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What if Ireland had said yes to First past the post ?

  • 15-01-2022 1:51pm
    Registered Users Posts: 381 ✭✭ Ballycommon Mast

    FF held referendums in 1959 and 1968 to change us over to FPTP. In those days there was very little current affairs on Radio & TV so it's interesting that the proposal was rejected twice.



  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    No more coalition governments. it would force smaller parties to amalgamate.. ie all the left leaning ones would merge into Sinn Fein and fine fail finegael would become Fine FailGael

    Edit: it would mean the likes of the Healy Raes would not be able to hold the country to ransom

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,297 ✭✭✭ Jizique

    Didn't stop the DUP holding the balance in the UK, Healy Rae would top poll anyway as constituencies would be smaller

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,253 ✭✭✭ Risteard81

    Plurality (FPTP) would be better than the STV that's there instead.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,636 ✭✭✭ completedit

    What is it about First Past the Post that would cause these changes?

  • Registered Users Posts: 381 ✭✭ Ballycommon Mast

    Wouldn't many independents still win here with FPTP tho ? AFAIK Michael Healy Rae, Michael Lorwy, Mick Wallace have all topped the polls in their constituencys. In The UK independents just don't get more than a few hundred votes in any constituency.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 7,129 ✭✭✭ GerardKeating

    No. the left leaning parties (if they coalesced) would have merged into Labour. Sinn Fein might never have emerged here in a FPTP system.

    True, Independants would not get elected so often, but some (like Healy Raes, Michael Lowry, Neil Blaney) might have emerged anyway. WE might have gotten smaller regional parties developing...

  • Registered Users Posts: 381 ✭✭ Ballycommon Mast

    I also found it amazing that even with FPTP, someone with the celebrity status of Nigel Farage could never get elected to Westminster

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  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 91,409 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Capt'n Midnight

    The parties in NI and Scotland have very concentrated support. Parties like UKIP and the Greens have much higher number but spread more thinly and were unable to translate it into MPs.

    SF strongholds like Donegal, Louth and central/west Dublin won't be enough because SF are not transfer friendly. FPTP means it's only worth voting for the winner or runner up, anything else is a wasted vote.

    You could imagine a situation where most of the FF/FG/Lab electorate would hold their noses and vote for the FF/FG/Lab candidate most likely to beat SF because that's how FPTP works in a nutshell. You could even add other left wing parties too to that list.

    In other constituencies where FF or FG are the likely winners their voters wouldn't vote for each other and votes from supporters of other parties would decide the outcome. It's another unsavoury part of FPTP.

    In constituencies where one party has a large majority voters may not bother showing up. It's another unsavoury part of FPTP.

    Look at the % of votes after all the transfers to give some indication of what FPTP would look like before applying the 'enemy of my enemy' principle.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,250 ✭✭✭ Blaaz_

    We'd have ended up as effectively a one party state with FF eroding any opposition by healy-rae type representation/politics (ff decline in earnest began with JHR quitting as director election)

    The outworkings of this,need not be explained to.anyone

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,293 ✭✭✭ OneEightSeven

    If we switched to FPTP today, they would because they're entrenched in Kerry politics, but if we had FPTP since the '60s, they wouldn't because it's very rare for indies to get elected in FPTP. If we want to get rid of the Healy-Raes, we'll have to reform our electoral system to a party-list system with a national electoral threshold.

  • Registered Users Posts: 381 ✭✭ Ballycommon Mast

    I often wondered if the young left liberal types who always used to point out that Trump lost the popular vote were aware that Mary Robinson didn't get the most first preference votes here in 1990 either.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,028 ✭✭✭ Brussels Sprout

    That's not a perfect solution either as it substitutes one type of unwanted politician for another. List systems make it much easier for favoured party insiders, who might fail to get elected under their own steam, to get elected on the coat-tails of the party. Personally I would take them over the hyper local, parish pump independents that we currently have in many constituencies but I suspect a lot of people would not (particularly voters who actually want a parish pump politician in their own area).

  • Registered Users Posts: 89 ✭✭ BringingSexyBack

    Mary Robinson would never have darkened Aras an Uachtaráin, no matter what that clown from Mayo (Pee Flynn) would have said about her (what he said was was the truth, to be fair to Pee Flynn) . Lenihan Senior would have got his rightful crown.

    If it weren't for PR, some parties would never have existed .

