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Live Blog: Irish General Election results

by Frank Schnittger Sun Feb 9th, 2020 at 11:45:05 AM EST

Ireland went to the polls yesterday, and the counting of votes began at 9.00 am this morning. Counting is a labour intensive manual process, and given the complexities of the multi-seat, single transferable vote system can take some days to complete. Early indications are that the poll was quite high given the inclement weather conditions and that the pre-poll indications of a surge to Sinn Fein are being borne out by the actual results.

Last night's exit poll indicated a statistical tie between the main three parties but the earliest indications today are that this may understate the performance of Sinn Fein who appear likely to top the poll in a lot of constituencies. They will rue their decision to run only 42 candidates, however, which will put a ceiling on how well they can do. The exit poll makes for some fascinating reading as it allows a demographic analysis of who voted how. Sinn Fein appear to be well ahead in every age group bar the 65+ demographic.

Health, Housing, Homelessness, Pension age and climate change were the issues influencing most voting decisions with Brexit and immigration cited by only 1% of voters as the most important issue influencing their vote. 65% of voters regard increased expenditure on public services as more important than reduced taxation, and 63% stated they had not benefited personally from the upturn in the economy.

The first first count results are expected this afternoon, and I will update this diary as more results come in.


Display:
The rise of Sinn Fein puts them in the driving seat as regards forming a government, and a FF/Sinn Fein government seems to be the only stable government which can be formed based on these results. This will require FF to ditch their prior opposition to coalition with SF based on the "new electoral realities and the expressed wishes of the people".

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Feb 9th, 2020 at 04:55:05 PM EST
The alternative is that Sinn Fein hold out in the hope of forcing a second election where they can field more candidates and maximise their representation better - in the hope they might emerge as the largest party and in a position to claim the leadership of any government. Michael Martin, leader of FF, will, on the other hand be desperate to form a Government as leader as this could be his last chance of becoming Taoiseach.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Feb 9th, 2020 at 05:03:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It is ironic that Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum cannot unite with each other.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Feb 9th, 2020 at 07:05:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The equivalent situation in the US would be where a third party threatened the duopoly of the Dems and Repubs and they were expected to unite against a common threat. Would they?

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Feb 9th, 2020 at 07:47:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They always do, but by changing electoral laws to prevent such threats, not by forming a government together. I guess in Ireland the major parties don't get to do that, fortunately.
by IdiotSavant on Sun Feb 9th, 2020 at 09:30:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Tried twice in the sixties: lost a referendum narrowly the first time, in a landslide the second time.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Sun Feb 9th, 2020 at 10:41:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They could, but it would end badly for them; it hasn't worked so well in Germany, for example.
(Pedants will point out that the SPD and the CDU/CSU have important ideological differences. But these are mostly historical rather than over current policy, as with FF/FG.)

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Mon Feb 10th, 2020 at 10:06:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sinn Fein would be daft to force another election when joining with FF would give them "electoral respectability" and put the Troubles behind them.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Sun Feb 9th, 2020 at 08:18:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Expecting Sinn Fein to do the smart thing = triumph of hope over experience

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Sun Feb 9th, 2020 at 08:25:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They're in a great negotiating position. This is Martin's last chance, if they ran more candidates in a repeat election they would win more seats (based on the current vote percentage) and could even become the largest party. Unlikely, but a temptation.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Feb 9th, 2020 at 08:36:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But currently they're able to be an opposition party, anti-establishment etc etc. Hard to pull that off when you're in power.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Sun Feb 9th, 2020 at 10:38:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]


Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.
by Oui on Sun Feb 9th, 2020 at 08:16:56 PM EST
Can he still get in with second preference votes or is that it for him?


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Sun Feb 9th, 2020 at 08:24:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
He's a cert to get in. In our system, if they are going for two seats, its best to split the vote equally so that both stay in the hunt. That means the lead candidate often has to "lend" territory and votes to a running mate, and won't get elected until a later count. Varadker was never a great vote getter, two seats were never on, his running mate did terrible, but Varadker's seat was never in doubt.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Feb 9th, 2020 at 08:34:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Got it.  Thanks

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Sun Feb 9th, 2020 at 08:40:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So Sinn Féin's lead in seats right now (according to Wikipedia) is because they didn't run more candidates and thus gets more votes/seat which gives them the first counted seats?
by fjallstrom on Sun Feb 9th, 2020 at 09:00:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Their 24% of the vote is concentrated on 42 candidates which means most of them will get elected on the first count or soon after. FF and FG's 84/82 candidates, by way of contrast shared only 21/22% of the vote and will be relying on lower preference votes to get them across the line - or win the last seat without reaching the quota. The name of the game is not only Maximising first preferences but lower preference as well as other candidates get eliminated or elected (and their surplus over the quota is re-distributed in accordance with their voter's next preferences).

