Ireland: Election 2011

The polls are open till 10 p.m., Irish time. (How many jurisdictions keep polls open that late?)

Updates on the voting and, after polls close, the count can be followed at RTE, Irish Times, or Elections Ireland. Also, don’t miss the Political Reform blog.

Ireland, of course, is the land of the Single Transferable Vote (STV).

Indications are that turnout is high.

The Fianna Fail party, which has led the government during the current financial crisis, is expected to fall to third place. How often does a governing party in a democracy fall to third place? Not too often. Canada 1993, when the Progressive Conservatives fell to fifth place, with only 2 seats, must be the record.

Fianna Fail, which won 42% in the 2007 election, has been polling at around 15%. So, in terms of votes, if not seats, the party could challenge the Canadian record (where Conservatives fell from 43% to 16%).

4 thoughts on “Ireland: Election 2011

  1. Its also reprehensible. I do not expect anyone to interfere with the ballots overnight, but an immediate local count in the presence of scrutineers, with the results announced locally, is important to election integrity. The last election in Zimbabwe could not be falsified because the AU and the SADC had insisted on an immediate local count.

  2. Canada 1993 set the record in terms of seats lost by a ruling party in a Western parliamentary democracy, but not when it came to popular vote percentage losses: that dubious distinction goes to Spain’s Union of the Democratic Center (UCD), which nosedived from 35% in 1979 to 7% in 1982, that is a loss of twenty-eight percentage points; by comparison, Canada’s Progressive Conservatives went from 43% in 1988 to 16% in 1993 – a twenty-seven point drop.

    More recentlly, and going beyond parliamentary democracies, one really disastrous outcome I can think of is that of Costa Rica’s Social Christian Unity Party (PUSC), which plunged from 39% of the vote in the first round of the 2002 presidential election to just 4% in 2006 (however, PUSC fared slightly better in the Legislative Assembly poll, falling from 30% in ’02 to 8% in ’06).

    At any rate, Ireland 2011 may not have broken any world records, but it came pretty close, with Fianna Fáil falling from 42% to 17% throughout the Republic, and from 39% to 12% in Dublin; in fact, the latter outcome was responsible for the seemingly skewed distribution of Dáil seats, as I will explain in a later comment.

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