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2022 Seanad by-election

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  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 19,615 Mod ✭✭✭✭Sam Russell


    The weakness of the current system is that each elected councillor gets a vote - but councillors from rural areas are more numerous and get elected by fewer votes than say a Dublin councillor, so the Senate is biased towards rural voters. The whole thing is a talking shop supporting failed politicians, and wannabe politicians.

    It needs deep reform.



  • Registered Users Posts: 68,511 ✭✭✭✭L1011


    This really hasn't been the case since the rural town councils were dissolved. DCC has a lot of councillors which extensively corrects for that and many rural councils have less than the 40 that non-DCC councils can have.

    Quota in DCC ranged from 1178 to 2813 - primarily down to turnout differences.

    Taking two random rural counties, in Cavan it ranges from 1345 to 1631 and in Offally 1172 to 1693

    Only a few wealthy wards on DCC have a significantly higher vote per Councillor than the norm.

    Some wards in County Dublin have exceptionally low quotas - 973 in Tallaght South, 831 in Blanchardstown-Mulhuddart.



  • Registered Users Posts: 34,587 ✭✭✭✭Hotblack Desiato


    That explains some of the headers who get in!

    Fingal County Council are certainly not competent to be making decisions about the most important piece of infrastructure on the island. They need to stick to badly designed cycle lanes and deciding on whether Mrs Murphy can have her kitchen extension.



  • Registered Users Posts: 7,032 ✭✭✭Brussels Sprout


    Yes, I'm all for a different electorate, so long as everyone gets to vote (not currently the case) and the panels are somewhat equal in size.

    Alternatively I wouldn't mind single regional electorates (such as for European elections) with a different method of election - such as quadratic voting. This is something that is difficult to explain but very intuitive once you try it. There's a great sample that you can do yourself here:

    https://www.economist.com/interactive/2021/12/18/quadratic-voting

    Basically it allows the voter to vote for multiple candidates but to give each of them different weights, if they choose (or they can give their entire allotment to a single candidate if they want). The main downside to this (apart from trying to explain it) is that it would almost certainly need a computer to count the votes.



  • Registered Users Posts: 34,587 ✭✭✭✭Hotblack Desiato


    There's enough misunderstandings going around about how PR works as it is...

    Fingal County Council are certainly not competent to be making decisions about the most important piece of infrastructure on the island. They need to stick to badly designed cycle lanes and deciding on whether Mrs Murphy can have her kitchen extension.



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  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 19,615 Mod ✭✭✭✭Sam Russell


    We need computer counting anyway. The fiasco of the Euro elections where they had huge ballot papers a metre long, and so many rounds of counting that mistakes must have occurred. Computer counting would allow all votes to be transferred down in fractions to actually represent the true level of preference.

    We do not need computer voting - a different matter entirely.



  • Registered Users Posts: 7,032 ✭✭✭Brussels Sprout


    On a technical level I agree with you but by god I'd miss the suspense and excitement of the few days of vote counting.



  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 19,615 Mod ✭✭✭✭Sam Russell


    I am sure the excitement can be arranged by not releasing the results as a stage by stage - count by count.



  • Registered Users Posts: 7,322 ✭✭✭MrMusician18


    I think the panel system is a good idea as it can bring expertise to the dail so I'd like to see the panels opened to everyone, with perhaps a panel for each government department. All voters be randomly assigned a single panel where they would get to vote.

    Voting would take place on the day of the general election and you couldn't stand for both houses.

    Anyway I suppose Chu is the favourite here?



  • Registered Users Posts: 68,511 ✭✭✭✭L1011


    I really don't think she is. McNeill or Quill probably have better chances.

    She gets much more media coverage than the other candidates but that isn't as important in this race.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 7,032 ✭✭✭Brussels Sprout


    Anyone know when they're counting the votes?



  • Registered Users Posts: 68,511 ✭✭✭✭L1011




  • Administrators Posts: 53,702 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭awec


    Counting of this presumably must be relatively fast?



  • Registered Users Posts: 68,511 ✭✭✭✭L1011


    It should be. Normal Seanad panels aren't as there are fractional transfers due to the tiny electorate, but the Uni seats are normal. There's ~13,000 votes here so it should be like a large council ward to count, but with no surplus calculations etc as its one seat.


    edit: fractional transfers only happen on surpluses anyway so couldn't happen here, ignore that....



  • Registered Users Posts: 7,032 ✭✭✭Brussels Sprout


    They tweeted this out 3 hours ago:



    Still no results from the first count. That's always the longest one though. There mustn't be any tallies since you'd get them from the very first stage of the counting process so would have been out now.



  • Registered Users Posts: 7,032 ✭✭✭Brussels Sprout


    Ok just seeing some more tweets about why it's taking so long:


    Why there may not be a tally


    And when we might see some results





  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]



    "Good look to all 17 candidates!" apart from the utter cringiness of such a pointless tweet, it is jaw-dropping to see that TCD - that centuries-old bastion of Anglo-Irish education - can't even spell "luck" correctly.