Smaller parties/independents typically only get elected to the last seats by being "transfer friendly" and getting lower preference votes as geographically or ideologically aligned candidates/parties are eliminated. It is part of what makes the Irish system cooperation promoting rather than more divisive and polarising FPTP systems which focus on maximising your base turnout and to hell with cooperating with anyone who votes or stands for anyone else.

Smaller, more centrist parties like the Greens, Labour, and Social Democrats survive and do well because they can attract transfers from both sides of the spectrum. Sinn Fein have traditionally done badly on transfers, being a polarising party, but this time their first preferences are enough to see them home. Nevertheless both FF and FG will probably win more seats despite having a lower first preference vote mainly because Sinn Fein didn't run enough candidates to mop up whatever lower preference votes they might have garnered.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Feb 9th, 2020 at 09:37:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Election 2020: Sinn Féin vote surge could see 36 of the party's candidates elected | Irish Times |

Sinn Féin looks poised to win at least 10 extra seats in the 33rd Dáil as it benefits from a dramatic surge in support from the voters in the general election.

SF has already 23 seats and it's leading in popular votes at 23.74%



Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.
by Oui on Sun Feb 9th, 2020 at 08:35:07 PM EST
Looking like Sinn Fein may very well be in government as the UK tries to negotiate their way out of a wet paper bag economic relationship with the EU.

A certain amount of karmic justice ... and hilarity ... in there.


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sun Feb 9th, 2020 at 09:02:22 PM EST
Part of the reason I have always expected a hard Brexit is unrealistic expectations in the UK, but the other main reason is that the politics of the EU27 is evolving, and many more hardline nationalist parties are gaining influence. It could be that they will fail to agree/ratify any EU/UK deal. "Britain First!" will be mirrored in other EU countries...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Feb 9th, 2020 at 10:00:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't  believe Sinn Féin's policy on Brexit is all that different to the current one.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Sun Feb 9th, 2020 at 10:39:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But it would be funny as hell to send a Sinn Fein minister to Westminster to negotiate the Irish Sea border...

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Mon Feb 10th, 2020 at 10:02:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yea but the EU/UK trade negotiations will be conducted at EU level, with ex-Fine Gael Minister and EU Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan the main player - along with Barnier. Mary Lou as Minister for External affairs would be fun, though...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Feb 10th, 2020 at 11:57:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Varadakar was as good as it gets for the English. SF or FF aren't necessarily going to be as polite as he was, their voters will enjoy some plain talking more.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Feb 10th, 2020 at 12:45:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald could very be the next Taoiseach.

The DUP, Boris, &etc., et. al., will squiff their squibs.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Mon Feb 10th, 2020 at 09:15:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sinn Féin to try to form ruling coalition after Irish election success | The Guardian |

Ireland's single transferrable vote system of proportional representation means it could be Monday, Tuesday or even later before all Dáil seats are allocated.

With 96% of first-preference votes tallied on Sunday, Sinn Féin had 24.1%, with Fianna Fáil on 22.1%, Fine Gael on 22.1%, Greens on 7.4%, and small leftwing parties and independents comprising the rest.

It was a stunning result for Sinn Féin, which was the IRA's political wing during the Troubles and remained a fringe party in the republic until well after the 1998 Good Friday agreement.

It surpassed its 2016 election result of 13.8% by appealing to voters - especially the young - who felt left behind by a booming economy and chafed at soaring rents, homelessness, insurance costs and hospital waiting lists.

Preliminary vote tallies suggested Sinn Féin could win around 36 seats, up from 22 in the outgoing Dáil, far exceeding its own expectations.

Many candidates ratcheted up huge surpluses in urban heartlands while others appeared on course for unexpected victories in Galway, Tipperary, Roscommon, Mayo and Wexford.

