Winners and Losers

Hopefully the hecticity of the last week or so will now begin to die down and I can get on with the rest of my examination marking, which I hope to complete today.

Now to a couple of updates.

Yesterday I took delivery of the above book. Regular readers of this blog will probably not recall that I won the Financial Times Crosssword competition way back in February. The prize never arrived so I contacted them to ask what had happened. It must have got lost in the post, but they kindly sent a replacement which arrived promptly. The book is not a dictionary, but is about the story of the creation of one – the Oxford English Dictionary to be precise. I look forward to reading it!

The other matter to be updated concerns the Irish Elections to the European Parliament. The counting of these proved to be a slow process but watching the regular updates on the web as votes were transferred is actually rather fascinating. It’s surprisingly difficult to predict where second choice votes of eliminated candidates will end up. The Green Party seems rather `transfer-friendly’, for example, whereas Sinn Féin is not.

In my own constituency of Midlands-North-West it took thirteen rounds of counting to pick the four MEPs: one for Sinn Féin, two for Fine Gael and one strange but probably harmless Independent. The turnout was about 50%. I think Fianna Fáil made a tactical error by fielding two candidates: neither had enough first-preference votes to make the cut.

I was worried that the dreadful Peter Casey might sneak in in fourth place but he fell well short of the required transfers, though he still got a worryingly large number of votes. The Irish Media are making the same mistake pandering to him as they have done in the UK with Nigel Farage: he gets far more airtime than the other candidates despite being obviously unfit for office.

Elswhere, Dublin elected MEPs from the Green Party (1), Fine Gael (1) and Fianna Fáil (1) and one Independent standing under the banner of `Independents for Change’ (I4C). The incumbent Sinn Féin candidate Lynn Boylan lost her seat. The 4th candidate here will only take a seat in the European Parliament if and when the United Kingdom leaves the EU.

As I write there’s a recount going on in Ireland South, but it looks like the winners will be Fine Gael (2), Fianna Fáil (1), I4C (1) and the fifth (who will only take up a seat after Brexit) will probably be from the Green Party. It looks like incumbent Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada (and unsuccessful candidate for the Presidency) will lose her seat, but the count is very close: only a few hundred votes are in it, hence the recount. UPDATE: in fact there will be a full recount of the whole ballot, which could take weeks.

Overall it’s clear that the losers are Sinn Féin, who lost two MEPs (and also about half their councillors in the local elections). After appearing to improve their vote share in recent years this is a definite reverse for them. The party that gained the most is the Green Party, with (probably) two MEPs and a strong showing in Midlands-North-West. I wonder if they can keep this momentum going for a General Election?

Interestingly, unlike the rest of the `United’ Kingdom Northern Ireland uses the Single Transferable Vote system for European Elections too. There Sinn Féin came top of first preferences and won one seat, with another for the Alliance and one for the DUP. That’s two-to-one in favour of `Remain’.

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7 Responses to “Winners and Losers”

  1. Dark Energy Says:

    English Dictionary League should merge with English Defence League.

  2. OT, but what is the grammar for the process of Kingdom Dividing, when Scotland leaves the U.K.? A post similar to your Brexit one would be terrific!

  3. Before Google we had the Oxford dictionary. I went to your crossword puzzle post but it doesn’t say how you won the contest. Did you work a puzzle, upload it online, and get it correct?

  4. “The party that gained the most is the Green Party”

    Same in Germany, where they came in second over-all. In the under-60 age group, they are now the most popular party.

    While I’ve always supported their environment-based agenda, I’ve sometimes disagreed with some of their demands based on that (for example, a back-of-the-envelope calculation indicates that a speed limit on the autobahn would reduce the carbon-dioxide footprint of Germany by about half of one per cent, which is not worth the trouble, in the noise, and much less than could be achieved by getting tyre pressure monitored and corrected more often, banning SUVs, etc), but also with some of their other demands. Fortunately, it seems that they have been changing: There is the realization that if they want to come across as evidence-based with regard to AGW, they have to come out strongly against anti-vaxxers as well, for the same reason. My guess is that while only a minority of their voters are anti-vaxxers, almost all anti-vaxxers vote Green (if they vote at all), so this will definitely cost them some votes, but of course is the right decision.

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