Ding Dong! The Witch is Dead: Ind/Dem Loses its Co-Leader

Kathy Sinnott (Ind/Dem) is no longer an MEP! Results from the Count Centre in Cork show that Senator Alan Kelly of Labour has beaten Sinnott on the final count for the final seat in Ireland South.

It was a mixed day in Cork with at one point looking like Toireasa Ferris of Sinn Fein was in a shout of the last the seat, but she failed to attracted enough transfers and Sinnott leap frogged past her.

It was then between Sinnott and Kelly for the last seat and many thought that Sinnott would attract the transfer based on Lisbon stance and gender, but it seems it was a left vote and Kelly got enough transfer to be about 10,000 votes ahead of Sinnott.

So Sinnott is gone and this means this could be my last blog post about her…. unless she runs for Dáil again??? But will she?

Title taken from a tweet by Conor O’Neil

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The Last Day

So today is the last day of the campaign. I have been mad on the campaign trail for the last few days actually going out canvassing during the day. Yesterday I went to Fermoy, Mitchelstown and Charleville with Colm Burke MEP (FG), alwell as canvassing in the evening. Today I was in Ballyvolane and Blackpool in Cork City as well as the City Centre canvassing for Colm.

What a reaction we got. It was fantastic. He was well recieved and lots of people are voting for him (or so we are told). Im not sure of the weather is having an impact but the mood on the campiagn trail is great. We all had great fun on the bus between locations, even though we are dying in the heat.

Tomorrow though is when it pays off, will the weather influence turnout? If its too hot will people bother voting?

Who knows. Hopefully hard work will pay off and people will turn out to vote tomorrow and send the message they want.

I am doing my last canvass tonight and also my first leaflet drop of the campaign (don’t know how I got this far without doing one!), but doing a drop late tonight to try and get a final message out.

Im going to be so bored next week!

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7 Irish MEP Candidates sign the ILGA Pledge

ILGA-Europe (International Lesbian and Gay Association – Europe) have a petition for MEP candidates on its website.

ILGA-Europe is calling upon candidates for the European Parliament elections 2009 to sign this pledge to promote equality and to combat discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression in their role as member of the European Parliament.

The 7 Irish MEP Candidates are:

  • Nessa Childers (Labour – Ireland East)
  • Pronsias De Rossa MEP (Labour – Ireland Dublin)
  • Mary Lou McDonald (Sinn Fein – Ireland Dublin)
  • Dan Boyle (Green – Ireland South)
  • Susan O’Keefe (Labour – Ireland North-West)
  • Alan Kelly (Labour – Ireland South)
  • Joe Higgins (Socialist Party – Ireland Dublin)

Fair play to them for signing it. Susan O’Keeffe’s comment was really touching:

NO MORE PLEDGES

I PLEDGE TO WORK TOWARDS THE DAY WHEN NO MORE PLEDGES LIKE THIS ONE WILL BE REQUIRED. WE ARE EQUAL AND THAT’S ALWAYS WORTH FIGHTING FOR.

(Caps aren’t mine)

She makes a good point.

See who signed in your country

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UK: Will there be a BNP breakthrough?

RIPLEY, UNITED KINGDOM - AUGUST 16:  British N...
Image by Getty Images via Daylife

There is a lot of talk in the UK at the moment of the possibility of a BNP breakthrough at the European Elections like UKIP last time out. Two recent surveys don’t point that way.

Two surveys have the BNP polling at about the 4% mark. According to the YouGov poll in the Sunday Times the BNP are polling at 4% (nc) and according to Predict 09 it is polling at 4.4% (-0.5% on 2004). According to these polls the BNP will not pick up any seats in the European Election. In fac both polls show that UKIP are down on their 2004 result of 16.1%. YouGov have them on 7% and Predict 09 have them on 7% also. Meaning that UKIP could loose 8 seats.

Whether of not that will happen is hard to tell as it hard to judge support for smaller parties in the UK. Also the electoral system is different for the European Elections in the UK (outside of Northern Ireland which uses STV). They use a List PR system using the D’Hondt method. Im not sure if there will be a large swing to the BNP, but then again the campaign has only truely begun now!

