Can you predict the 31st Dáil?

Whitebox have an interesting prediction competition for the next Dáil. Fullhouse is an interesting tool to try and guess who will be elected in each constituency.

There is talks of prizes, but I would have done it anyway!

I have managed to finish off my prediction have come up with the following results:

  • Fine Gael 75
  • Labour 40
  • Fianna Fail 31
  • Sinn Fein 10
  • Independents 6
  • United Left Alliance 4

There are some interesting stats also on the website on various things. One of those is the non-incumbent TD to be elected. This currently is Sinn Fein’s Padraig MacLochlainn in Donegal North East. It also has the TD most likely to lose their seat, that currently is Fianna Fail’s Peter Power in Limerick City.

Its an interesting idea. What is your prediction?

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[Eurovision 2010] Semi Final One Preview and Predictions

Eurovision Party 2008 - Scoreboard
Image by johnthurm via Flickr

So the first Semi Final will take place on Tuesday 25th of May. It features 17 countries and will also see France, Germany and Spain vote. The top ten countries on the combination of Televote and Jury Vote will move on to the Final on Saturday 29th of May.

So on to the preview. PS Click on the titles to see the video on youtube.

1. Moldova –  SunStroke Project and Olia Tira “Run Away

This is a fast paced song which features an electric violin. Its a feature of Eurovision, what ever wins the previous year is mimicked the following year. This has yet to work for any country! But this song isn’t based too much on it and isn’t folksy like Fairytale. Its a good song and could do well.

2. Russia –  Peter Nalitch Band “Lost and Forgotten

This is a different move for Russia. Russia normally goes for fast paced modern songs, but this entry seems to me to be folksy and slow paced. The have been drawn in second place which is notoriously difficult to do well from. I am not a big fan of it, but because its Russia, I think it will get through.

3. EstoniaMalcolm Lincoln and Manpower 4 “Siren

This is very different from the first two songs of this semi. In fact its something that is quite different to most of the entries that I have heard. I can’t put my finger on what it sounds like, but I like it.

4. SlovakiaKristina “Horehronie

What starts off as a slow song, turns up the beat and gets going. The dancers remind me of Wild Dances, even Kristina’s outfit is reminiscent of it. Its not as fast, but its a good song.

5. FinlandKuunkuiskaajat “Työlki ellää” (One can work for a living, too)

A second showing for fiddles! This is a very traditional sounding song from Finland, very different, from Waldo’s People last year. I like it. I love the outfits, and of course the clapping also help when it comes to me liking it!

6. LatviaAisha “What For?

A modern ballad here from Latvia. Its good song, and I do like the words. It these type of songs that are impossible to tell how they will do. It can all come down to the performance on the night. I think it will do ok. Towards the end of the top 10, if it is to get through.

7. SerbiaMilan Stanković “Ovo je Balkan” (This is the Balkans)

If you didn’t guess from the title, this is a very balkans song. It is very traditional sounding, but it does have a modern feel it. It is catchy and you would tap your feet to it. With 3 other Balkan countries in this final (and Russia) it could do well on the televote. For some reason the outfit and hair remind me of Lady Gaga… I am alone on that aren’t I?

8. Bosnia and HerzegovinaVukašin Brajić “Thunder and Lightening

Finally a bit of rock ballad. I like this song. A song to nod your head to. Vukašin is a good singer also!

9. PolandMarcin Mroziński “Legenda

This guy reminds me of Johnny Logan (looks wise). Its a good song, it dosen’t really stand out for me though.

10. BelgiumTom Dice “Me and My Guitar

Wow, I love this song. Sorry, but this is the sort of stuff that I love to listen to. I am not sure how it will do. But I think it could do quite well.

11. MaltaThea Garrett “My Dream

Malta have decided to enter a traditional strong ballad this year. Its not exactly my cup of tea, and to be honest I am bored with ballads. Thea is a fantastic singer and can hit the high notes, it will depend on the her performance on the night.

