What if local election results were repeated in General Election?

Labour would win just six seats if local results repeated in next General Election

The Local Election result has already cost Eamon Gilmore his role as Tánaiste and leader of the Labour Party.  Photograph; Dara Mac Donaill / The Irish Times

The Local Election result has already cost Eamon Gilmore his role as Tánaiste and leader of the Labour Party. Photograph; Dara Mac Donaill / The Irish Times

Fri, May 30, 2014, 09:16

The Local Election result has already cost Eamon Gilmore his role as Tánaiste and leader of the Labour Party. An analysis of the results translated into the 40 Dail Constituencies that will be the battleground for the next General Election, makes it very clear the scale of the problem facing Labour.

Yes, it was a local election and the General Election will be contested by a vastly different array of candidates including Ministers and TDs from all parties. However, as was the case in 1991 and 2009 the warning signs were apparent and they effectively predicted the result of the following Dail election.

If last weekend had been a General Election, Labour would have been reduced to a low of just six seats, which would represent their fewest number of TDs returned since the party was founded. The survivors would have been Ann Phelan in Carlow-Kilkenny, Brendan Ryan, Dublin Fingal, and Eric Byrne or Michael Conaghan in Dublin South-Central. In Dublin Bay South either Ruairi Quinn or Kevin Humphreys would have held on, as would Pat Rabbitte or Eamonn Maloney in Dublin South-West.

Emmet Stagg would have continued his unbroken spell in the Dáil dating back to 1987, but the ultimate irony is that the final survivor would have been Eamon Gilmore if Seán Barrett had retired. Every other seat in the country would have been lost including those of all the likely contenders for the leadership.

Much of their middle class vote melted away and it completely vanished in the working class areas that used to sustain them even in bad times. The vacuum that they left in those areas has been filled by Sinn Féin, People before Profit and an avalanche of Independents that spans the entire political spectrum.

It will be a monumental task for the new leader to devise a strategy to entice that support back to the fold. An upturn in the economy will only be of value to the party if the benefits manifestly improve the living standards of the population and particularly those in what used to be the Labour heartland

Fine Gael also got a rude awakening last weekend.

Up to now they had largely escaped the wrath directed at their coalition partners. Enda Kenny is in the firing line for the first time since the bungled challenge to his leadership in 2010 as it has dawned on the backbenchers that, just like Labour, some 30 of their number might be spending only one term in the Dail. However, if these figures were replicated in 2016 that is what will happen and the Taoiseach will be denied his heartfelt desire to be the first leader of Fine Gael to win two successive terms in Government.

Fianna Fáil were on their knees just three years ago and many commenters speculated that the party was heading for oblivion. But the reality is that the party is part of the culture and, like Labour, will survive. At its worst moment it still achieved 17 per cent in 2011 and, for all its successes last weekend and there were many, Sinn Féin is just at that level of support now. Fianna Fail has the largest share of the vote in 15 constituencies and is clearly on the upturn, although with a considerable job of work still to do in Dublin.

Sinn Féin never make massive strides, but incrementally build support, just as they did in overtaking the SDLP, and including the Presidential election have added 3 percentage points at every election since 2009.

Were these figures come to pass then the only viable coalition is Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, who would have 46 and 42 seats respectively, Even if the roles were reversed would either party realistically want to be a junior partner in Government?

With no party even reaching 50 seats the recipe exists for a period of political chaos as existed in 1981 and 1982 and then it took three elections within 18 months to bring closure.

The results in every LEA were calculated and allocated to their respective Dail Constituencies. As happened in many instances where an LEA was divided across one or more Constituencies the exact portion was calculated and appropriately apportioned.

CARLOW-KILKENNY

5 Seats. No boundary changes.

FF 34.2%, FG 29.1%, SF 10.7%, LAB 12% and Others 14%.

FF 2, FG 2, LAB 1

CAVAN-MONAGHAN

4 Seats. Reduced from 5 seats and 13,183 from Cavan moved to Sligo-Leitrim.

FF 31.7%, FG 31%, SF 28.1%, LAB 0.7%, Others 8.5%.

FF 2, FG 1, SF 1

CLARE

4 Seats. No boundary changes.

FF 39%, FG 30.3%, SF 3.6%, LAB 2.3%, Others 24.9%.

FF 2, FG 1, Others 1 (Christy Curtin in West Clare)

CORK EAST

4 Seats. No boundary changes.

FF 28.5%, FG 21.4%, SF 16.5%, LAB 10.7%, Others 22.9%

FF 1, FG 1, SF 1, Others 1 (Noel Collins)

CORK NORTH-CENTRAL

4 Seats. Transfer in of 17,307 population from City part of Cork South-Central. Transfer of 5,048 to Cork North-West.

FF 25.5%, FG 22.1, SF 19.8%, LAB 9.1%, Others 23.5%.

