Norris re-elected to Seanad


TCD PANEL:PRESIDENTIAL HOPEFUL David Norris was last night re-elected to Seanad Éireann for the Dublin University (Trinity College) constituency.

Mr Norris who was elected on the first count polled 5471 of the valid poll of 15,394 votes. He has represented the college in the Seanad since 1987.

Counting will resume for the TCD constituency this morning at 9am with Mr Norris’ second preference votes being redistributed to the remaining candidates. There are three Seanad seats on the TCD panel for which 20 nominations were received.

After his victory last night, Mr Norris said: “I’m delighted to be re-elected and delighted by the percentage of votes and the confidence the voters have shown in me.”

Senator Norris described his 34 per cent share of the vote as “a remarkable achievement” and said: “I hope it won’t be the last senate. I think its important to have a rational check, not to obstruct government . . . I do think there are quite a number of Bills that have been very substantially improved in the senate. I hope in a reformed senate, there will be greater coverage in the media of this.”

Asked about his bid for the Irish presidency the election for which is due to take place in the autumn, Mr Norris said: “Tonight is just about the senate. I wouldn’t want to be discourteous to the voters who have put me in on the understanding that I am here to serve them.”

Early tallies for the Trinity College panel had shown Mr Norris well ahead of other candidates with Ivana Bacik polling in second place.

In her declaration of the results of the first count in the examination hall at Trinity College at 10.30pm, deputy returning officer Leona Coady announced that Ms Bacik had polled 2,979 votes with the quota at 3,849 votes Ms Bacik who was first elected to the Seanad in 2007 representing Trinity College and narrowly missed winning a Dáil seat for Labour in the general election now looks likely to retain her Seanad seat.

Speaking last night Ms Bacik said: “I knew David would come in first and I’m delighted he topped the poll and I’m just hoping I’m in second.”

With the third seat long expected to be a tussle between solicitor Tony Williams, economist Seán Barrett and GP and columnist Maurice Gueret, last night it looked as though it was Mr Williams might shade it.

Based on the results of the first count, Mr Williams had taken 1,336 votes, Mr Barrett was on 1,047 with Mr Gueret taking 821 votes.