I received a letter today from Cllr. Laura McGonigle announcing her candidacy for the Fine Gael Dáil Convention. This brings to five the number of declared candidates. Fine Gael is planning to run 3 candidates in the next General Election.
The other declared candidates are sitting TD’s Simon Coveney and Deirdre Clune, local Senator Jerry Buttimer and two Councillors from the South East Ward, Des Cahill and Laura McGonigle.
In the last General Election Fine Gael got 28.42% of the first preference vote. According to PoliticalReform.ie Fine Gael will get between 26.9% in the Ipsos MRBI poll to 34.3% in the Red C poll in Cork South Central. Fine Gael could take three seats depending on transfers, if the support is closer to the Red C poll.
The question is what 3 will be standing. The sitting TD’s obviously have a really good chance of being re-selected. The question will be who will be the third. Jerry Buttimer has a very good chance of being the representative as neither Clune or Coveney are based in the West of the constituency while Cahill and McGonigle are based in the East, as are Clune and Coveney. Jerry also has the advantage of having being tested in the last General Election. In that time he got 8.77% of the vote and lasted till the 4th count.
Des Cahill faced his first election in the local elections and topped the poll in Cork South East ward with 15.48% of the vote. Laura McGonigle who was also elected on the first count in the first count in 2009 in the same ward with 14.58% of the vote. Laura was also facing her first election to the council having been co-opted to replace Deirdre Clune after the Dual mandate was abolished.
I think the line up for Cork South Central will be as follows:
While I think it would great for Laura McGonigle to be on the ticket due to her youth, enthusiasm and experience, I don’t think she will make this time.
I attended the majority of the count for the 6 city wards in Cork on Saturday evening and night. The Fine Gael result on the south side was excellent! With us gaining a seat in the South East ward of the city. Unfortunately while the Fine Gael vote was up on the Northside aswell, Joe O’Callaghan lost the seat in the North West which was previously held by Colm Burke.
North West went from a 5 seater to a 4 seater so it was going to be a tough battle for all involved. While Joe did poll in 4th with 805 votes (down from 884 in 04) he was beaten in the last count by Tony Fitzgerald of Fianna Fail on the last count thanks to transfers from his running mate John Sheehan.
The Workers Party gained their first seat on Cork City Council. They won a seat in the North East of the City. The North East count was very interesting as on the 1st count 3 candidates were within a wisker of the quota, which was 1096. They were John Kelleher (Lab -1024), Tim Brosnan (FF – 1019) and Dara Murphy (FG – 1011).
In North Central Patricia Gosch held the seat despite the FG vote been down 2% in the ward. Something needs to be done on the northside of Cork to get FG up where it should be.
The Southside was a different matter. In Cork South East Des Cahill a first time FG candidate and Laura McGonigle were elected on the first count alongside Labours Dennis O’Flynn. This was a fantastic results which helped to bring Jim Corr in also meaning the Fine Gael gained a seat in the ward.
In South West John Buttimer topped the poll with over 2000 votes. He was nearly the highest vote getter in the city, but he was beaten by Mick Barry of the Socialist Party by 26 votes. Barry Keane polled exceptionally well on First preferences and in fact was leading the Lord Mayor Brian Birmingham on the first count. Unfortunately Buttimers transfers favoured the Lord Mayor and Keane was eliminated, getting the Lord Mayor elected on his transfers. Maybe in five years time we can get the third seat.
In South Central Emmet O’Halloran was elected to the 2nd seat on the 4th count. That was a nail biting wait as on the elimination of Billy MacGill (FG) and Mary Ryder (GP) Emmet needed 250 votes to reach quota, while Mick Finn (Ind) only needed 114 votes. I was sure we were going to get the 3rd seat, but Mick Finn only got 90 transfers, while Emmet got 250 meaning he was bang on quota and was elected! There is hope for a 2nd Fine Gael seat in five years time, and who knows, it could be me running for it 😉
So Fine Gael’s total of 8 seats on Cork City Council remains unchanged and stays the largest party on City Council.
