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A new Election… Where FF Could gain and lose? March 14, 2016

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Irish Politics.

At the moment FF look highly unlikely to go into coalition with FG and unlikely to even support them from the opposition benches in some kind of Tallaght strategy. I presume the aim is another election and to become bigger than Fine Gael. Going in with FG with FF as a larger party is probably far more palatable to the FF grassroots than going in with less seats than FG. Of course added seats for FF and a few more for Sinn Fein a number of Independents and we might have enough for a different coalition altogether.
Of course it’s a gamble but if it gets FF out of their current predicament it might be worth it……

Some constituencies where Fianna Fail could gain seats.
Carlow-Kilkenny- Jennifer Murnane O’Connor narrowly missed out and for most of the count looked like she would win a seat until the last few counts.

Clare – Malty Mc Donagh could be in with a shout of a second FF seat here , better cote management with Timmy Dooley may well have delivered a seat.

Dublin Central – Mary Fitzpatrick polled well and it was a very tight race, problem was that there were some far more transfer friendly candidates there. I wonder would Maureen O’Sullivan decide not to run again help her here.

Dublin Fingal – Lorraine Clifford Lee polled well, however were there a slight increase in votes and better vote management with party Colleague Darragh O’Brien she could be in with a shout of the final seat.

Dublin North West – Paul McAuliffe was again unlucky being ahead of Noel Rock for all but the last count.

Dublin South Central – Catherine Ardagh lost out by just 35 votes , should be in with a great chance the next time out.

Dun Laoghaire – Mary Hanafin finished 4th here but next time out it will return to being a proper 4 seater as Sean Barrett is no longer the Ceann Comhairle. Should be an FF gain here.

Galway East – Both Fianna Fail and Fine Gael will be targeting the seat of Independent Sean Canney the next time out.

Galway West – In an ultra competitive constituency a thousand more votes for John Connolly may have made a bit of difference

Laois -Sean Fleming romped home here but had no running mate. Might be worth a gamble running a second candidate.

Longford Westmeath -Had Connie Gerety Quinn gotten 27 more votes she more than likely would have taken a seat. Presumably there will be a clamour for a Longford TD the next time out so she could benefit from that…..

Louth -Fine Gael won 2 seats here with only a slightly higher first preference vote than FF. Emma Coffey has a higher profile now and could be in with a shout of the final seat with a slight increase in her vote and a decline in the FG vote.

Offaly – Eddie Fitzpatrick missed out by just 170 votes in the last count. Should be there or thereabouts next time.

Where FF Seats could be in danger
Cavan-Monaghan – Supreme vote management by FF gave Niamh Smyth a seat here along with running mate Brendan Smith. This despite polling over 1,000 votes less than Fine Gael .

Cork North West – Any swing away, better FG vote management or indeed worse FF vote management could lead to FG or an Independent talking the second FF seat here.

Donegal – Although FF won two seats comfortably here, Sinn Fein will be going all out to regain a seat here. Thomas Pringle would seem the most likely target but FF could also be the ones to lose out.

Dublin Bay South- A highly competitive constituency any drop in Jim O’Callaghans vote could see him lose his seat (or indeed any of the other TD’s here).

Dublin West – Another competitive constituency , Chambers should be safe but any drop in support could be costly.

Kildare North – One seat will be in danger from FG here the next time out. Will need good vote management again to hold it.

Mayo -Dara Calleary and Lisa Chambers played a blinder here with regards to vote management. A drop in FF support or a rise in Callearys vote could put the seat in danger.

Roscommon East Galway – Eugene Murphy will come under considerable pressure from Maura Hopkins of Fine Gael here the next time out. Sinn Fein may improve too if Michael Fitzmaurices star begins to fade.

Sligo -Leitrim – Two FF seats here , FG may well just run two the next time out which will put pressure on one of the FF seats

Wicklow – Pat Casey could be in danger here with Billy Timmons trying his upmost to win back the ‘West Wicklow’ seat.


1. gendjinn - March 14, 2016

Finally! All those years kibitzing the “collapse Stormont without taking the blame” game comes in useful.

Managing the perception of how the 2nd election is called and understanding the electorates attitudes toward it could be, although small, could be the margin of victory in a number of final seats. Small seat number swings, even a single seat, are critical for several parties.

