Friday 4 March 2016

Last Post GE16

When it comes to films, I'm not great on mindless violence but I'm made even more uncomfortable by suspense - unless it's old-fashioned black&white Hitchcock.  But I can handle a certain amount of that in politics. I know you have been waiting, waiting, waiting for two whole days to hear how things panned out in Longford-Westmeath and who exactly filled the last two seats in the Irish Parliamentary elections. Would Willie Penrose, Labour Party stalwart, hold his seat; or would he be replaced by a rougher form of Left by electing a Sinn Féin deputy in his place?  As I explained on Wednesday, after two full recounts it looked like Willie Penrose was bottom of the heap in a knife-edge contest where four closely ranked candidates were contesting two seats. The last chap elected had a small surplus (N=64) over quota and the distribution of these votes travelled left:
which meant that Penrose went from being 19 behind Bannon to being 6 ahead. Phew! With that sorted, Bannon was eliminated and his surplus went a) primarily to the other Fine Gaeler b) far more to Labour than to Sinn Féin and that meant that Penrose surged past the more radical Hogan.

If it had been the other way round in Round 14, with Penrose eliminated, his surplus would have gone disproportionately left to Hogan, so either way Bannon the second ranked FG would have failed in his bid.  It took the full of five days to count the votes and allocate them in the way we have decided is fair.  Politics-wonks with the stomach for the details of the process who don't suffer from math-anxiety may, with advantage, check out a report on the element of chance in Irish Elections. The elimination of Bannon means that, for the first time in the history of the state, there is nobody looking out for the interests of Co. Longford in the Dáil. Huzzah!  Let's have more candidates who are representing the country in the national legislative body rather than scratching the backs of his neighbors.  Citizens of Longford: Thanks for taking one for the team.

No comments:

Post a Comment