The Count 2011!

 

DUBLIN, IRELAND - OCTOBER 03:  An election wor...
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Its all over. The candidates can lie in this morning as its now the turn of the political hacks who all across the country will be turning up to the count centres across the 43 constituencies to start tallying the Presidential Election.

The boxes will be opened at 9am when the votes will be sorted and tallied. Then the Votes for the presidential election will be sorted. Once sorted the votes will be counted and the result sent to Dublin. We wont have a first count result until all constituencies have reported. We then move on to the second count etc until a President is elected.

Once we have a President elected, the attention will then turn to the referendums. I am assuming they will do in numerical order with the 29th Amendment on Judges Pay (#JPREF) first followed by the 30th Amendment on Oireachtas Investigations (#OIREF).

After the referendum results have been announced the count in the Dublin West by-election will get under way and bring the counting to a close.

I myself will be in the Concert Hall in Cork City Hall helping out with the tallying in Cork South Central (#CSC) and Cork North Central (#CNC).

I will be posting updates on twitter! So keep an eye on the #aras11 and find your constituency tag here

The Forgotten Referendums?

With all the focus on the Presidential Election on October 27th, the two Referenda on the Constitution seem to have slipped under the radar. At home we received the the Referendum Commission’s booklet to the referenda and much like their website I was very disappointed in the the information given.
While they give the basic information on the actual changes to the Constitution as set out in the 29th Amendment to the Constitution, regarding Judges Pay, and the 30th Amendment to the Constitution, regarding Oireachtas Investigations, as they do not give much of the possible limitations or possible consequences to

the changes.

The media attention focused on the Presidential Election has allowed the Government to slip these amendments under the public noses and there seem to be no focus on getting to explain the need or the changes they wish to make.

One source I have found to be quite good is the Journal.ie’s guide to the Referenda which does a far better role then the traditional media or the Referendum Commission itself.

So take the advice of the Referendum Commission and be informed when you go to vote on October 27th and not just what you are voting on but why!

Pollwatch: Catch up, October 6th Polls

The Poster Campaign: Gay Mitchell For President
Image by infomatique via Flickr

Its been a busy week here and I have managed to miss to polls that were published last Thursday, the 6th of October. The first poll was in the Irish Times and was carried out by Ipsos MRBI. The figures were as follows:

  • Higgins, Michael D (Lab) 23%
  • Gallagher, Sean (Ind) 20%
  • McGuinness, Martin (SF) 19%
  • Davis, Mary (Ind) 12%
  • Norris, David (Ind) 11%
  • Mitchell, Gay (FG) 9%
  • Scallon, Dana Rosemary (Ind) 6%

In the second poll by Red C for Paddy Power showed a similar result.

  • Higgins, Michael D (Lab) 25%
  • Gallagher, Sean (Ind) 21%
  • McGuinness, Martin (SF) 16%
  • Norris, David (Ind) 14%
  • Mitchell, Gay (FG) 10%
  • Davis, Mary (Ind) 9%
  • Scallon, Dana Rosemary (Ind) 5%

The polls are interesting to look at as they really are within the margin of error of 3%. The other fact to take in these polls is the collapse in the support for Senator David Norris. It seemed that he enjoyed more support when he wasnt on the ballot paper.

The surprise of the polls  is that Sean Gallagher is now the second favourite. This of course can be seen by the media now turning their attention to him and his past.

That is the one commonality in this campaign. As a candidate starts to climb in the polls, the media turns against them. Is that how we want our campaigns run?

Also if your not sure which way to vote, Votomatic is back to help you decide! I did it earlier and it suggested I vote in the following way:

  1. Mary Davis,
  2. Micheal D Higgins,
  3. Sean Gallagher,
  4. Martin McGuinness,
  5. David Norris,
  6. Dana Rosemary Scallon,
  7. Gay Mitchell.

With 16 days left in the campaign we will have plenty of polls and I will endeavour to keep on top of them. It will be interesting if the media can influence any further change in the polls. Interesting times ahead.

Diary of A Canvasser: #Aras11 Edition

Mary Davis Sticker

As with every election campaign, I am out on the streets and talking up my preferred candidate or cause. This time out, just like with Lisbon 2, I have left Fine Gael behind to support a different group.

If you weren’t aware, I am supporting Mary Davis for the Irish Presidency. There are many reasons for this. but I think she is best placed to represent Ireland abroad and to engage Irish communities at home.

