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Geography also plays a major role. People want at least one candidate "from their area" elected so they can maintain direct access. Thus West Wicklow - separated from the more dominant and populous east by the mountains - wants its own TD and votes for that idiot Billy Timmins because he is the only West Wicklow based candidate. Carlow, dominated by the more populous Kilkenny in the Carlow Kilkenny constituency votes for and transfers to a Carlow based candidate almost regardless of party. Political parties try to "balance" their ticket by having candidates from both ends of a constituency. Gender can also play a role - e.g. women transferring disproportionately to women. Single issue - e.g. local hospital - candidates can draw a big vote and transfer unpredictably if eliminated.

I'm with you, its a great spectator sport, with candidates spinning madly and "fighting for their seats" during the counts long after the result is baked in the tin of uncounted ballot papers... I used to think computer voting makes sense, but actually it doesn't. The whole ceremony of the process is important with a lot of local involvement by count officials, counters, tally men and women, local analysts analysing votes by the box and knowing how many votes their candidate got on their street. There is a lot of trust involved - allegations of fraud are almost non-existent.

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Feb 11th, 2020 at 10:09:41 AM EST
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