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Counting In Irish Local and European Elections.

by Frank Schnittger Sat May 25th, 2019 at 12:10:10 PM EST

Counting has begun in the Irish Local and European elections. Some exit polling data is also in. A constitutional amendment to liberalize further Ireland's divorce laws looks set to be carried by an overwhelming 87% to 12% if the exit polling data is to be believed.

The government has indicated that it will use this Constitutional Amendment liberalization to legislate for the automatic recognition of foreign divorces and the reduction of the waiting period for a divorce application to succeed from four years to two years of separation.

The early indications are for a surge in the Green Party vote, a near humiliation for the anti-emigration candidate, Peter Casey, in the European elections, and a disappointing performance for Leo Varadker's ruling Fine Gael Party (relative to earlier opinion polls). More left wing candidates and parties have generally performed well - though not the establishment Labour Party.

Overall, therefore, it looks like Ireland is continuing its liberalizing trend, in sharp contrast to the right wing nationalist trends in the UK and in some other parts of Europe. I will update this story as more results and hard data comes in...

European Elections

Dublin Constituency

Dublin has three seats rising to four if/when Brexit happens. The first three candidates elected will therefore take their seats immediately to be followed by the fourth placed candidate if/when Brexit happens. Please note the 4% margin of error in these exit poll projections which could change the narrative below considerably.

Based on these exit poll projections I would Expect Ciaran Cuffe (Green), Frances Fitzgerald (Fine Gael) and the left wing Clare Daly (Independents4Change) to be elected with Barry Andrews (Fianna Fail) joining them if/when Brexit happens. Clare Daly is likely to get more lower preference from eliminated left wing candidates to claim the third seat. Sinn Fein tends not to get as many lower preference transfer votes and so the sole incumbent standing, Lynn Boylan (Sinn Fein) is likely to lose her seat. A net gain, therefore for a Green candidate from the incumbent (not running) Nessa Childers who was an Independent with Labour and Green roots; and for a left wing candidate (Clare Daly) from a left/nationalist Sinn Fein candidate; with Fine Gael retaining their seat...

Ireland South

Ireland South has four seats rising to 5 if/when Brexit happens. Incumbents Sean Kelly (Fine Gael), Deirdre Clune (Fine Gael) and Liadh Ní Riada (Sinn Fein) are contesting, although both Deirdre Clune and Liadh Ní Riada could be in trouble based on these numbers. Sean Kelly (FG) and Billy Kelleher (FF) seem certain of election with the more transfer friendly Green candidate, Grace O'Sullivan likely to pick up the third seat. The fourth and last certain seat is likely to between Liadh Ní Riada (SF), Mick Wallace (I4C) and Deirdre Clune (FG) who may benefit from party colleague Andrew Doyle's transfers.

Ireland Midland's North West

European Parliament Senior Vice President and Fine Gael candidate Mairead McGuinness looks set to be the runaway winner here with well over the 20% quota required for election on the first count. Matt Carty (SF) is probably close enough to the quota to gain re-election on a reduced vote despite Sinn Fein not being as transfer friendly as some other parties. Saoirse McHugh of the Greens could be the chief beneficiaries of such transfers and could win the third seat. She was the star performer in the TV debate where she told anti-immigration candidate, Peter Casey, that "Millionaires blaming migrants is an old trope and it's boring," and that he should "Go on Dancing With The Stars if you want attention that much, Peter."

Peter Casey, who came second in the Presidential Election by weaponizing the anti-immigrant and anti-Traveling Community vote is a no-hoper on 7% of the vote. The last seat is likely to be between incumbent independent Luke 'Ming' Flanagan and Fine Fael's second candidate, Maria Walsh, who should benefit from transfers from Mairead McGuinness's surplus over the quota. Fianna Fail, on the other hand, look like being humiliated with only 9% of first preference between their two candidates, although they could benefit from Peter Casey's transfers.

Local Elections

The exit poll (MoE 4%) projects the following votes for the major party groupings:

Fine Gael 23% (-1%)
Fianna Fail 23% (-2%)
Sinn Fein 12% (-3%)
Labour 6% (-1%)
Social Democrats 3% (n/a)
Solidarity People Before Profit 2% (-1%)
Green Party 9% (+7%)
Independents and small parties 22% (-2%).

Basically the Greens have quadrupled their vote at the expense of just about everyone else.

Other issues polled in Exit Poll

The Exit poll (taken exclusively from voters leaving polling stations) also asked questions on a number of other issues:

  1. 77% In favour of United Ireland, 23% against

  2. 60% were in favour of measures to support the Irish language. Of those questioned, under 35-year-old's expressed the strongest support.

  3. 90% of voters feel that the Government needs to prioritise climate change more.

  4. 42% of voters trust this Government to manage the economy and public spending well.

  5. 70% of voters agree that on the whole immigration has benefited Irish society.

