Time to answer some of the questions I asked at the start of the campaign.
Why are Sinn Fein running two candidates in Carlow-Kilkenny? Won’t that ruin their chances?
Effectively yes. I’m not sure why SF choose to pursue running two candidates in this constituency, I suspect there may be some local issues that need sorting. You do get, frequently, rivalries in local organisations and often the solution is to try a middle course and allow two prospective candidates to both run under the party banner. Most of the time it doesn’t work out and it may have cost SF a seat here.
Four non-TD candidates in Cavan-Monaghan Fine Gael? Seriously?
Well, they got three of those four elected, so what can I say. It worked out for them.
Why aren’t Sinn Fein contesting Clare? Have Labour written the County off?
I really can’t fathom why Sinn Fein choose not to even attempt to tackle Clare, where the vanishing Fianna Fail vote could have benefited them.
And the answer to the second was no, they haven’t, as Labour won their first seat in Clare for years. The trick is holding it of course.
Can Fine Gael nab a second seat with one of two fairly untested Councillors in Cork East?
Yes they could, Tom Barry coming in behind sitting TD David Stanton.
Is Cork North Central going to see the worst collapse in the Fianna Fail vote?
No. This question was based off local poll projections at the time. Meath West turned out to be the worst.
Can Martin Coughlan hold off the ULA in Cork North West?
He could, but it still didn’t get him elected, Fine Gael taking two of the three seats there.
Can Michael Martin in Cork South Central bring Michael McGrath in with him?
Yes he could, and with votes to spare, one of Fianna Fail’s few success stories in the election.
Why isn’t the fact that the Green Party picked a candidate, Jennifer Sleeman in Cork South West, who wasn’t an Irish citizen, bigger news? Can Labour squeeze into the top three there?
Well, the Greens were essentially a non-player by the end I guess, so no one really cared. And yes, Labour could, just, with Michael McCarthy narrowly squeezing out FFs Denis O’Donovan.
Can Jimmy Harte’s jump on the Labour bandwagon get him a seat in Donegal North East?
No it couldn’t, with Harte being the last eliminated in this count.
Will the dropping of Barry O’ Neill by FG in Donegal South-West be enough to beat out O’ Domhnaill (FF) and Pringle (Ind)?
Not for a second seat, no. Fine Gael choose not to run a second candidate behind McGinley, a wise choice in the end, as Doherty (SF) cleaned up.
Whose going to take the last two seats in what can only be described as the Dublin Central clusterf**k?
Maureen O’Sullivan (IND) and Mary Lou-McDonald (SF) took the last seats ahead of both Fianna Fail candidates and Labour’s Aine Clancy. Terrible shock for the heart of Ahern-land.
Can the hard-left candidates make any impression in Dublin Mid-West?
Not really. Gino Kenny (PBP/ULA) garnered just over three thousand before being eliminated with SF’s Eoin O’ Broin going out last.
Can Sargent hold on for the Greens in Dublin North?
No he could not. He was the Greens best chance in the election, but even he didn’t really challenge, eliminated in count five of seven, several thousand votes off the pace.
Is the Haughey Dynasty done in Dublin North Central or can Sean turn the tide?
He clung on for as long as he could, but Sean is gone, one of the biggest measures of the lack of FF support in the country.
Whose going to win the race for the last seat in Dublin North East, Flanagan (FG) or O’ Toole (SF)?
Flanagan ended up topping the poll, with Labour taking the other two, mostly as a result of a Fianna Fail collapse.
Has Fianna Fail already written off Dublin North West or will they make a fight of it?
Fianna Fails Pat Carey lasted six of seven counts but never really looked like winning a seat.
Are Dublin South voters going to punish Fine Gael over the George Lee disaster?
Hell no, as all three FG candidates were elected in the constituency.
Will the Gilmore Gale put Eric Byrne over the line in Dublin South Central?
Yes it could, in a constituency that elected four left leaning candidates.
Is John Gormley finished in Dublin South East? If so, is it Labour or FG to benefit?
Yes he was, but it’s unclear which of the two opposition parties benefited, as they shared the spoils evenly in this constituency.
Will Pat Rabitte take Eamonn Maloney with him in Dublin South West?
Yes, on the very last count.
Is there anyway Brian Lenihan can hold off Varadkar, Burton and Higgins in Dublin West?
As it happened, yes, though he scraped in behind the other three, the only FFer in Dublin to do so.
Dun Laoghaire: Can Boyd Barett walk the walk? Can one of the FF Ministers hang on?