Gerry Adams, who stepped down as party leader in 2018 and as a Dáil member in this election, credited McDonald's leadership and said he had not foreseen the extent of the gains. He said Sinn Féin would use its mandate to plan for a united Ireland - a defining tenet for the party.

Members of the 33rd Dáil

How did it happen? Review Opinion Polls ...

Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.

by Oui on Sun Feb 9th, 2020 at 09:15:44 PM EST
by Oui on Mon Feb 10th, 2020 at 02:55:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Fianna Fail leader Michael Martin softens stance on Sinn Fein coalition

Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.
by Oui on Mon Feb 10th, 2020 at 02:13:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
On Planet Clare, still nobody's got a quota afer 8 counts.

I love this stuff. It looks like 2 FF and one FG will be elected, but I find it impossible to predict the 4th. No obvious reservoir of votes for the SF who topped the poll.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Mon Feb 10th, 2020 at 10:14:02 AM EST
Count 9 is done and still none reach the quota, any combination of the 1 SF, 1-2 FF, 1 Independent and 1 FG is possible. It is down to how the Garvey (GP) votes redistribute.

Yeah, it's cool.

by fjallstrom on Mon Feb 10th, 2020 at 02:24:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And count ten gives: 1 Independent, 1 SF, 1 FF, 1 FG. There we go, the split from the Greens landed mostly on independent and SF. More even distribution would not have given FF a second seat as they had approx 22 000 votes between them and the FG candidate (that ended 3rd) had 11 345 votes.
by fjallstrom on Mon Feb 10th, 2020 at 03:52:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Irish electors are phenomenally unpredictable. I restrain myself from saying "illogical". Clearly there's a lot of very local politics going on, with the personality and record of individual candidates paramount. When one candidate is eliminated, it's rare to see much more than half of their preferences going to the logical successor... it's very scattershot.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Tue Feb 11th, 2020 at 08:02:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
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.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Feb 11th, 2020 at 10:09:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually, in a paper-based system (barring physical violence and tight control of the media), trust is not required : everything can be verified, challenged, recounted.

It's computer-based systems that rely on trust. It is possible to build trustable IT election systems (that any sufficiently IT-literate person can audit and verify), based on secure open-source programs, but I'm not sure it's ever been done by an actual country. And even then, it requires the vast majority of citizens to trust the experts.


It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Wed Feb 12th, 2020 at 09:24:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ireland tried to bring in computer voting many years ago at a cost of many millions. The machines were never used because of court challenges to their transparency and auditability. It was specialised equipment that would only be used once every few years, so the economics didn't make sense either.

I used to be an advocate for computerized voting using standard web technology and security systems similar to that used by banking websites etc. Part of my reasoning was that turn-out rates are trending ever lower, partly due to out of date voting registers, people moving about more, being away in college while registered at home, and the sheer inconvenience of getting to a polling station.

Certainly the voting registration database update process needs to be moved online, but I am less sure about the actual voting and counting processes, even with open source technology. I think the community involvement in the whole process is important, and partly why Ireland hasn't experienced the alienation from the political process experienced in other countries due to big money involvement, nefarious on-line campaigns, voter suppression, gerrymandering, and dodgy Diebold voting machines.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Feb 12th, 2020 at 10:30:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
One of the most extraordinary features of this election is that quite a few of the successful Sinn Fein candidates who polled 10k-20K votes actually lost their Council seats in the local elections last June polling only a few hundred votes in similar electoral areas.

Nobody can quite account for the sudden upturn in Sinn Fein's fortunes - least of all Sinn Fein who would have fielded far more candidates had they expected it. Opinion polls had tracked the upturn in the last few weeks and a generalised yearning for change among the electorate.

Several factors can be postulated:

  1. Brexit is now regarded as a done deal and only 1% of voters listed it as a key factor in their decision making.
  2. Eaten Bread is soon forgotten. Elections are won on future promises rather than past performance. Thus, while there is general agreement that FG did a good job on Brexit and managing the economic turnaround since 2010 v. few voted on that basis.
  3. While the macro economy is generally agreed to be performing well, many voters aren't feeling the benefits of that in their back pockets despite unemployment declining from 16% to 4.8% and rising pay rates.
  4. Fine Gael's emphasis on market solutions to the housing crisis was emphatically rejected. Rising insurance premiums are also a big issue for drivers, home owners, and small businesses and service providers. (There is effectively no Single Market for insurance which means a very few companies control the Irish market).
  5. Right wing "wedge issues" like crime, immigration, abortion got virtually no traction.
  6. Sinn Fein pivoted from focusing on a united Ireland to emphasising the need to resolve the public healthcare, childcare, transport and housing issues.
  7. Most voters in all parties want more public expenditure rather than reduced taxation. Fine Gael had sought to send dog-whistles to those who wanted reduced taxation.
  8. Northern Ireland/re-unification hardly featured in the campaign.
  9. Left wing parties like the Greens and the social democrats have also made significant seat gains


Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Feb 10th, 2020 at 01:49:43 PM EST
Opposition to abortion or immigration is suicidal for politicians in a lot of Ireland today.

It's a general rejection of the FF/FG centre right "the market will provide" solutions to problems we know can't be solved by markets: housing, health, crime etc. Too many people not feeling the benefits of the economy.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Feb 10th, 2020 at 02:53:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What Sinn Féin's Election Victory Means for Ireland | NY Mag |

In recent years, particularly since Mary Lou McDonald succeeded the long-serving and controversial party leader Gerry Adams in 2018, the party has reformed itself by downplaying its historical militancy and focusing attention on its social-democratic policy agenda. Sinn Féin remains solidly committed to Irish reunification, but McDonald's campaign platform this year focused on social and economic issues like homelessness, rising rents, health-care costs, and hospital waiting lists. Sinn Féin won on Saturday by tapping into popular anger over these issues and focusing that anger on the "duopoly" of the two mainstream centrist parties, Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil.

Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar, the incumbent taoiseach (prime minister), has been leading a minority government propped up by a confidence and supply agreement with Fianna Fáil since 2016, and had hung his hopes for victory this year on a track record of solid economic growth and his own adept handling of Brexit.

But as we have seen in the U.S., economic growth doesn't pay political dividends when it is unevenly distributed, and voters don't care how much the GDP is up when they or their neighbors are struggling to find good jobs or affordable housing.



Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.
by Oui on Mon Feb 10th, 2020 at 03:39:36 PM EST
If it says anyone "won" by getting 24% of the vote its analysis is probably so infected by FPTP thinking to be useful.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Feb 10th, 2020 at 04:28:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
APsplainin | Irish election produces an earthquake as Sinn Fein tops poll
"With more than two-thirds of the seats in parliament filled, Sinn Fein had taken 37, Fianna Fail 25 and Fine Gael 23. No party is likely to reach the 80 seats needed for a majority, making some form of coalition inevitable. But forming a stable alliance looks tough."
by Cat on Mon Feb 10th, 2020 at 06:08:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
After Corbyn lost, we were told that this is what would happen to the Democrats if they pick Sanders. Do the Irish results show what would happen if they don't pick Sanders?
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Mon Feb 10th, 2020 at 06:34:49 PM EST
I don't think the Irish and US political systems are directly comparable, but the main similarity is that "the left behind" mobilised against the establishment which were gaining the lions share of incremental economic growth and monopolising wealth. In Ireland they mobilised behind an authoritarian left leaning party, in the US, behind Trump. I'm not sure how well Sanders speaks to that demographic.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Feb 11th, 2020 at 09:54:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
another name change, from "coup!there it is" to
by Cat on Mon Feb 10th, 2020 at 07:03:17 PM EST
I've been following the count obsessively all day. Despite the handicap of not running enough candidates, it's looking like a three-way tie FF/FG/SF, all with 37 to 39 MPs. And gains for the left in all its forms.

It doesn't even look like FF/FG would have the numbers together (though I'm sure they could hire some independents).

So... FF to provide a confidence and supply agreement to a government of the plural left? That would be fun (and messy).

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Mon Feb 10th, 2020 at 08:01:09 PM EST
The hard right, such as it is in Ireland, scored derisory votes - less than 2% in the election. John Waters still enjoys a high profile in the UK Spectator magazine where he predicted an anti-EU party would win an election in Ireland. They still use him as a feature writer.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Feb 10th, 2020 at 10:18:41 PM EST
Seats - (and change from 2016 general election)

FF - 38 (-6)
SF - 37 (+14)
FG - 35 (-15)
Greens - 12 (+10)
Labour - 6 (-1)
Soc Dems - 6 (+3)
People Before Profit - 5 (-1)
Independents/others 21 (-2)

Basically SF, Greens and Soc. Dems are the big winners, and FG, and FF the big losers. Overall a big swing to the left.

