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

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

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!

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

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.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Opinion Polls – 6 MEPs and 10% ahead for Fine Gael

Well Predict 09, the Burson – Marsteller study by Simon Hix (London School of Economics), Michael Marsh (Trinity College Dublin), and Nick Vivyan (London School of Economics), has updated its predictions. It is now predicting that the EPP will win 251 seats, up three from last prediction, the PES are predicted to win 211, up two from the previous predction.

They have also updated the country predictions. For Ireland they are forcasting the following.

  • Fine Gael 6 MEPs (31%) +1 (+3.2%)
  • Fianna Fail 4 MEPs (31%) -1 (+1.5%)
  • Labour 1 MEP (14%) nc (+3.4%)
  • Sinn Fein 0 MEPs (7.8%) -1 (-3.3%)
  • Green Party 0 MEPs (6.6%) nc (+2.3%)
  • Independents 1 MEP (9.2%) -1 (6.3%)

They predict that Sinn Fein’s Mary Lou McDonald will be the one to lose out in Dublin considering she holds Sinn Feins only European seat in the South. The independent they forcast losing the seat is the ALDE independent which is Marian Harkin in Ireland North-West. They are predicting that Sen Joe O’Reilly will take a second seat for Fine Gael in Ireland North-West. While this would be great, I don’t think it will be likely that Harkin will lose the seat. I think that Fianna Fail are in danger of loosing this seat since sitting MEP Seán Ó Neachtain will not be running. The current Fianna Fail candidate is Paschal Mooney a Leitrim Councillor but he would not be aswell known as many of the other candidates in the constituency. Last time out it took transfers from Dr. Jim McDaid TD to keep Fianna Fail in. I wonder will Fine Gael get the 6 seats?

The other poll is the Red C poll for the Sunday Business Post. The topline figures are as follows (from Irish Election):

  • Fine Gael 33% +2
  • Fianna Fail 23% -5
  • Labour 19% +2
  • Sinn Fein 8% +1
  • Greens 7% nc
  • Others/Independents 10%

This gives Fine Gael a full 10% lead over Fianna Fail. But should we be further ahead? When it came to the European and Local elections Fine Gael does lose out on votes to independents, but that is normal. Interestingly Libertas is only polling at 2%, so I doubt they will be gaining any seats in Ireland.

The poll was conducted earlier in the week before McGuiness’s outburst on the Late Late last night. I wonder will that effect how people perceive the Government?


Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

7th Think Post: Finding Your Candidates Online

Below is my 7th Thinkaboutit.eu post. I have posted it in full so dont forget to rate it on the competition website!

A problem for me during the last European Elections in 2004 was finding out about candidates running for  election. Although I couldn’t vote and was sitting my Leaving Certificate I was interested in who was running and finding out more about the candidates in my constituency. In my constituency, Ireland South, there were ten candidates running for three seats. Of the ten, four were independents and not all of them campaigned in Cork so it was hard to find out much about them.

This year elections will be different thanks to two websites based and set up in Ireland. The first is Eurvote, which is just aimed at Irish voters. Eurvote have pages on all the candidates in the Irish Constituencies. Of course they are a bit behind as they already are missing Sean Kelly from the list for Ireland South, but they do have Declan Ganley on the list for Ireland North-West. Eurvote has a page on each candidate (here’s Marian Harkin’s (Ireland North-West) page as an example) with a link to their website which is handy. They also plan on doing events and are looking for constituents to write analysis in each constituency. Unfortunately I don’t know who runs EurVote.org, as their about page is blank!

The second website is miCandidate.eu, which hasn’t launched yet, but will in the next month. This is based on the MyCandidate.ie website which ran during the 2007 General Election here in Ireland, that website now redirects to miCandidate. MyCandidate.ie was described as “an exciting and crucial addition to democracy by putting useful information at the fingertips of citizens young and old.” by Joe Zefran a News Editor with RTE.ie (received via email), so they are hoping that their European venture will have a big impact. MiCandidate.eu are currently putting together their database on candidates in all 27 member states, but not all seams to be right with them. According to Suzy of Mamanpoulet miCandidate.eu are putting pressure on candidates to sign up and pay up to have their information on this website. This is an example of an email sent to candidates.

We are very concerned that you are one of only a few remaining candidates who has not completed the information form that we sent you. Your profile will appear across dozens of Ireland’s busiest websites from RTE to the Irish Times. Failing to return this form to us in the next 48 hours may result in your profile being entirely empty. Given that candidates profiles were viewed nearly 4 million times in 2007 on RTE and the Irish Times you are giving your competitors in your constituency a huge advantage over you.

This is a free service, but we cannot stress the urgency that we need you to fill out your details. Seats are won and lost by a handful of votes, your competitors profiles will be viewed tens of thousands of times. Your profile will be empty.

Will the web have this type of impact on the European Elections? I don’t think so. So should miCandidate be the top of your priority, probably not. Of course there is a paid version, which the Irish Green Party have signed up to for their candidates. Will it be worth the mone only time will tell and I hope that Fine Gael candidates wont spend money which could be spent on leaflets, which as Suzy points out can have the url to your blog/twitter/whatever and get people that can actually vote for you to engage with you. miCandidate are hyping up the net a bit too much in my opinion.

So there you have two websites one free and one free for us the voter, but possible not for the candidate, trying to inform us about the elections. Will they succeed? Will they actually inform people and get them to vote in the European Elections? Will they have an big impact or will they just be link farms to candidates websites, blogs, facebook/bebo pages and twitter accounts? Only time will tell.

Dont forget to rate it!

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]