    O tempora o mores as TCD graduate Senator Lynn Ruane would definitely not say. 🤢



  • Registered Users Posts: 7,032 ✭✭✭Brussels Sprout


    William Quill from the tweet above seems to have updated the tally figures in his google doc.

    Based on a small number of votes (1,592) it seems fairly tight:

    1. Clonan 16.2%
    2. MacNeil 14.8%
    3. Gaffney 14.2%
    4. Chu 13.07%
    5. 3 further candidates in the range 6-9% and everyone else is less than 5%


    Since it's a postal vote presumably that sample is presumably more representative of the total vote than, say, a box taken from a certain polling station would be in a Dail election.

    On that basis I think it's a 3 horse race. I'm writing Chu off on the basis that I don't think she's very transfer friendly and the winner will need to be given how far they all are from the 50% finish line.



  • Administrators Posts: 53,702 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭awec


    1. MacNeil 15.70%
    2. Clonan 15.07%
    3. Gaffney 14%
    4. Chu 13.62%
    5. Quill 8.78%

    That's the top 5 now, spreadsheet was updated as I typed this.



  • Registered Users Posts: 7,032 ✭✭✭Brussels Sprout


    Not sure how transfer friendly MacNeil is going to be either since his entire schtick appears to be "Did you know I played rugby for Ireland?". I don't think his subsequent career in Goldman Sachs is going to be much of an asset to him with this electorate.

    Looking at the 2020 TCD race he fared poorly in transfers versus the left wing candidates - which is most of the rest!

    On that basis I think it's going to be Clonan versus Gaffney for the seat.



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  • Administrators Posts: 53,702 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭awec


    Clonan, Gaffney and MacNeil starting to pull away from the chasing pack now.

    Chu down on 11% while MacNeil topping with 17%.



  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]



    Forgive my amusement at Trish McKenna's 2.75%! Good to see that I'm not the only voter who remembers her antics the last time that she was an election candidate!



  • Registered Users Posts: 34,587 ✭✭✭✭Hotblack Desiato


    If it wasn't for Ray Barrett she'd be clearly the looniest candidate.

    Fingal County Council are certainly not competent to be making decisions about the most important piece of infrastructure on the island. They need to stick to badly designed cycle lanes and deciding on whether Mrs Murphy can have her kitchen extension.



  • Registered Users Posts: 68,511 ✭✭✭✭L1011


    Chu is unlikely to get enough of a split of the transfers to climb ahead of Gaffney/Clonan now. McNeill won't get that many transfers.



  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 19,615 Mod ✭✭✭✭Sam Russell


    I think there are a lot of votes to be redistributed, so anything can happen. She is only 300 votes behind the first candidate with over 6,000 votes to get redistributed. We are only on count one.



  • Registered Users Posts: 68,511 ✭✭✭✭L1011


    Transfers from the various left wing candidates beneath her are likely to break similarly to the first count, e.g. more to Gaffney than Chu.



  • Registered Users Posts: 7,032 ✭✭✭Brussels Sprout


    Small number of transfers only after the first 3 counts (172 total votes for the 2 eliminated candidates) but they've gone:

    • Clonan 29
    • Quill 22
    • Chu 19
    • Gaffney 10
    • MacNeill 7


    MacNeill is still leading but not for much longer based on that. Clonan's got to be the favourite now - he's only 99 votes behind MacNeill and seems to be really transfer friendly.

    Each subsequent elimination will mean more transfers allowing us to get a better picture. By lunchtime we should have a good idea of who's going to win.



  • Registered Users Posts: 68,511 ✭✭✭✭L1011


    The second lowest candidate was a joke candidate (as in running as a joke) so those transfers are not the best to try analyse!

    Some things of interest to come now - will Barry's votes go heavily to Quill on party lines, or not (I expect not) and where will be the ~1000 votes that the two anti-EU candidates are likely to have at elimination go.



  • Registered Users Posts: 7,032 ✭✭✭Brussels Sprout


    Transfers to the top 5 candidates after Count #4

    • Quill 49
    • Clonan 43
    • Chu 36
    • Gaffney 31
    • MacNeill 17


    Chu proving to be more transfer friendly then I anticipated although she's still losing pace to Clonan who's 188 votes ahead of her.

    MacNeill's lead down to 95 now.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 68,511 ✭✭✭✭L1011


    No obvious Barry->Quill party transfer, Clonan continues closing on McNeill (but there's still enough votes amongst the various left women to overtake these significantly)


    Next elimination would have been a double but for three votes - candidates on 220, 222 and 440

    The candidate just eliminated ran for the Greens in 2020, but party votes don't really matter here as we've just seen.



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