Yes he could, though it was painfully close in the end. And no, neither of them could, though one of them could have if the other hadn’t ran. Hanafin, the senior person, must be annoyed at Andrews for not stepping aside or moving to another constituency.
Is it possible we could see three Fine Gaelers elected in Galway East?
In the end, no, as Fine Gael had to “settle” for just two, Tom McHugh missing out.
Why are Fianna Fail running three candidates in Galway West? Why are Labour only running one?
For the first, simply obstinace from sitting TDs and traditional election process from a party organisation that was suffering a measure of denial. Labour were smart enough to know that running two in such a constituency as this would be a bad move, though the way FF split their vote it isn’t beyond the realm of the possible that they could have gotten something more.
Can the Spring dynasty steal a seat from Sinn Fein in the revised Kerry North-Limerick West?
They didn’t need to steal it from Sinn Fein in the end, getting it from Fianna Fail.
Will O’ Donoghue’s almost certain collapse be enough to get Healy Rae II into the Dail or can Labour establish a presence in Kerry South?
Healy Rae got in comfortably in the end with Labour losing out.
Will Kildare North gain an Independent in Cllr Catherine Murphy, so close last time out?
Yes it did, with the former Labour women romping home comfortably enough.
Can the substantial FF presence in Kildare South survive what looks like a fairly tame competition?
To an extent, with Sean O’Fearghal surviving and Sean Power losing out.
Will the Taoiseach’s brother Barry match the 2007 performance in Laois-Offaly? Can Labour make any headway at all?
No, but he was still elected without too much nail biting. And no, they couldn’t, but only just.
With Cregan’s resignation, can anything stand in the way of FG dominance in the new County Limerick constituency?
No, but Fianna Fail did retain a seat through Niall Collins.
Whose taking the fourth seat in Limerick City? O’ Donnell (FG), Leddin (Lab), Power (FF) or Quinlivan (SF)?
O’Donnell took it comfortably in the end ahead of Quinlivan, the Castelconnell man benefitting from Noonan’s huge surplus.
Can Labour take advantage of a three-on-three FF/FG battle in Longford/Westmeath and get a second guy in after Willie Penrose?
Hell no, Mae Sexton coming in well behind her running mate Penrose.
Can anything get in the way of Adams in Louth? Can the absence of the sitting FF TDs save the party’s presence there?
Apparently no as the SF leader topped the poll. I was confident he would get elected, but I wasn’t expecting that. And no it couldn’t , though Ceann Comhairle Seamus Kirk was returned automatically.
Is it possible we could see four FG TDs elected in Mayo? Can Labour grab a seat in Flynn’s absence?
Hell yes and hell no. A vote management masterclass saw all four FGers over the line with room to spare with FF’s nabbing the last seat.
Can Fianna Fail hold a seat in Meath East or will Labour’s Dominic Hannigan eliminate their presence?
No they couldn’t with Hannigan taking the last seat.
Can Peader Toibin match or beat Joe Reilly’s 2007 performance for Sinn Fein in Meath West?
Yes, and it got him a seat taking advantage of the worst FF collapse in the country.
Can the Gilmore Gale penetrate one of the most rural constituencies in Roscommon-Leitrim South, reversing their awful 2007 numbers there?
The numbers were way better, 400% better, but still nowhere near enough for John Kelly.
Fine Gael and Sinn Fein: Which one will take the third seat in Sligo-North Leitrim?
Sinn Fein’s Michael Colreavy took it in the end.
Can Alan Kelly convert MEP success to a General Election in Tipp North? What kind of hit will Lowry take, if any?
Yes he could, some youth for Tipp North. Lowry actually increased his total.
Can Tom Hayes bring Michael Murphy with him for Fine Gael, or will Seamus Healy take an Independent seat in Tipp South?
Healy took the last seat in the end, a rare failure for FG.
Will Fine Gael or Labour replace Fianna Fail as the dominant party in Waterford? Can Sinn Fein turn it into a rare 1/1/1/1?
Labour foolishly split their vote allowing Fine Gael to take two of the four seats in the end.
Can Wexford be a rarity, and actually have no changes? Can Sinn Fein deserter John Dwyer upset that apple cart?
The enigma that was Mick Wallace upset the whole apple cart in Wexford. And John Dwyer ended up not really challenging at all.
Can Labour grab a second seat in Wicklow at the expense of an inevitable Fianna Fail loss? Can the seven Independents wreck the numbers?
No they couldn’t with Tom Fortune well down. And it was 14 Independents in the end and we maybe never know how much of an effect their combined first preference vote of over 14’000 may have had.