FF 1, FG 1, SF 1, Others 1.

CORK NORTH-WEST

3 Seats. Transfer of 5,048 from Cork North-Central.

FF 29.8%, FG 27.4%, SF 12.2%, LAB 6.4%, Others 24.2%.

FF 1, FG 1, Others 1 (John Paul O’Shea).

CORK SOUTH-CENTRAL

4 Seats. Reduction of 1 seat. Transfer of 17,307 to Cork North-Central.

FF 27.7%, FG 27.2%, SF 17.5, LAB 4.4%, Others 23.2%.

FF 2, FG 1, SF 1,

CORK SOUTH-WEST

3 Seats. No boundary change.

FF 28.8%, FG 33.7%, SF 11.3%. LAB 4%, Others 22.2%.

FF 1, FG 1, Others 1 (Michael Collins).

DONEGAL

5 Seats. Reduction of 1 seat. Amalgamation of Donegal North-East and Donegal South-West. 8,779 from Donegal transferred to Sligo-Leitrim.

FF 29.5%, FG 15.4%, SF 20%, LAB 4.1%, Others 31%.

FF 2, FG 1, SF 1, Others 1 (Thomas Pringle).

DUBLIN BAY NORTH

5 Seats. Reduction of 1 seat. Amalgamation of Dublin North-Central and Dublin North-East.

FF 19.4%, FG 15.8%, SF 21.4%, LAB 9.5%, Others 34%.

FF 1, FG 1, SF 1, Others 2 (Finian McGrath, Tommy Broughan and Terence Flanagan in this constituency).

DUBLIN BAY SOUTH

4 Seats. Dublin South-East plus transfer of 12,563 from Dublin South-Central.

FF 15.6%, FG 25.3%, SF 11.8%, LAB 18.7%, Others 28.6%.

FF 1, FG 1, LAB 1, Others 1 (Lucinda Creighton in this constituency),

DUBLIN CENTRAL

3 Seats, Reduction of 1 seat .Transfer of 13,256 to Dublin West.

FF 8.2%, FG 7.3%, SF 31.3%, LAB 11.1%, Others 42%.

SF 1, Others 2 (Maureen O’Sullivan and Cieran Perry)

DUBLIN FINGAL

5 Seats. Increase of 1 seat. Dublin North plus 26,840 from Dublin West and Dublin North-East.

FF 15.5%, FG 13%, SF 10.7%, LAB 13.9%, Others 46.8%.

FF 1, FG 1, LAB 1, Others 2 (Clare Daly and Cian O’Callaghan).

DUBLIN MID-WEST

4 Seats. No change.

FF 11.1%, FG 17.7%, SF 28%, LAB 8.4%, Others 34.8%.

FF 1, FG 1, SF 1, Others 1 (Paul Gogarty)

DUBLIN NORTH-WEST

3 Seats. Transfer of 11,506 from Dublin Central.

FF 16.2%, FG 13.5%, SF 27.6%, LAB 13.4%, Others 29.2%.

FF 1, SF 1, Others 1 (Roisin Shortall).

DUBLIN RATHDOWN

3 Seats. Reduction of 2 seats from old Dublin South, Transfer of

53,073 to Dublin South-West and Dun Laoghaire.

FF 17.4%, FG 27%, SF 8.3%, LAB 14.6%, Others 32.7%.

FF 1, FG 1, Others 1(Shane Ross)

DUBLIN SOUTH-CENTRAL

4 Seats. Reduction of 1 seat. Transfer of 12,563 to Dublin Bay South.

FF 9.9%, FG 8.7%, SF 25.3%, LAB 11.9%, Others 44.3%.

SF 1, LAB 1, Others 2 (Joan Collins and Brid Smith)

DUBLIN SOUTH-WEST

5 Seats. Increase of 1 seat. Transfer of 39,311 from Dublin South.

FF 15%, FG 17.9%, SF 23.9%, LAB 11.3%, Others 31.9%.

FF 1, FG 1, SF 1, LAB 1, Others 1 (Dermot Looney)

DUBLIN WEST

4 Seats. Transfer from Dublin Central of 13,256 and transfer to Dublin Fingal of 17,291.

FF 19%, FG 15.1%, SF 22.7%, LAB 8.4%, Others 34.8%.

FF 1, FG 1, SF 1, Others 1 (Ruth Coppinger)

DUN LAOGHAIRE

4 Seats. Transfer of 13,762 from Dublin South.

FF 19.6%, FG 29.2%, SF 6.9%, LAB 12.2%, Others 32.2%

FF 1, FG 1, LAB 1, Others 1. (If Sean Barrett runs again no LAB seat).

GALWAY EAST

3 Seats. Reduction of 1 seat. Transfer of 20,521 to Roscommon-Galway.

FF 25.8%, FG 31.7%, SF 5.9%, LAB 2.8%, Others 33.8%.