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Libertas – Nil Points?

I blogged yesterday about Predict 09‘s Irish Predictions, but tonight while looking through the country analysis I noticed something. Libertas will not win any seats in the European Parliament. In fact there is only vote share predicted for Ireland and Poland. In Ireland it is predicted at 7% and in Poland its predicted for 0% (+ the margin of error which is 4%). It is not predicted to win seats in Ireland or Poland. Let alone anywhere else!

Will this happen? I don’t know. Its highly unlikely that Libertas will pick up seats in Ireland (unless Sinnott joins them after the election), but they could pick up seats in the United Kingdom, where Labour and UKIP are predicted to be down.

Interesting times ahead for the Chairman.

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Fianna Fail to loose 2 MEPs?

The latest predictions from Predict 09 are out and they make for interesting reading for the Irish predictions. According to it Fine Gael will remain the largest party with five MEP’s and 30% of the vote. They say the Fianna Fail will loose two MEPs. And I have to agree with them. They predict that Fianna Fail will get 28% of the vote.

Labour look to be the big gainers and will gain a seat at the expense of Fianna Fail increasing there MEPs to two and increasing their share of the vote to 13%. Sinn Fein will drop in its vote share to 7.6% but will retain an MEP, but I doubt in Dublin. Sinnott and Harkin will keep there seats. I know Harkin will keep her seat and have said it from the start of this prediction. Sinnott on the other hand is vunerable to Labour.

Greens won’t pick up a seat but will poll at 6% and Libertas also will not pick up a seat and will get about 7% of the vote.

Where will Fianna Fail loose their seats? North-West is certainly at stake and Sinn Fein could pick up a seat there. As for the Labour gain? South is the most likely in my eyes at the expense of Sinnott. Could Fianna Fail loose in East or Dublin? Maybe.

Predict 09 will next be updated on May 21st, so that will be my next post about the Irish predictions!

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9 Days Left to Register to Vote

voting day in a small town
Image by Muffet via Flickr

Thanks to Generation Yes on twitter for the reminder that there is only 9 working days remaining to get registered to Vote for the June 5th elections, Local, European and Byelection. Check if you are registered on ChecktheRegister.ie.

Remeber EU Citizens are entitled to vote in the Local and European Elections. Non-EU residents may be eligible to vote in Local Elections depending in their situation.

If you are not registered to vote and have never voted before fill out the RFA2 form (PDF). If you have changed address and have voted before then fill out the RFA3 form.

Do use your vote on June 5th and make a difference to how your locality and your Europe is shaped!

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Okay, so Im agreeing with the her now, but I’m still not voting for her

Its kind of hard to ignore Kathy Sinnott. And its kind of hard to hate her when she says what you are thinking. Here is a video of her defending Net Neutrality.

Still not voting for her though.

In other news, there was a leafleter for Kathy Sinnott in Cork City on Sunday when I was wandering around with a friend. He went to hand us a leaflet, I said “No thanks” I never take leaflets, but my frien went to take it and then went “eugh” quite loudly. I couldnt stop laughing!

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Irish MEP Candidates and Some Predictions

Here is a round up of the Candidates for the 4 European consitituencies in Ireland with a few predictions.

Ireland – Dublin

Dublin is the big battlegorund this year with the number of seats being reduced from 4 seats to 3. The Greens, with Senator Deirdre De Burca, are also hoping to gain a seat in Dublin. It will be a tough campaign.

  • Eibhlin Byrne (Fianna Fail) Website
  • Deirdre de Burca (Greens) Website
  • Proinsias de Rossa MEP (Labour) Website
  • Joe Higgins (Socialist) Website
  • Mary Lou McDonald MEP (Sinn Fein) Website
  • Gay Mitchell MEP (Fine Gael) Website
  • Eoin Ryan MEP (Fianna Fail) Website
  • Caroline Simons (Libertas) Website

Prediction: Ryan, De Rossa and Mitchell to hold their seats with McDonald loosing out. Of the others I think the Greens will poll best.

