The 81% election

County Donegal
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It is entirely possible that all three major parties in Ireland could each poll around 27% a piece come the next general election. This would be due to the incumbency and name recognition factor benefiting FF and FG even if the polling as it currently shows meant that Labour were more attractive as a party but they lacked the local organisations to canvass and hadn’t got the right mix of candidates in some constituencies.

If they each got 27% dead on (which they probably won’t, but I’m going to use it for illustrative purposes) FF and FG would still finish ahead of Labour in terms of seats due to the usual seat bonus and also the likely presence of existing left inclined reps in some of the target constituencies. FG would probably end up ahead of FF due to Labour transfers trending that bit more to them rather than FF, and FF losing out cos pretty much no one from any party was transferring to them at all. This scenario could see FG on 55, FF on 50 and Labour on 45. with 16 seats divided primary between Sinn Fein and Mé Fein TDs. Those are estimates and it could even be worse for FF and that bit better for Labour and SF.

For Labour to get close to 50 seats they need to win one in at least every constituency and then in at least half a dozen cases win two seats or more. the latter is considerably more likely than the former. In the Donegal’s for example SF are more likely to be elected with Labour transfers than the other way around and or the likes of Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan could be just the sort of new style Mé Fein candidate that would appeal in Longford. There are probably a dozen or more constituencies where Labour has to go from under 5% to 20% to claim a seat and while that certainly can happen, it probably won’t happen consistently in every constituency. For every 3 seater where they got 25% and topped the poll, they’d get 15% and be the last man standing without a seat.

With that sort of result, don’t be surprised to see FF offer to support a Labour Taoiseach for a fixed period (3 years) provided some broad i.e vague budgetary strategy was adhered to while they choose a new leader and rebuilt, and for FG to tear itself apart after failing to make gains that appeared to be theirs for the taking.

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3 Responses to The 81% election

  1. Pingback: Seat analysis in an 81% election | Daniel Sullivan - he’s a little political

  2. rossie says:

    Was enjoying this until I read the following
    or the likes of Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan could be just the sort of new style Mé Fein candidate that would appeal in Longford.

    Longford. Ming is not from longford. Do ye just make all this stuff up? It would be much more convincing if ye reasearched what ye are writing about. Although that would actually require at least two brain cells. How exactly is ming me fein. He campaigns for repeal of drug prohibtion. Says mobile phone mast in his neighbourhood are not dangerous. Refuses to say the prayer at his first council meeting. If he was me fein I think he would hardly have taken those positions on issues which will do nothing but cost him votes in county Roscommon.

  3. dsullivan says:

    You’re completely right about Ming and the Longford and Roscommon mix up. I was thinking too much in terms of the 2002 election set up with Longford and Roscommon were a single constituency. As for the Mé fein candidate reference that is in terms of someone who will appeal to those who seek to vote for themselves; those who want to know what they can get from the pie first rather than those who want a bigger pie that can provide for everyone. He won’t necessarily be setting out to appeal to them but they could well rally around him nonetheless. Ming is a very able, consistent (on the wacky issue for example) and bright bloke.

    It’s not that Ming himself will be all about himself but that those who want to vote for themselves could still vote for him. And they would be voting for him and not Labour and hence Labour won’t be getting a seat there. That was the intent of that paragraph as a whole, there are seats that Labour can’t get by appealing to people’s populist or contrary nature cos there is someone in that area who does that already.

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