Fianna Fáil massacred as left secures first majority

 

DUBLIN TRENDS:FROM 19 Dublin seats to one. Fianna Fáil’s dramatic annihilation in the capital, its share of the poll plunging to less than a third of its 2007 level – 38 to 12 per cent – reflected more painfully than anywhere the party’s plight.

Dublin is another country. The transformation of political representation of the capital’s 47 Dáil seats is more dramatic and qualitative, and more ideological, than anywhere else. In the city the left parties, Labour, the United Left Alliance and Sinn Féin, hold a clear majority of 26 seats (44 per cent of the vote) for the first time.

Labour, with 18 seats (up from 9), doubled its share of the poll and emerges as the capital’s largest party in terms of representation, although its vote on 29 per cent leaves it just behind Fine Gael’s 30 per cent (17 seats up from 10).

Labour’s crucial breakthrough comes from its breaking into the two-seater club for the first time – in six of the capital’s constituencies – in all of which it is represented for the first time.

The ULA and Sinn Féin each have four times the representation of Fianna Fáil (4 seats each). Only Sinn Féin had a seat in 2007 and, while it increased its share of poll only marginally, candidates who stood this time under the ULA banner saw their share of poll rise from 4 to 9 per cent.

One constituency, for the first time, is uniquely represented by the left, with two Labour and one Sinn Féin seat (Dublin North West), while in Dublin South Central four out of five seats went to left parties (two Labour, one Sinn Féin, one ULA).

Neighbouring Dublin South, in what appears to be a mirror image on the right of the latter result, saw three Fine Gael and Shane Ross (Ind) elected, confining Labour to one seat. Fine Gael increased its vote in the capital by a third from 19 per cent to 30 per cent. In four constituencies it holds two seats, and in one, three.

With a total of 544,790 voting in Dublin, Fianna Fáil saw its numbers fall from 196,029 to 67,836. The Greens, who emerge without any seats, saw their vote crash from 8 per cent to 3 per cent, while the new allegiance of the 4 per cent who voted for the PDs in 2007 is also unclear. Two sitting Independents, Finian McGrath and Maureen O’Sullivan, are joined by a third, Shane Ross.