It's going to be very hard to decide who gets to be Prime minister with the parties so close even when you add in independents who are quite closely affiliated to the parties.

Even any two of the big three parties won't have an overall majority (81) and will require support from smaller parties/independents.

Some solution on the lines of Michael Martin (FF Leader) Taoiseach for 2 years followed by Mary Lou McDonald (SF)?

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Feb 10th, 2020 at 11:29:08 PM EST
The irony is that SF could have won c. 7 more seats had they run an extra candidate in a few constituencies...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Feb 10th, 2020 at 11:33:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
hum, but that would have been mostly at the expense of the smaller parties of the left. According to my off-the-top-of-my head analysis, it was the huge surpluses from the SF candidates that made them viable. At the beginning of the count, I thought that SF had sucked out all the oxygen for the other parties by getting so many first preferences... but the multi-member preferential system is mighty efficient.

Side-effect : SF may be looking for an excuse for a new election, but the other parties of the left will not be, any more than FG or FF.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Tue Feb 11th, 2020 at 07:32:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Greens got 7.5% of the seats with 7% of the first preference vote. It is unusual for a small party to get such a seat bonus, but the Greens got it because they are transfer friendly and got a lot of transfers from Sinn Fein.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Feb 11th, 2020 at 09:45:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Belfast Telly | Ruth Dudley Edwards: Sinn Fein's rise akin to that of Nazis in 1930s and is a threat to democracy on this island
"Today I am ashamed of my country, a vast number of whose voters have intentionally or unwittingly just endorsed a fascist party. ..." in the UK?

< wipes tears >

by Cat on Tue Feb 11th, 2020 at 01:35:24 AM EST
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Feb 11th, 2020 at 01:49:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
## Mental disorder is a communicable disease.
by Cat on Tue Feb 11th, 2020 at 02:02:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And she communicates a lot of it...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Feb 11th, 2020 at 09:40:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Isn't she one of the ones who thinks her country is Ireland back in a UK outside the EU?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Feb 11th, 2020 at 11:06:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yep - an arch Brexiteer and Irish Tory - along with Bruce Arnold, John Waters, Eoghan Harris, Kevin Myers etc. - "intellectuals" whom the Independent like to give a lot of op ed space to - presumably as click bait and stir things up. But they are one trick ponies, and v. tiresome ones at that. Beloved by the far right UK media as Oirish people they can do business with. They would drive anyone to vote Sinn Fein...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Feb 11th, 2020 at 11:15:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Don't mention the B-word: Brexit barely figures as an election issue
Any attempt to make Brexit more of an issue during the campaign by calling an election for a week after the UK's scheduled exit from EU on January 31st - even though Fine Gael dismissed this - was hampered by the fact that the departure ended up being a non-event for Irish voters.

The risk of a hard border on the island of Ireland faded, with the Brexit deal putting a trade border between Northern Ireland and Britain in the Irish Sea. When it formally happened, the UK exited with a whimper.

"It is a measure of the fact that January 31st went off without a single piece of friction that the voters don't care about it," said the Fine Gael source.



Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Feb 11th, 2020 at 09:48:50 AM EST
For a very good visual overview of the results in each constituency see here which also provides access to the detailed results.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Feb 11th, 2020 at 11:44:34 AM EST
Ciarán Hancock: business leaders embrace reality after votes are counted
There was plenty of muttering among business leaders before the election about how awful it would be to have Sinn Féin in power, but realism and pragmatism has quickly set in since the votes were counted.

Businesses make adjustments to their external environment all the time, and are past masters at reinventing themselves.

Most of the State's biggest property developers ended up in Nama post the 2008 economic crash. The savvy ones gritted their teeth, served their time, and came out the other end chastened but back in business. They are now building most of the offices and homes under construction around the country.

By comparison to the fallout from the crash, living with Mary Lou in government would be a walk in the park.

Unlike the USA and to a lesser extent, the UK, business leaders in Ireland are not universally aligned with right wing parties and are often pragmatic about the political environment. I'm not so sure about US hedge funds though. Good riddance.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Feb 12th, 2020 at 10:57:52 AM EST


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