12. AlbaniaJuliana Pasha “It’s All About You

So Albania enter a song who’s video was definitely inspired by Lady Gaga. I think I hear fiddles in the back ground at some point, but I am not sure! Its a good song.

13. GreeceGiorgos Alkaios and Friends “OPA

This is a nice mix of greek and modern. No fiddles but lit up drums (and a ringtone??) instead.

14. Portugal Filipa Azevedo “Há dias assim” (Its one of those days)

This song reminds me of a Disney ballad. Yes she can sing, but  I don’t think it will well.

15. FYR MacedonaGjoko Taneski, Billy Zver & Pejcin “Jas ja imam silata” (I have the strength)

A bit of a rock song here. Its good. How it will do is hard to tell, but the rapping could pick it up a few votes.

16. Belarus3+2 “Butterflies

Ok, me being not a big fan of ballads, yada yada, yada, I actually like this song. Yes, scream hypocrite all you want. But it is easy to listen to and enjoyable! Admit it!

17. IcelandHera Björk “Je Ne Sais Quoi” (I don’t know what)

This is the last song of the semi and it will end the show on a high note. A fabulous singer with a great song!

So thats the 17 entries, so who do I think will get through/want to get through? In no particular order

  1. Russia
  2. Iceland
  3. Serbia
  4. Belgium
  5. Greece
  6. Latvia
  7. Moldova
  8. Macedonia
  9. Bosnia and Herzegovina
  10. Belarus

How many will I get right?

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[Eurovision 2009] Semi Final 1 – Results

So I got 7 out the qualifiers from tonights Eurovision Semi-Final right! I think that equals one of the scores that I got last year.

So who got through?

  • Finland (Predicted)
  • Sweden (Predicted)
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Turkey (Predicted)
  • Israel (Predicted)
  • Iceland
  • Armenia
  • Romania (Predicted)
  • Portugal (Predicted)
  • Malta (Predicted)

Belgium, Andorra and Bulgaria all let me down. I missed the start of the show only getting home in time for Israel the 10th entry. It was a good show and the interval act was brilliant. Its all over now until Thursday night, when we all be cheering for Sinead Mulvely. And I wonder how many will I get right?

PS the 2nd Semi will be liveblogged on Liveblog.ie the twitter tag is #evie

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Libertas – Nil Points?

I blogged yesterday about Predict 09‘s Irish Predictions, but tonight while looking through the country analysis I noticed something. Libertas will not win any seats in the European Parliament. In fact there is only vote share predicted for Ireland and Poland. In Ireland it is predicted at 7% and in Poland its predicted for 0% (+ the margin of error which is 4%). It is not predicted to win seats in Ireland or Poland. Let alone anywhere else!

Will this happen? I don’t know. Its highly unlikely that Libertas will pick up seats in Ireland (unless Sinnott joins them after the election), but they could pick up seats in the United Kingdom, where Labour and UKIP are predicted to be down.

Interesting times ahead for the Chairman.

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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.

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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?


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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.

Predict09.eu 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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[Eurovision 2009] Semi-Final One Preview

The modern logo was introduced for the 2004 Co...
Image via Wikipedia

Well as usual every year I do my preview of the Eurovision Song Contest and try and do a prediction, which goes horrible wrong! Mainly its just random thoughts on the song. I have included links to the songs on youtube, so you can make up your own mind! So anyway Semi-Final one will take place on May 12th. There are 18 countries in this semi, and 10 will go on to the final. As well as the countries in this Semi, United Kingdom, Germany and Spain will be voting also. This is what lies ahead for us on the first night.

1. Montenegro: Andrea Demirović with “Just Get Out of My Life” (Youtube)

Montenegro are sending Andrea Demirović to Moscow. This is nice pop song which does grow on you. Not a song that stands out though in comparison due to chart music at the moment.

2. Czech Republic: Gipsy.cz with “Aven Romale” ( Come in gypsies) (Youtube)

So the Czech are the first of the ‘joke’ entries this year. Sometimes I like ‘joke’ entries but this is not one of them. I hope it crashes and burns. It will now do well cause I said that!