FG/LAB benefited in 6 constituencies from the transfer wave breaking their way. I thought 3 of those would break SF’s way. The by-election transfer toxicity of FG/FF/LAB was nowhere near as pronounced in the GE (but clearly apparent in some constituencies). The LEFT/IND bloc transferred more to the traditional parties and right bloc than in the recent by-elections. Perhaps a difference of single seat vs multi-seat elections and not solely down to changes in electorate behaviour?

Risk for FF is if FG play reasonable, propose a program for govt and accede to some electoral demands then FF looks unreasonable and takes a hit for forcing another election when the outcome will be the same. Conversely if FF can find an issue of disagreement between them that the electorate is sympathetic to the election could flip FG/FF relative positions. In which scenario why would FG not force a third and hope for another flip? Perhaps now’s the time to push for an increase in direct democracy?


WorldbyStorm - March 14, 2016

Heheh, yeah, that’s a good point re Stormont!

Well it is absurd that there’s two parties that genuinely should be able to work with each other (and I get that parties with similar programmes can be deeply hostile) in the ‘national interest’ as they’d like to propose it who won’t. The permutations on foot of that are so many as they vie for supremacy. They deserve to lose many many seats for all this.


gendjinn - March 14, 2016

It certainly does highlight the personality/tribal challenge of representative democracy.

Sometimes the narrowest of differences are the most vigourously prosecuted.

There’s an opportunity here for IND and small groups/parties to publish proposals for legislation, issues for the programme for government. If there’s going to be a 2nd election it can only help to have concrete proposals to seek a mandate for. Makes going to the ballot mean a little bit more.


2. sonofstan - March 14, 2016

They may manage to swap a few between them, but will the twins ever manage much more than 100 seats between them again?


gendjinn - March 14, 2016

It’s a period of chaos and tumult, but how the re-alignment eventually falls out is still up in the air. Pushing FF & FG together may end up creating a centre-right party with 90 seats for the next 15 years. As likely as it will fragment, to the benefit of the left.


WorldbyStorm - March 14, 2016

The Italian example isn’t a comfort in this instance, is it?


gendjinn - March 14, 2016

It’s a possibility alright but fortunately we have neither the mafia nor the same level of post-ww2 suppression of the left to contend with. As well as emerging new poles on the left.

If FG/FF do it who & how many bails, and who benefits? I could see FF taking a hit to the benefit of SF/IND. But not for FG, as the senior partner they are “victorious” over the ole enemy.

Of course such an exodus from FF to SF might be a source of problems for a future SF/FF govt.


WorldbyStorm - March 14, 2016

Stepping back it seems like the potential for the next ten years to be the most unpredictable in Irish politics in quite some time is huge.


gendjinn - March 14, 2016

I see it as a symptom of the breakdown in confidence in the post-ww2 western representative democracy model. Stross’s article about the failure state of representative democracy from a few years ago rings louder.

It’s not just Ireland.


benmadigan - March 14, 2016

also spain and portugal – though portugal managed to set up a left government. spain might have to have another election around end of june


3. NFB - March 15, 2016

Willie O’Dea in Limerick City could surely get a running mate in. He did it before.


4. Gewerkschaftler - March 15, 2016

Coalition building after three German Länder elections will not be easy. None of the reigning coalitions got re-elected – partly due to the success of the AfD.

Will write more later about these elections – but just to point out here – and unfortunately echoing one M. McD – that it’s only the predominantly English-speaking parts of Europe that coalition between conservative parties is so problematic.


5. PaddyM - March 15, 2016

Longford Westmeath -Had Connie Gerety Quinn gotten 27 more votes she more than likely would have taken a seat. Presumably there will be a clamour for a Longford TD the next time out so she could benefit from that…..

FG are unlikely to renominate “Bonkers” Bannon and the most likely replacements would be more attractive to voters (they couldn’t be any worse, in fairness). I don’t think Gerety-Quinn would have got the last seat, though; even if she’d overhauled Penrose, I don’t think the transfers would have been there for her to overtake Hogan.


irishelectionliterature - March 15, 2016

I would have thought a good number of Bannons votes would have transferred to her just purely due to the Longford factor.


PaddyM - March 16, 2016

My feeling is that FGers dogged enough to stick with Bannon would transfer to the other candidates first. Longford had no obviously good candidates to vote for – Sexton was considered past-it, Morgan didn’t bother canvassing because Facebook!, Smyth was too obviously fringe.


PaddyM - March 16, 2016

other *FG* candidates


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