FF 1, FG 1, Others 1 (Sean Canny)

GALWAY WEST

5 Seats. Transfer of 10,306 from Mayo.

FF 25.4%, FG 21.7%, SF 9%, LAB 6.6%, Others 37.3%

FF 1, FG 1, SF 1, Others 2 (Noel Grealish)

KERRY

5 Seats. Amalgamation of Kerry North and South

FF 22.2%, FG 21.9%, SF 14.2%, LAB 6.6%, Others 35.1%

FF 1, FG 1, SF 1, Others 2 (Healy-Rae and Tom Fleming)

KILDARE NORTH

4 Seats. Minor boundary change.

FF 24.2%, FG 19.8%, SF 10.2%, LAB 14%, Others 31.9%

FF 1, FG 1, LAB 1, Others 1 Catherine Murphy)

KILDARE SOUTH

3 Seats. Transfer of 7,186 to Laois.

FF 29.6%, FG 24.8%, SF 17.8%, LAB 8.1%, Others 19.7%

FF 1, FG 1, SF 1

LAOIS

3 Seats. Formally part of Laois-Offaly. Transfer of 7,186 from Kildare South.

FF 32.7%, FG 29.9%, SF 13.8%, LAB 5.4%, Others 18.3%

FF 1, FG 1, SF 1

LIMERICK CITY

4 Seats. Transfer of 11,197 from Limerick County.

FF 23.1%, FG 27.8%, SF 15.3%, LAB 10.9%, Others 22.9%

FF 1, FG 1, SF 1, Others 1.

LIMERICK COUNTY

3 Seats. Transfer of 11,197 to Limerick City. Transfer from Kerry North of 13,352.

FF 31.2%, FG 38%, SF 10.2%, LAB 2.3%, Others 18.3%.

FF 1, FG 1, Others 1 (Emmet O’Brien)

LONGFORD-WESTMEATH

4 Seats. No change.

FF 32.4%, FG 30.9%, SF 9.2%, LAB 8%, Others 19.5%

FF 2, FG 2,

LOUTH

5 Seats. No change.

FF 20.4%, FG 20.8%, SF 29.8%, LAB 5.1%, Others 23.9%

FF 1, FG 1, SF 2, Others 1

MAYO

4 Seats. Reduction of 1 seat. Transfer of 10,306 to Galway-West.

FF 29.7%, FG 33.9%, SF 10.1%, LAB 1.1%, Others 25.2%

FF 2, FG 2

MEATH EAST.

3 Seats. No change.

FF 27%, FG 23.6%, SF 15.9%, LAB 3.9%, Others 29.7%

FF 1, FG 1, SF 1

MEATH WEST

3 Seats. No change.

FF 27.9%, FG 22.2%, SF 20.9%, LAB 6.5%, Others 22.5%

FF 1, FG 1, SF 1

OFFALY

3 Seats. Formally part of Laois-Offaly. Transfer of 10,953 from Tipperary North.

FF 32.5%, FG 18.1%, SF 16%, LAB 3.3%, Others 30.1%.

FF 1, FG 1, SF 1

ROSCOMMON-GALWAY

3 Seats. New constituency formed from Roscommon and 20,521 population from Galway East.

FF 33.1%, FG 22.5%, SF 9.2%, LAB 2.4%, Others 32.8%

FF 1, FG 1, Others 1 (Ming Flanagan’s replacement).

SLIGO-LEITRIM

4 Seats. New constituency formed from Sligo and Leitrim plus 8,779 population from Donegal and 13,183 from Cavan.

FF 31.1%, FG 26%, SF 14.3%, LAB 2.3%, Others 26.3%.

FF 2, FG 1, SF 1

TIPPERARY

5 Seats. New constituency formed by the merger of Tipperary North and South apart from 10,953 transferred to Offaly.

FF 23.8%, FG 26.2%, SF 10.1%, LAB 7.6%, Others 32.3%

FF 1, FG 1, Others 3 (Lowry, Mattie McGrath, Healy)

WATERFORD

4 Seats. No change.

FF 19.5%, FG 25.1%, SF 16%, LAB 8%, Others 31.4%

FF 1, FG 1, SF 1, Others 1 (John Halligan)

WEXFORD

5 Seats. No change.

FF 27.4%, FG 24.6%, SF 12.1%, LAB 8.4%, Others 27.6%

FF 1, FG 2, SF 1, Others 1(Mick Wallace)

WICKLOW

5 Seats. No change.

FF 20.4%, FG 19.9%, SF 16.5%, LAB, 3.3%, Others 39.9%

FF 1, FG 1, SF 1, Others 2

TOTAL

FF 46, FG 42, SF 27, LAB 6, OTHERS 37

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