European Parliament Elections 2014 – Ireland

This year will see the 28 member states of the European Union going to the polls between the 22nd and the 25th of May to elect a new European Parliament. In Ireland this years elections will see a big change on the 2009 elections due to boundary changes and the change in the Political landscape since that election.

Constituency Changes

A number of changes to the European Parliament constituencies was needed following Ireland’s reduction of seats to 11 following the accession of Croatia last July. The Constituency of Ireland East was abolished. Dublin stayed a 3 seat constituency. Ireland South gained Clare from North-West and gained Carlow, Kilkenny, Wexford and Wicklow from the abolished Ireland East and is also now a 4 seat constituency. A new 4 seat constituency of Ireland Midlands-North-West was created including all of Ireland-North West and the remaining counties from Ireland East namely Kildare, Louth, Meath and Offally.

Political Changes

With Fine Gael and Labour now in power it will be a different dynamic then the past elections during Fianna Fail led Governments. With Labour expecting to lose a number of seats in the Local elections, its two remaining MEP’s look vulnerable, as neither of them have been elected. Fine Gael would do well to hold their 4 seats, though they may have their eyes set an that extra seat in Ireland South.

Fianna Fail who claim to be resurgent will also hope to gain back a seat in Dublin but could face difficulty with Brian Crowley in Ireland South who has the worst attendance record among Irish MEP’s. But with the larger constituency they have a chance to bring in new blood and could score a surprise.

The Socialist Party will be hoping to hold on it’s seat in Dublin, but its bizarre use of Paul Murphy posters throughout the country during the Fiscal Treaty referendum rather then on focusing them on Dublin was a strange tactic. They will be lucky to hold this seat as both Sinn Fein and Fianna Fail are likely to take the seat.

Sinn Fein who currently are unrepresented in the European Parliament will hope to change this following its performance in the last General Election. They must certainly have an eye on a seat in each of the constituencies but being realistic they should be happy with 2 (Dublin and South).

The Greens in this election will be fielding token candidates. I cannot see them getting elected anywhere. They may do well in there traditional areas (Dublin and Wicklow) but with both Fianna Fail and Sinn Fein taking the Labour votes, I don’t see enough left over for the Greens.

Ireland currently has 2 independent MEP’s, Marian Harkin and Nessa Childers. Marian Harkin is a well respected MEP in Ireland and further afield and normally has a decent vote in North-West. The addition of the Eastern Counties could benefit her and certainly keep her in contention as the addition of an extra seat should also up her chances.

Nessa Childers is a different story. She was elected as a Labour MEP in Ireland East and has confirmed that she will not be running as an S&D candidate in Ireland South

While the expansion of the constituency and the extra seat may help, I dont see it having the same effect as with Marian Harkin.

I do intend to follow the elections here, especially the European elections. Expect more constituency level posts as the Parties confirm their candidates.

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Boycott Hungary?

Logo of the EU-ACP Joint AssemblyAn interesting possibility has arisen from ALDE MEP’s. They want to move a meeting of the EU-African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Joint Parliamentary Assembly to Brussels according to Euractiv (original in French and English) thereby boycotting Hunagary. This is seen as a democratic protest against the recent media law in Hungary. This law has met with opposition from within and without Hungary.

The idea of this boycott came after Belgian MEP Louis Michel, co-chair of the EU-ACP assembly, called a special meeting after receiving a letter from Luxembourg colleague Charles Goerens MEP, who wrote that the law ”violates democratic principles recognised by EU member states”.

The ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly brings together MEPs and elected representatives from the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries that have signed the Cotonou Agreement.

MPs from the ACP states meet their European counterparts for two plenary sessions a year, focusing on democracy and human rights. The 2011 meetings are scheduled for 16-18 May in Budapest and 21-23 November in Sierra Leone.

This is an interesting tactic by the liberal MEPs and is a constructive way to voice criticism of Hungary’s media. If the meeting is moved it will mean some loss of face for the Hungarian Government.

Related Posts Summary of European Parliament Votes 24-27 November 2009

European Parliament Brussels
Image via Wikipedia sent this out to all its users today. Its a good idea and may be a reason in itself to sign up to the website!

Important votes were taken during the recent EP’s plenary session, such as the resolutions on the upcoming Summit on Climate Change, the Stockholm programme in the area of justice and home affairs, “origin labelling“, the smoke-free environments, the European Police Office (Europol) and European Crime Prevention Network (EUCPN).

The progress towards accession of candidate countries was scrutinized and a resolution was voted on this subject. The European Parliament also approved in the third reading the EU telecoms rules, aimed to strengthen the rights of phone users and internet surfers and boost competition among telecoms firms.

