do have one councillor in the Republic, Louise Minihan who defected from Sinn Féin.
Were they to stand they would be highly unlikely to win, or even come close to winning, any seats.
New Ross based ‘Independent Left’ which includes former Sinn Féin Councillor John Dwyer (now a New Ross Town Councillor) may stand in Wexford but have little chance of winning a seat although they could pull a few thousand votes. It will be interesting to see how this group evolves (it has a relationship with People Before Profit although nothing formal as yet).
The Irish Socialist Network should increase their vote but given their base is in a three seater they are also unlikely to win a seat.
Letterkenny Residents Party – highly unlikely to stand or win a seat.