On Friday I went on my first canvass for the presidential election. We decided to canvass the Cork City V Finn Harps match in Turners Cross. The last time I canvassed this I didnt get a great reaction as we were campaigning for a yes vote for Lisbon 2, so I was a litte apprehensive, but boy did i get a surprise.

The reaction for Mary Davis was amazing, I have never canvassed for a candidate and got such a positive response.  Granted a few people were saying ” We dont need a president” etc and a few had made up their minds, but overall a lot of people were interested in Mary and contemplated voting for her.  A few people of course wasn’t sure who she was but once we said she was an independent candidate they did become interested.

There was a bit of slagging about the “Airburshing/Image enhancement” but someone show me a candidates poster which hasn’t been airbrushed!

It will be interesting to see how the campaign develops after the debates and as the candidates get more coverage.

I will of course continue the Diary as the campaign continues

The Presidential Debates

An RTÉ Radio microphone in Dublin, waiting for...
Image via Wikipedia

As the Campaign gets under way the attention turns from the nomination process to the debates. RTÉ and TV3 have organisied debates on Radio and TV. No sign yet of an Irish Debate on TG4, or news if Newstalk or any other station have organised one yet.

And the debates are:

Wednesday 28th September.

1pm, RTÉ News at One. RTÉ Radio One

9:35pm Primetime, RTÉ One

Friday, 30th September

9:35pm The Late Late Show, RTÉ One

Tuesday, October 4th

9pm Vincent Browne’s Big Presidential Debate, TV3

Monday, October 17th

Time TBC Frontline, RTÉ One

Full details on Journal.ie

 

Dana Rosemary Scallon is an Official Candidate

This afternoon Dana Rosemary Scallon secured the nomination of her fourth council ens

uring her appearance on the ballot paper on October 27th.

Following on from the nominations yesterday from Carlow County Council and Roscommon County Council, Ms Scallon secured the nominations of Donegal County Council and Offaly County Council bringing her t
Longford County Council have also voted to nominated Ms Scallon for the Presidency, bringing her to five nominations the same number she attained in 1997.otal to 4 and meaning that she has reached the constitutional minimum needed to contest as she did in 1997.

Also today David Norris has moved one step closer to securing an appearance on the ballot paper as he received the backing of Waterford City Council. He is now short one.

Both Cork County Council and Westmeath County Council voted against nominating a candidate.

Two councils are still left to meet today, Dublin City Council meet at 6:45pm and Cavan will meet at 7pm.

Tomorrow morning Kildare County Council and Kilkenny County Council will meet at 8:30am as a possible last ditch attempt to nominate any candidate who is short of a nomination. It dosent look likely that it will come to that.

Timeline of Council Meetings Tuesday 27th and Wednesday 28th

Mansion House, Dublin. My image. No c/r
Image via Wikipedia

Eight councils are still to meet before the deadline at midday on Wednesday to discuss nominations for the Presidency. Below is the timeline of the council meetings and who they will be discussing. Both Senator David Norris and Dana Rosemary Scallon are both short two nominations to contest the election.

Tuesday, 10am

Donegal County Council will be the first council to meet and they will only discuss a motion supporting Dana Rosemary. Back in 1997 Donegal was one of the County Councils that nominated her.

11am

The next meeting is that of Cork County Council who are holding a special meeting to discuss nominating Senator David Norris. It does seem unlikely that this will happen, but going by the happenings yesterday, I’m not going to call it!

1pm

Waterford City Council will be next to meet and they have motions in favour of both candidates. The outcome of this meeting could be swayed by the result in Cork. If they fail to nominate Senator Norris, Councillors here could feel pressure to nominate him to ensure that he gets on the ballot. Or else if Cork back Norris, they could provide the 4th nomination.

2pm

Westmeath County Council will be the next council to meet and they will be discussing  nominating Dana Rosemary Scallon. If things have gone to plan at this point, Dana will be only one nomination short.

4pm

Longford County Council could be the council to provide Dana with her fourth nomination ensuring her appearance on the ballot paper.

6:45pm

Assuming that today goes better for Senator Norris, the meeting of Dublin City Council could be the 4th nomination for the Senator and ensure his appearance on the ballot. But as South Dublin proved yesterday, these things arent as set in stone as we think!

7pm

The last council to meet on Tuesday will be Cavan County Council. If things don’t go exactly right for Dana, Cavan could be the council to provide the final nomination for the ballot, or it may provide an extra one.

