The NUI Seanad Results

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.

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5 Responses to The NUI Seanad Results

  1. Michaela says:

    How did McCurtain do? He was my teacher for 5th and 6th class.

    • HandsofBlue says:

      262 first pref, eliminated on count 4 with 269. So, not great.

      • HandsofBlue says:

        Its the problem with candidate lists this large. Most are so unknown, the transfers get assigned on an almost random basis from the electorate. So, if you haven’t hit over a 1’000 first prefs, you’re toast. You get dribs and drabs from the other lesser candidates, and get knocked out early.

  2. Kelleher first count result of 3,700 was well down on the old Joe O’Toole numbers and represented the core INTO vote. He did attract reasonable transfers towards the very end once the other teachers were being eliminated but he had lost considerable ground on the front 3 by that stage, going from 1,000 behind John Crown to 1,800 and 800 behind Quinn to 1,600 behind by the time Paddy Healy was eliminated. So he wasn’t especially transfer friendly.

    Donnacha O’Connell was also a party candidate, and ended up being the best performing of all.

    Labour’s James Doorley, 665, very surprised by this myself as he had done loads of local press and radio.

    Fine Gael’s John Kennedy, the default party moved almost en masse this time to Helen Keogh though John’s local base in Dublin South (rich in NUI graduates) gave him a platform.

    Fine Gael’s Helen Keogh, as a former Oireachtas member she was always best placed to get the lions share of an FG party vote and again profile assisted her as transfers went on.

    Fianna Fail’s Paul Lynam, 486, better than one might expect until you realise that he was doing plenty of direct door knocking within the immediate vicinity of UCD which is comparative rich in NUI voters and appears to have spent considerable sums in postering around DSE and beyond and even directly mailing voters, in addition to the Litir Um Thoghchán, via the postal system (potentially up to 100,000 people at 50/60c per letter, is 50K in cold hard cash). I hope for his sake that he didn’t mail all those on the register but he might have.

    Sinn Fein’s Eoin O’Brion, 496, given the age profile of the electorate who would have long formed views on SF, and the diversity of other competing left leaning candidates, this wasn’t that bad a showing.

    Green’s Niall O’Brolchain, 718, there might be signs there that a core vote remains that will allow the party to rebuild.

    Fine Gael’s Daniel Sullivan, 193, nowhere. – Can’t disagree with that. I won’t be contesting again under the current structures, when you can’t even for yourself in an election you’re sort of on a hiding to nothing.

  3. David McDonagh says:

    According to the Seanad 2011 results that I am looking at, both Ronan Mullen and Fergal Quinn both reached the quota. Quota was 8,458. RM topped the poll with 9,028. FQ had 8,482.

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