  6. 82% of voters say Ireland should remain a neutral country in all aspects, while a third of voters agree that Ireland should be part of "the proposed European Armed Forces."

  7. 85% of Irish voters are delighted that Ireland has become more liberal in recent years. And 59% of voters have indicated that they believe the country is going in the right direction.

  8. 89% believe there should be more policies to resolve the gap between rich and poor.

  9. 82% of those polled agreed that local issues such as homelessness are much more important than European issues.

The Constitutional Referendum to further liberalize Ireland's divorce laws - to recognise foreign divorces and reduce the period of separation from 4 to 2 years - has been officially passed with 82% of the vote in favour - the highest margin of victory for any referendum since the Good Friday Agreement was passed into Ireland's Constitution.

Those in the UK, who glibly talk about amending the Good Friday Agreement, like to forget it is an international Treaty and required a popular referendum and Constitutional amendment in Ireland to bring into force. These things are not easily changed or reversed.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun May 26th, 2019 at 07:13:00 AM EST
With 201 out of 949 seats filled, the current state of the parties is as follows:

The major trends are the 5% fall in the Sinn Fein vote from 15% in 2014 mirrored by a 5% rise in the Green Party vote (from 2% in 2014).  The Green party vote had been decimated in Ireland by their participation as a junior coalition partner in the ill-fated Fianna Fail government of 2007-2011 which presided over Ireland's economic crash.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun May 26th, 2019 at 07:28:20 AM EST
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sun May 26th, 2019 at 09:26:53 AM EST
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sun May 26th, 2019 at 05:29:33 PM EST
by Bernard on Sun May 26th, 2019 at 06:57:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Money meets mouth.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sun May 26th, 2019 at 09:21:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]

by Bernard on Sun May 26th, 2019 at 06:37:41 PM EST
In Greece, Alexis Tsipras calls for early parliamentary elections

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, whose left-wing party was heavily sanctioned in European and local elections, announced Sunday night that he would call for early legislative elections "immediately" after the second round of Municipal, June 2.
His party Syriza was outshot by more than 8 points by the main right-wing opposition party , New Democracy, according to an exit poll poll confirmed by partial official results.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sun May 26th, 2019 at 09:20:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah we missed the 5% cut by a wide margin (3.2%)

Here's my monday-morning quarterback routine.
I'm very pleased that the abstention rate is below 50% for the first time since 1994. 10% more voters than in 2014. Macron sold the election as a referendum, between him and Le Pen. If so, he lost it resoundingly, as his team got a lower percentage (22,3%) than his first-round presidential score, on a lower turnout.

The real objective of that strategy was to concentrate opposition voters on the Le Pen list, RN (which he will always be able to beat on a national level). And in that he has been outstandingly successful : abundant anecdotal evidence, and the poor showing of France Insoumise, demonstrate that  a signicicant number of left voters went for the RN.  The "mainstream" right collapsed to 8%. Thanks to Sarkozy, who left a wasteland behind him.

Macron's strategy also succeeded in suppressing a large part of the left vote (why bother, if it's a two-way referendum?). The profusion of lists on the left also demotivated many.

But looking at the results on the left, it's clear that European issues predominated in voters' choices. There was a much bigger Green wave than predicted by the polls -- 13.4% for the EELV list -- clearly tactical voting on the part of electors, for whom the big European issue is, quite rightly, the climate, and see EELV as the long-standing owners of the issue.

Our "European spring" message, with UE democracy and solidarity alongside the climate, was not audible in this context. So we are in the "wasted vote" category at 3.3%, ahead of the PCF at 2.5% (at least we cleared the 3% hurdle, which means that we get our campaign expenses reimbursed. Which reminds me, I've got a spreadsheet to fill in.)

Full French results

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Mon May 27th, 2019 at 09:34:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well done and hard luck. breaking in at such a high level is not easily done, and probably not doable at all without a lot of money and media support. You also contributed to the higher turn-out, which is a service to democracy if not yourselves...

Any chance of a diary when the dust settles? I would be happy to front page it!

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon May 27th, 2019 at 10:30:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
According to the Wikipedia page for the election in Greece - https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/2019_European_Parliament_election_in_Greece - M25 grabbed one seat. Any success elsewhere?

And would that MEP be Varoufakis?

by fjallstrom on Mon May 27th, 2019 at 01:18:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, that's what we thought on the day. I suppose it's a matter of the urban centres, where our people are present and campaigning hard, gettin counted first, and the remote islands and mountain villages driving us under 3% in the end...

Which makes us in France, and Alternativet in Denmark, as the only places to break 3%. And zero MEPs.

BUT ! The showing in Greece was good enough to encourage them to have another go... Currently recruting the necessary 400 or so candidates required for a run in the snap election called by Tsípras.  Having demonstrated that there is a credible force to the left of SYRIZA.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Mon Jun 3rd, 2019 at 11:58:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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