    People like Clare Daly would never have gotten in and while some of her politics aren't great, she did contribute to the national parliament with her stance on abortion, gardai scandal, Shannon Airport being used by the US forces, and a few other legitimate points

    Many Shinners , would never have gotten far without PR before the last election (except in border counties like Louth, Cavan and Donegal ) . Mary Lou got into the Dail by the skin of her teeth after several attempts and despite being a decent MEP . Now she is the Queen of Bertie's auld stomping ground, Dublin Central . Due to her own popularity, she could probably risk running a second mate and get her transfers easily , without splitting her vote, if SF are still popular)

    It took Pearse Doherty, a man who could be accepted by Labour or FF party supporters, needed three attempts to get into the Dáil (and a failed MEP run, but that did give him excellent exposure, a well ran campaign) He won a by election well. Since then , his contribution to politics has been positive - a much needed constitutional case dealing with need to hold elections and of course, his stellar work on the Insurance companies. Now, he's the king of Donegal and can get another SF man elected (McLoughlin to be fair to him has Inishowen to support him - but a third SF man in Donegal is wishful thinking - they tried that and managed to lose Mc Loughlin's SAFE seat)

    So, PR has ensured that Ireland got a fair representation in the Dáil as otherwise, it would have been totally dominated by FF and FG except in areas where the big beast (various Independents) who had amazing political machines

  • Registered Users Posts: 381 ✭✭ Ballycommon Mast

    I believe that a lot of Irish people don't really understand our voting system, that's why you had people boasting about giving Gemma O'Doherty the lowest possible preference number of 18 or whatever without understanding that they didn't have to give her any preference.

  • Registered Users Posts: 89 ✭✭ BringingSexyBack

    @Ballycoomon Mast

    Mick Wallace, as an Independent, was a rarity to top the pole , as an Independent on his first attempt in running for elections. Thing was he was nationally well known and liked and was heavily involved in Sport (Wexford Youths FC)

    Lowry was once a big beast in FG and was expected to become the leader of FG in time, but for his unfortunate issues , ahem. He already had his machine well oiled in Tipp before he went Independent

    Michael Healy Rae also had daddy's vote and he himself was beside daddy throughout Jackie's stint in Dáil Éireann. He also spent years on Kerry CC . I think he was on RTE Celebrities Go Wild BEFORE he even became a TD !!! Compliments of Daddy and a phone in Dáil Éireann, he won the show lol.

    Not sure that there are too many Independents who can top the polls on first attempt. Many scrap by and some do well enough on the 3rd-6th count and get in

    PR system is needed for most Independents (even the more established like Finian McGrath ) and smaller parties

    Then you got that infamous old Dublin South East and Dublin South areas. Home of some of the most prominent and notorious party leaders , Taoisigh and Tainiste and other high profile names..............No matter how prestigious a seat one might have........NO ONE IS SAFE , because of god damn PR . Without PR we would never have had Rumble in Ranelaigh

    It is funny that many Dub's whinge about parish pump politics. You look at Constituencies like Dublin South East and Dublin South over the decades. It would not only be home to the Taoiseach but also a Minister or Minister for State or at least a major party leader /deputy leader - they got all the spotlight

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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,250 ✭✭✭ Blaaz_

    The PRSTV is good at giving minority views a voice,and in future,

    it should be examined to make constituencies 6 to 7 seaters,so as people from immigrant/minority backgrounds can get into the dail and have their say,

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,391 ✭✭✭ Yurt2

    I agree that PR-STV is a far superior system than in countries like the US or UK, but 6 or 7 seat constituencies? You'd end up with some serious cabbages in Dail Eireann with that amount of TDs returned for a single constituency. I can just about reach third preference in my constituency before getting to loo-la territory

  • Registered Users Posts: 379 ✭✭ iffandonlyif

    FF was the biggest party at every election from 1932 until 2011. Unless FPTP resulted in amalgamation or voters voting FG instead of PD or Labour, FF would have been in permanent power and there would have been very little left wing influence in parliament.

    It’s interesting that one of the closest referendum results was the marginal rejection of FPTP in 1959.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,377 ✭✭✭ standardg60

    My only issue with the PR system here is that there is a pre-requisite number of seats to be filled.

    I think it would be more democratic if instead only those who reached the quota in each constituency were elected.

  • Registered Users Posts: 16,336 ✭✭✭✭ breezy1985

    They failed because everyone who wasnt a FF voter knew what they were up to.

  • Registered Users Posts: 16,336 ✭✭✭✭ breezy1985

    Jeysus could you imagine the amount of Healy-Raes we would end up with if Kerry was a 7 seater

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,600 ✭✭✭✭ For Forks Sake

    There's already about 20 of them on Kerry County Council, they will take over and then attempt to annex Limerick

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  • Registered Users Posts: 16,336 ✭✭✭✭ breezy1985

    As long as they dont enforce their language on us like the Brits did.