There really isn’t much to them.
As is normal in the Seanad elections, quota was barely reached after an agonizingly long count and there was a sizable gap between those elected or the immediate runner-up places, and the rest.
Mullen and Quinn were both re-elected. Being sitting Senators, they have the experience at elections, they have greater financial backing and they have a greater public presence. Mullen’s re-election has caused a bit of a stir with some, but he’s been the most prominent Senator, bar David Norris, during the last term. In the end, in a contest that is more about name recognition than policy (and I am not a fan of Mullen’s policies) they were always going to be frontrunners.
Dr John Crown benefitted from this, the new man in the chamber. He’s public profile, through his newspaper columns and the like, was enough to get him more first preferences then you might expect. Moreover, he’s a Doctor, he’s a major critic of the healthcare system…it doesn’t take much to get popularity from those things.
Kelleher’s tally is a bit of a surprise alright, the Clare teacher polling well into the 5’000 range. He might have been the only candidate to attract people’s eyes without a base of recognition to start from, and he was transfer friendly. He might be tempted to try again, perhaps in local elections.
The others who got respectable numbers, Keogh, O’Connor and the like, still were out of the count fairly quickly. The election was really contested by just four men after the first count. The rest, under a thousand votes, are also-rans, the people who thought the Seanad would be easier to run for then it actually was. Of special note to me is the performance of the party candidates. Very quickly:
Labour’s James Doorley, 665, very disappointing in the wake of Labour’s GE success.
Fine Gael’s John Kennedy, under 300, not anywhere near what he needs to remain a viable political candidate for the party.
Fine Gael’s Helen Keogh, over a thousand, she can be happy with her lot.
Fianna Fail’s Paul Lynam, 486, better than I thought from a student candidate.
Sinn Fein’s Eoin O’Brion, 496, I doubt he would be happy with that, considering his good run in the GE.
Green’s Niall O’Brolchain, 718, better than I would have guessed, but still a depressing result for that party.
Fine Gael’s Daniel Sullivan, 193, nowhere.
The election is done, and it remains to be seen if we will have another one. And, of course, it remains a constant: it doesn’t really matter anyway.