Lots of information on how your MEP is voting!

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A Campaigning Lunch

Today on my lunch break, I went Colm Burkes European Election Campaign launch on Patrick St. What a great idea that was. Really it was.

Peter and Connor

By bringing politics back on the street he got a brilliant reaction. He was interacting with people and bringing politics to them. More politics should be conducting campaigns like this.

Colm Burke

I missed the speeches and that but a friend informed me that all speakers were on top form.

Bernard Allen TD, Colm Burke MEP, Cllr Joe O'Callaghan

This is what campaigning in, European, National and Local campaigns should be doing, bringing the campaign to the people. Not sending open letters!

County Colours

Well done to Colm and his team for bringing a touch of something new to the campaign trail.

Can wait to get out on a European canvass

UPDATE: My latest Think About It post is about this event

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Predicting the European Election

I came across this site while checking out my new followers on twitter. The website is Predict 09. is a prediction of the outcome of the June 2009 European Parliament elections and the resulting make-up of the next European Parliament. The prediction is based on a statistical model of the performance of national parties in European Parliament elections, developed by three leading political scientists: Simon Hix (London School of Economics), Michael Marsh (Trinity College Dublin), and Nick Vivyan (London School of Economics).

The current prediction has the EPP staying the largest party with 248 seats and the Socialists the second largest on 209.

Despite the fact one of the researchers is from Ireland, Im not so sure about their predictions for Ireland. They ar epredicting Fine Gael five seats, Fianna Fail four seats, Labour one seat, Sinn Fein one seat and independents one seat, which would see Marian Harkin lose her seat as she is the ALDE independent. This cannot be right as Harkin is in North-West Constituency and the loss of a seat is going to be in the Dublin Constituency. The only way that this is possbile is which ever party loses a seat in Dublin, gains a seat in North-West. Will that happen?

Last time out Marian Harkin topped the poll on 15.82% of the vote followed by Pearse Dohery of Sinn Fein on 15.5% of the vote. Sinn Fein are within hope of a seat here but at the expense of Harkin? Im not so sure. If anything its the Fine Gael seat that is at stake as Jim Higgins came fourth on first preferences but got in mainly thanks to transfers from Madeline Taylor-Quinn. Will Jim Higgins and Senator Joe O’Reilly pull off the same feat?

UPDATE: This also posted on Thinkaboutit. Please read and rate!

Source: Elections Ireland – 2004 European Elections – Ireland North-West

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Latest Think Post!

I’ve given up on counting my posts on ThinkAboutit was it was just getting confusing, and will be vey strange coming up towards the elections. But anyway the latest post is on Tory MEP Christopher Beazley joining the EPP. Give it and read and please rate it! 🙂

I found out about the story from @NEurope

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Will 2009 see the End of the UEN?

Image via WikipediaThe Union for Europe of the Nations is a political grouping in the European Union. Fianna Fail is one of the members of this grouping and in fact Brian Crowley is one of the leaders of the group.

The UEN currently consists of 44 MEPs from the following parties:
# Danish People’s Party (1 MEP) – Denmark
# Fianna Fáil (4 MEPs) – Ireland
# National Alliance (8 MEPs) – Italy
# Lega Nord (4 MEPs) – Italy
# The Right (1 MEP) – Italy
# For Fatherland and Freedom – Latvia
# Lithuanian Peasant Popular Union (1 MEP) -Lithuania
# Order and Justice (1 MEP) – Lithuania
# Law and Justice (7 MEPs) – Poland
# League of Polish Families (5 MEPs) – Poland
# Self-Defense of the Republic of Poland (5 MEPs) – Poland
# Polish Peasant Party “Piast” (3 MEPs) – Poland

So where is the issue?

Italy’s National Alliance is the largest party within the grouping and will be merging with Silvia Burlesconi’s Forza Italia, which means its MEP’s will be moved to the EPP-ED Group. Fianna Fail also looks likely to try and leave the group (again). The last time it was rebuffed by the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, as the Progressive Democrats were members of this group.

Poland’s Self-Defense of the Republic of Poland and League of Polish Families look like they will do badly in the polls. Neither of these parties won representation to the Polish Parliament in 2007.

The other members are also being tempted away. Poland’s Law and Justice party is one such party that is being tempted into a new grouping by current members of the European Democrats.

2009 will be an interesting year for the European Parliament. There is also movements to end the European Democrats which will be a slight loss to the EPP-ED grouping, but not that much as ED members do not take the whip!

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