Ireland East

East is going to be an interesting campaign with Fine Gael out to hold on to its two seats it won in the 2004 elections. This time round, Avril Doyle MEP is standing down and Sen. John Paul Phelan has taken up the reigns to hang on to the seat. Fianna Fail will also be hoping to hang on to its seat. They have yet to announce their second candidate in the constituency. Sinn Fein are also running two candidates here. Greens have no candidate announced  here at the moment.

  • Liam Aylward MEP (Fianna Fail) Website
  • Nessa Childers (Labour) Website
  • Kathleen Funchion (Sinn Fein) Website
  • Mairead McGuinness MEP (Fine Gael) Website
  • Ray O’Malley (Libertas) No Link Found
  • John Paul Phelan (Fine Gael) Website
  • Tomás Sharkey (Sinn Fein) Website

Prediction: Unless Fianna Fail can get another candidate in the ticket soon, the seat could be in danger, but to who is the question? Sinn Fein if it can manage its vote could be the threat to Fianna Fail. Fine Gael will hang to its two seats.

Ireland North West

This will be an interesting constituency. This is the constituency that Libertas founde Declan Ganley will be running in. Will people back him and his party? Fianna Fail are in a spot of bother here as Sean O’Neachtain won’t be running this year and they have no one to replace him. Sinn Fein came second on first perferences here in 2004, but will they be as strong this time out? Fine Gael are running two candidates and could do the job and win two, but at whos expense? Will it be Fianna Fail or Independent (ALDE) MEP Marian Harkin?

  • Declan Ganley (Libertas) Website
  • Marian Harkin MEP (Independent/ALDE) Website
  • Jim Higgins MEP (Fine Gael) Website
  • Padraig Mac Lochlainn (Sinn Fein) Website
  • Paschal Mooney (Fianna Fail) Website
  • Susan O’Keefe (Labour) Website
  • Fiachra O Luain (Independent) Website
  • Joe O’Reilly (Fine Gael) Website

Prediction: Harkin to keep the seat. That is going against what everyone else is saying, but im going out on a limb here! If Fianna Fail can get a well known figure, either TD or outsider then they may keep the seat, but I know they will be slow to run a TD due to possible by-election defeat. Fine Gael will win at least one seat and depending on second Fianna Fail candidate could win two.

Ireland South

In Ireland South Fine Gaels Colm Burke is fighting for the seat he inherited from Simon Coveney in 2007. Fine Gael are also challenging for a second seat. Kathy Sinnott (Independent/Democracy) is also fighting to keep her seat. Fianna Fail is running two candidates here, with sitting MEP Brian Crowley being joined on the ticket by Ned O’Keefe TD. Libertas aren’t running in Ireland South so that they don’t threaten Sinnotts anti-EU vote.

  • Colm Burke MEP (Fine Gael) Website
  • Brian Crowley (Fianna Fail) Website
  • Dan Boyle (Green) Website
  • Toireasa Ferris (Sinn Fein) Website
  • Alan Kelly (Labour) Website
  • Sean Kelly (Fine Gael) Website
  • Ned O’Keeffe (Fianna Fail) No Link Found
  • Kathy Sinnott (Independent/Democracy) Website
  • Alexander Stafford (Independent) No Link Found

Prediction: Crowley and Burke will hold seats and it will go to the last count between Sinnott and Sean Kelly. I think Kelly will win it though.

The night of the count will be very interesting in each of the constituencies! I’m looking forward to it.

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Think Big – Vote Green?

European Green Party
Image via Wikipedia

(H/t Julien Frisch on twitter)

This is the Campaign spot of the European Green Party. Its well made, but will it make a difference? How many people will actually watch it? Or will it be even shown on National Television?

Also the European Greens only make up the 5th largest group in the Parliament as they are grouped with the European Free Alliance. But the Greens make do make up the majority of the Members of the Parliamentry Group.

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