So, how did the Limerick City candidates do?
From the bottom up (all first preferences):
Matt Larkin (IND), got 59 votes, which was somehow less than the amount he received in a local election two years ago. Being involved in an assault charge with Willie O’Dea is not the path to the Dail it would seem.
Denis Riordan (IND) is down on his 2007 numbers. That’s all I can really say on the guy.
Conor O’Donoghue (CS) is up on his 2007 numbers. That’s all I can really say on that guy.
In regards the also-rans, I think they either are genuinely not all there, or they are trying to pull a “Ming”, that is, keep running over and over again and hope that sometime they’ll become a breakthrough candidate like Mick Wallace turned out to be in Wefford. Most of their transfers went to Kevin Kiely, indicating a continuing Independent preference amongst their voters.
Sheila Cahill (G), will be disappointed with 490 votes, a third of what the Green candidate in 2007 did. But, she was a Green. It simply wasn’t their year and she had no political pedigree to work off. Most of her transfers went to O’Sullivan and O’Donnell, which is interesting. Very little went to the Greens former coalition partners.
Cian Prendiville (SOC/ULA) was next out on 721 votes. I suppose he could not have expected much more, though it may be of some concern to the Socialists that they are unable to penetrate any urban area outside Dublin. He might be set up for a local run at some point, but I doubt he’ll do any better.
Prendiville was eliminated at the same time as Kevin Kiely (IND) who had 1129. His campaign was lacklustre and based more on internal FG divisions then anything, never stood much of a chance. The transfers of the two were fairly evenly divided, just about favouring Quinlivan and the Labour candidates.
Peter Power (FF) on 2303, will be crushed, the major casualty. It will be galling that O’Dea survived and he didn’t: there seemed to be a sense towards the end that Power thought he could make it. The dirty tricks notwithstanding, his campaign was dogged by the comparisons with O’Dea and most commentators (including myself) wrote him off pretty quickly. He’s young, he’ll easily win a council seat and he’ll be back. His transfers, shockingly, went mostly O’Dea’s way and got him over the line.
Joe Leddin (LAB) clung on all the way to the last count, but he was never going to get elected. He didn’t do well transfer wise and Limerick, especially clear during the second half of the campaign, wasn’t going to elect two Labour candidates. In fact, it was more likely that Leddin would cost O’Sullivan her seat then win a second. As it was, Leddin looked fairly satisfied as O’Sullvian celebrated. Like Power, Leddin is the young Labour man in Limerick, with an eye on a future run, one where he won’t be competing with a sitting TD running mate. His transfers were not distributed, but they surely would have gone to O’Sullivan.
Maurice Quinlivan (SF) will be happy. It was the last eliminated, raised his vote total over a thousand from 2007, and will be confident that he can do even better next time, especially if the field is missing some of the more familiar faces. He’s still behind O’Dea though, which must be galling for him personally. Limerick remains SF free as it has since the Civil War. His transfers would surely have gone Labours/Prendiville’s way but we’ll never know.
Heading onto the winners:
Jan O’Sullivan (LAB) got there, but might be unhappy with the fact that she was last. But she’s up a thousand votes and she remains a rare Labour presence in the region. She can stay as long as she likes, with little competition within the local party. A ministry might be coming too. No transfers were distributed for her, presumably they would have been Leddin’s.
Kieran O’Donnell (FG) might be the happiest. Despite not really improving his 2007 numbers much, he still finished second overall and was returned with plenty of counts to spare. Dividing the constituency with Noonan worked out well for him. The future of the party in Limerick. No need for his surplus to be given out, no idea who (outside the already elected Noonan) it would have gone too.
Willie O’Dea (FF), well he is way down on his massive 2007 numbers, the kind of loss that would have defeated most of those other 19 FF TDs. But, he’s still standing. He’s a survivor Wille. Not the Greens, not Quinlivan, not his own party could get rid of him. He fought the fight hard in the constituency, maybe canvassed the most, especially of the sitting TDs. The fighting with Power wasn’t good, but it didn’t hurt him that much. He seemed happy enough on TV following his election, and can expect a good spokesman position when the dust is cleared. But, hard to see what he can really do in the 31<sup>st</sup> Dail. Most of his surplus went O’Sullivan’s way, but at that stage it was between her and Quinlivan for them.
And lastly, Michael Noonan (FG). It was his day. His first poll topping performance, besting even his numbers when he was leader of Fine Gael. And he didn’t even have to campaign that much to do it. I’d say he got a lot of O’Dea’s former vote and he was able to help O’Donnell get in. A major role for him now in the next government, no more then he deserves. His transfers went to O’Donnell and O’Sullivan unsurprisingly.
So that’s it. Good campaign in Limerick, though the actual count was fairly anti0climactic, the result being almost certain before even the first count was announced.
Oh, and as for my prediction. In terms of first preferences, it was dead-on except for the bottom three. In terms of the final result, less accurate, only seven positions right. Can’t win em all, but I think I did pretty good.