3. Belgium: Patrick Ouchène with “Copycat” (Youtube)

This song is very 60’s/70’s but reminds of all types of music I love! Yes, I know hes an Elvis impersonator, but this song is one you just want to swing to. This should sound good live and do well!

4. Belarus: Petr Elfimov with “Eyes That Never Lie” (Youtube)

I never really like Belarus’ entry, and this year is no different and sounds a lot like a Dima Bilan song. While I know it did well for Russia last year, I can’t see it being replicated this year for Belarus.

5. Sweden: Malena Ernman with “La voix” (The Voice) (Youtube)

Sweden have a habit to put in cathcy songs and this year they have put in a fantastic song. With a fast backing track and Malena’s fantastic voice, this song is just wow. This song has actually blown me away and if it doesnt get out of the semi’s there is something wrong with Eurovision!

6. Armenia: Inga and Anush with “Jan Jan” (My Dear) (Youtube)

I dont know what to make of this song, part of me likes it with the eastern influences and that, but another part is like what is this?? Its an ok song, but not one I would remember.

7. Andorra: Susanne Georgi with “La teva decisió (Get a Life)” (Your Decision) (Youtube)

This is a nice song, that has a slow beat and sets it out from the others in this semi so far. It sounds a bit like a country song, but its an enjoyable listen. (I also love the video!)

8. Switzerland: Lovebugs with “The Highest Heights” (Youtube)

Finally a rock song! Its a song that slightly reminds me of U2. Its a hugely diferent from Andorra, allowing both countries to stand out, but I prefer this one!

9. Turkey: Hadise with “Düm Tek Tek” (Youtube)

A song that to me kind of sums up Turkey and Eurovision (apart from last year). A good song, thats very Turkish, but very pop. It will do well as Turkey normally does.

10. Israel: Noa and Mira Awad with “There Must Be Another Way” (Youtube)

Israel are always slightly different, and this year is no exception with this ballad. It is sung in Hebrew, Arabic and English. Pity for them only one country in Eurovision speaks two of those languages (Israel!!!). Its a nice song and as first ballad may get through.

11. Bulgaria: Krassimir Avramov with “Illusion” (Youtube)

A lively song after Israels ballad again creating a contrast that may benefit both. Not sure if I like it or not, but I’ll give it time.

12. Iceland: Yohanna withIs It True?” (Youtube)

Iceland this year try out a ballad and I love it! A lovely song, not sure how it will be recieved but may come out better then Israel due to the running order. I hope this does well.

13. FYR Macedonia: Next Time with “Neshto shto ke ostane” (Something that will remain) (Youtube)

Another rock song and this one reminds me of the 8o’s! Not sure if its because of the hair! I like it though, its in Macedonian thats all that bothers me about it, but its a rocking tune!

14. Romania: Elena Gheorghe with “The Balkan Girls” (Youtube)

A modern pop song from Romania this year which reminds me slightly of Rihanna. Its a nice song with a definite Balkan feel. Will qualify in my opinion.

15. Finland: Waldo’s People with “Lose Control” (Youtube)

A class dance song! My favourite song from this year so far. Its brilliant! Can see myself dancing to this a lot!

16. Portugal: Flor-de-Lis with “Todas as ruas do amor” (All the streets of love) (Youtube)

This is a nice upbeat song from Portugal, with a livens up at the chorus and you want to clap along to. It sounds traditional, but as I know nothing about Portugese traditional music, someone else will have to tell if I’m right or wrong on that. Its certainly different from the other songs in this semi so far. I think Flor-de-Lis could do well,

17. Malta: Chiara with “What If We” (Youtube)

Malta tries really, really hard every year to win and Chiara is hoping to make it third time lucky (she represented Malta in 1998 and 2005). What If We is a beautiful song, a ballad which reminds me of a Disney film score. Its a powerful song, will it be Malta’s year?