Wednesday, 8:30 am

The very last meeting of the nomination campaign. Kilkenny County Council could provide a nomination for either candidate, or they may get up early for no reason if both candidates have secured the necessary nominations. So that is the big question will it come down to Kilkenny or not?

Update

It passed under the radar yesterday but the Irish Independent reports that Kildare County Council will also be meeting before the deadline. They will be meeting at the same time as Kilkenny and will be addressed by Dana Rosemary Scallon. So if Dana has a bad day today, she should still manage to get on the ballot.

Dana 2 – Norris 2

Senator David Norris
Image via Wikipedia

It has been an interesting day in terms of council nominations for the Presidential Election and it looks like this could drag out until Wednesday morning!

Senator Norris started off well by receiving the nomination from Laois County Council, but then things started going downhill.

Carlow County Council ended up being tied between Senator David Norris and Dana Rosemary Scallon. The vote then came down to the casting vote of the Chair who voted for Dana. That was Dana’s first nomination of the campaign.

Following that Roscommon County Council voted to nominated Dana, as expected. Bringing her total to 2, bringing her level with Norris.

Limerick County Council was the next council to vote and only one motion was before that council and that was to nominate Mary Davis. The council passed that nomination meaning that Ms Davis has 13 councils nominations. (and no Sean Gallagher she can’t hand them back)

The last meeting of the day was South Dublin County Council who were expected to back Senator Norris. This though didn’t work out as planned as he lost the vote by one vote. Meaning that by the end of the day he only had gained one nomination.

With 8 councils left to meet before the nomination, both Norris and Dana will make it to the Ballot paper, but it may come down to Kilkenny on Wednesday.

Councillors, Its Over To You!

Dublin City Hall Where the Council meets in se...
Image via Wikipedia

After a meeting last night with supporters Mattie McGrath TD has decided not to sign the nomination papers for Senator David Norris, this means that focus until Wednesday midday will focus on the 12 councils meeting this week.

Note: Information on days of meeting and motions before them are from the fabulous plaintalking.ie blog by Andrea Pappin

Monday 26th

Four councils are meeting today. Laois County Council and South Dublin County Council will be meeting to discuss motions supporting Senator Norris. Sen Norris himself is expected to address Laois County Council.

Carlow County Council and Roscommon County Council will meet and both have motions nominating both Senator Norris and Dana Rosemary Scallon, the only candidate who has yet to receive a nomination.

Tuesday 27th

Seven Councils are meeting on Tuesday meaning that it could all be over nomination wise by the end of the day. Four councils will be meeting to discuss nominating Dana. They are Donegal County Council, Longford County Council, Cavan County Council and Westmeath County Council.

A further two councils will meet to discuss nominating Senator Norris they are Dublin City Council and Cork County Council.

Waterford City Council will meet to discuss nominations for both candidates, meaning they could provide the last nomination should one of the candidates fall short.

Wednesday 28th

On Wednesday the nominations close at midday and the most talked about Council meeting will happen. Kilkenny County Council have convened a meeting at 8:30am and have organised a special Garda Escort to ensure that if any candidate is short of nomination it could be provided by them. Will it come down to Kilkenny is the interesting question though.

I hope the County Councillors enjoy their time in limelight! It won’t happen again for another possible seven years!

Norris edges ever closer, but Councils to the rescue?

Presidential flag of Ireland.
Image via Wikipedia

Shane Ross has become the 18th Oireachtas member to sign the nomination papers for Senator David Norris to contest the Presidential Election. He is now just two signatures short for the nomination from Oireachtas members. Where will he get those two signatures is the big question.

Michael Lowry TD, Mattie McGrath TD and Senator Martin McAleese have all been mentioned as possible signatories but will it happen?

If he cannot get the 20 it is most likely that he will easily secure the support of 3 more councils to add to the nomination of Fingal County Council.

About 12 councils are meeting this week. Most of them will consider motions supporting both Senator Norris and Dana Rosemary Scanlon. The councils meeting this week are:

  • South Dublin County Council
  • Dublin City Council
  • Kilkenny County Council
  • Carlow County Council
  • Longford County Council
  • Roscommon County Council
  • Waterford City Council
  • Donegal County Council
  • Laois County Council
  • Cork County Council
  • Offaly County Council

The most interesting meeting will be that of Kilkenny County Council who meet at 8:30am on Wednesday to ensure that their nomination gets in by close of nomination at Midday. Paddy Power are even taking bets to see if Kilkenny will get their nomination in on time! There is talks of a Garda Escort!

It will be an interesting week!