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).
So following on from my post “Race for the Aras” its time to look at the parties candidates for the Presidency elections. First up is Fine Gael.
Back in April the first candidate out of the block was current Ireland East MEP Mairead McGuinness announced her decision to seek Fine Gael’s nomination for the presidency.
Since then there as been many changes. Former Taoiseach John Bruton and Ireland South MEP have ruled themseleves out of the running.
Gay Mitchel, Ireland Dublin MEP has also announced his intention to run in a statement released by Fine Gael.
I have been giving serious consideration to the possibility of running for President. Yesterday I attended the funeral of Declan Costello whose political principles and approach to public service convinced me to join Fine Gael at the age of 16. Since then my political conviction is informed by a Christian Democratic ethos, based on four pillars: rights and responsibilities, enterprise and social justice.
I want to advance this ethos in public life and I see the Presidency as another way of doing so. My belief is that this ethos, if applied sensibly, will help equip Ireland to overcome some of our present economic and ethical difficulties and make us a country which others will want to emulate. I have decided to seek the Fine Gael nomination for the Presidency and an endorsement of these values.
Another name in the mix if former MEP and President of the European Parliament Pat Cox. He has applied to join the St Lukes Branch in Cork North Central and the Party Exec will decide on his membership this evening. He is currently as seen as the outsider for the nomination despite having the backing of the leadership due to the procedure being used by Fine Gael to select their candidate this time out.
This year Fine Gael will be using an electoral college of three parts to select the candidate. The electoral college is made up of Local Councillors (20%), the Party Executive (10%) and the Parliamentary Party (70%). Only those who attend convention have a vote, so it will be a major numbers game.
The odds according to Paddy Power from the nomination are:
Gay Mitchell 1/2
Pat Cox 9/4
Mairead McGuinness 11/2
So if you had a vote in the Fine Gael Electoral College who would you vote for?
So tonight its all about the preparation for the tally tomorrow. I have to be in the concert hall in Cork City Hall. I shall be doing the tally for Cork South Central but Cork North Central will be counted in the same hall. I will be trying to keep people updated on both counts on twitter. Keep an eye on the #tags #CNC and #CSC
The Irish Examiner commissioned a phone survey of 500 voters in Cork South Central. The results are as follows:
Simon Coveney (FG) 19%;
Micheál Martin (FF) 18%;
Ciarán Lynch (Lab) 14%;
Michael McGrath (FF) 9%;
Jerry Buttimer (FG) 9%;
Deirdre Clune (FG) 8%;
Chris O’Leary (SF) 8%;
Paula Desmond (Lab) 5%;
Michael Finn (Ind) 5%;
Dan Boyle (GP) 3%;
David McCarthy (Ind) on 2%
A transfer analysis was also done and it shows that the following would be elected:
Simon Coveny (FG)
Micheal Martin (FF)
Ciaran Lynch (Lab)
Deridre Clune (FG)
Jerry Buttimer (FG)
Its an interesting result, but I wonder will it pan out that way on friday week?
If Fine Gael are to have a hope of one party government they will need three seats here in Cork South Central. But the last seat will go down to fight, it will be neck and neck between Buttimer or Clune and McGrath, perhaps with the last two candidates being elected without reaching the quota? I have a feeling we will be in for a long count in Cork South Central.