So last since Part 1, I’ve been a very bad canvasser and have only been out two nights. They were April 30th and May 1st. For all of last week I took a break from canvassing as I was sick. But Im all good now and ready to get back into this week!
Back to my last two nights on the cavass though. On the Thursday I was canvassing for Emmet O’Halloran in Ballyphehane, on the road where my Grandmother lives, so I knew a lot of people on the road and even got to canvass my own Grandmother! It was a revealing canvass though as we discovered a lot of former Fianna Fail voters would be voting Labour before Fine Gael. But overall we got a good response with people looking for change and seeing Fine Gael as the alternative.
On Friday I was canvassing for Cllr. Brian Birmingham the current Lord Mayor of Cork. We were canvassing near the Lough in the Cork South West Ward, which is very close to my own home (I live on the border of the constituency). I go caught on quite a few doors discussing Fine Gael and the candidates. Quite a lot of people in the area had a connection to Brian or to Fine Gael so it was an interesting canvass.
This week sees me back to normal:
Monday: Emmet O’Halloran – South Central John Buttimer (South West)
Tuesday: OFF (Scouts & Eurovision)
Wednesday: John Buttimer – South West
Thursday: Emmet O’Halloran – South Central (the Evening Echo will be with us too!)
Friday: Either Laura McGonigle (South East) or Brian Birmingham (South West). Havent decided yet.
I mentioned before how busy I was with canvassing and with tomorrow marking 5 weeks to election day I decided to start a bit of a diary on how the canvass is going.
Lets start with last Wednesday. I went canvassing for Cllr. John Buttimer (South West Ward) in Deenrock in Togher. I would know a few people in the area here through being involved in the Scouts in Togher. It was a mix of a canvass. Some areas of the estate were very much against politicians in general and other parts were very positive towards Fine Gael. We had a large team out and got a large area canvassed.
Thursday saw no canvassing due to weather.
Last Friday then saw me in Blackrock with Cllr. Laura McGonigle (South East Ward). What a different world compared to Wednesday night. Big houses and a good reaction nearly on every door. A big issue here was dog shit, I kid you not. A good canvass and lots done.
Monday saw me canvassing my own road with Emmet O’Halloran (South Central Ward). This is only the second time I have ever canvassed my own road. The last time was for Jerry Buttimer during the General Election. We got a great response and the majority of the nieghbours were nice to me when they recognised me (They don’t often see me wearing glasses). A great canvass really and very positive towards Fine Gael and Emmet.
Tuesday sees me scouting
Last night I was back in South West Ward with Cllr John Buttimer in the College Road area. We had a good canvass despite the weather, but we had to finish early due to the weather and the match. There are a lot of students in the area and complaints about them featured on many doors. On one road I managed to knock on the door of the Chair of the residents association. That was an interesting conversation I tell you, but she didnt complain about students!
Tonight sees me back in South Central Ward with Emmet and tomorrow night I am out with the Lord Mayor Cllr Brian Birmingham in South West Ward.
One is a Senator and the other two are councillors. Fist up is the Senator Jerry Buttimer who is FG’s spokesperson on Community, Rural and Gaeltach Affairs. Cork City Councillor Laura McGonigle is also on twitter, she represent the Cork South West Ward in the city. The other Councillor is Cavan County Councillor (and FG National Executive member) Seán McKiernan (his tweets are protected but he might let you follow).
The Polictcian not tweet is Graham Watson an English MEP who Tom Harris MP tells us does not twitter! But in fact his wife does!!! Should we unfollow politicians who do this? Well really those admit to doing this?
Do you know more Irish Politicians on twitter??? Let me know! Either in the comments or on twitter or via email stephen(dot)spillane(at)gmail(dot)com
I shall leave you with a Video from a Local Election Candidate who is embracing social media (sic??) and whom I mentioned in the previous post…