18. Bosnia and Herzegovina: Regina with “Bistra voda” (Clear Water) (Youtube)

The last song of the first Semi-Final and its another ballad. This ballad has a strong Balkan feel to it considering it’s Bosnia and Herzegovina’s entry. Don’t let the name of the performer fool you, Regina is a band and not a girl as I thought. Its a good song.

Predictions:

So this is where I half make an educated guess and half my favourite songs on who gets through to the Final. So who gets the “Kiss of Death” from me this year?

  • Finland (Love this song!)
  • Sweden
  • Belgium
  • Turkey
  • Israel
  • FYR Macedonia
  • Bulgaria
  • Romania
  • Portugal
  • Malta

It was actually quite hard to pick ten countries this year, so this will be an interesting Semi.

Look out for Preview of the second semi after Fine Gael Ard Fheis next weekend!

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PALIN PALIN PALIN


So what a choice from McCain and has proved to me that he is the person that should be the next President of the USA.

By picking Sarah Palin, McCain has taken the momentum from the Dems and Obama’s campaign. McCain can now be seen as the one trying to change Washington politics. He is known as a maverick among most republicans in washington and by picking Palin will bring an outsider (with government expeirence, something Obama lacks) to the heart of his administration!

A friend mentioned Sarah Palin to me as a possible VP Nominee a long time ago by a friend who I txted when I saw the news on Sky News in the Bank on Friday! Whats even stranger was i predicted her back in an email to the same friend back on the 2nd of Jan when I predicted her as Guiliani’s running mate! Wow! Never gotten something like that right! 😀 (Dont ask about the Dems my predictions where completely wrong!

There are loads of blog posts about it around the place some of whom I have linked to from here so I won’t say no more for now. But best of luck to Sarah Palin!

The Next Taoiseach of Ireland: Brian Cowen

Based on a post I orginally posted on The Political Gay over on GayCork

Tomorrow Brian Cowen will be elected Taoiseach of Ireland. The Big question will be the result of the reshuffle? Will Harney be replaced by Cannon? Who will get Finance? Who will be dropped and who will be promoted.

I have a feeling Lenihan will get Finance and Tániste. If that happens I think Coughlan could move to Justice. The poison chalice is the big Question though, if Hareny leaves Health who will take over? Cannon won’t want it, if he has any sense. It will be interesting to have an Governemnt Minister in the Seanad though! It will increase its poistion within the political system.

Another question is will he drop any policies? will he try and renegiate the Programme for Government? I doubt on both of these. No Irish Government policy has major opposition in public opinion like 42 days and ID’s in the UK. Of course the first month will be taken up with Lisbon, but that could be the waste of the Honeymoon period also.

What I want to know is will we see Civil Partnerships (Unions or whatever) under Cowen? Ahern was great on rhetoric but will Cowen take the action?

Random Facts:
He was born 10 January 1960 and was first elected in 1984 to represent constituency of Laois-Offaly. He has served in the following Ministries: Minister for Labour (1992–1993), Minister for Energy (1993), Minister for Transport, Energy & Communications (1993–1994), Minister for Health & Children (1997–2000), Minister for Foreign Affairs (2000–2004) and until tomorrow Minister of Finance.

He has wide ranging expeirence in a number of portfolios so has the potential to be a good Taoiseach.

The question is will he face the same problems has Gordon Brown? He is taking over from a popular Taoiseach, granted he has been dogged lately by the Tribunal, but he is popular in Ireland none the less.

He was not leader of the Party when elected. This isnt as big an issue as in the UK considering when we go to the polls you can vote for every party, as is the way with PRSTV. While in the UK you vote for one and thats the leader you expect. I dont see accusations of being ‘unelected’ being bandied about as much as they are with Brown.

Time will tell if he ‘dithers’ like Gordon. I dount he will though.

Of course he will always be BIFFO* to me dispite the fact he is Taoiseach!

*Note: I take BIFFO to mean “Big Ignorant F***er From Offaly” not “Big Intelligent Fellow From Offaly”