Issue 3-2023-200dpi

31 May 2007 Edition

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General election 2007 : Clear path for local election gains as Sinn Féin polls 143,410 votes

Sinn Féin candidate for Dublin South Central Aengus Ó Snodalgh with his daughter Éadaoin

Sinn Féin candidate for Dublin South Central Aengus Ó Snodalgh with his daughter Éadaoin

Sinn Féin returned four TDs to Leinster House last weekend, winning 143,410 first preferences up nearly 22,000 on the 121,039 votes won in 2002. Though the vote tally didn’t reach the previous peak set in the 2004 EU elections when the party won 199,715 votes there was the added dimension that this time around Sinn Féin were in the running, seriously challenging, for seven Leinster House seats even with the state wide voting trend against smaller political parties. And with only two years to next local elections a clear trend path is visible to seat gains on local councils throughout the 26 Counties. Sinn Féin’s vote rose in 18 constituencies, with falls in 13. Here, ROBBIE SMYTH takes a closer look at the figures.


Carlow Kilkenny

             vote    % of poll
2002    2,078    3.42
2007    2,568    3.8

Kathleen Funchion with a 23% increase in vote share upped the Sinn Féin tally by nearly 500 votes. Eliminated after the fifth count, the highest share of Funchion’s votes, 693, went to new Green TD Mary White.

Cavan Monaghan       

          vote    % of poll
1997    11,531    19.37
2002     10,832    17.51
2007    13,162    20.01

Sinn Féin’s Caoimhghín Ó  Caoláin set two records, first was the hat trick of successful elections, and the second was breaching the 20% vote share. He was elected on the first count. Caoimhghín's first prerefence vote was among the top ten in the country and exceeded that of the Taoiseach.


          vote    % of poll
2007    1,929    3.42

A good first time performance by Anna Prior, in a constituency where Fianna Fáil, the Greens and Labour lost votes to a near 10% swing to Fine Gael.

Cork East

          vote    % of poll
1997    1,534    3.56
2002    2,624    5.73
2007    3,672    6.82

Sandra McLellan, a Youghal town councillor added a 1,000 votes on the 2002 Sinn Féin total, and only Fine Gael had a higher growth in vote share here.

Cork North Central

          vote    % of poll
1997    1,654    3.76
2002    2,860    6.34
2007    3,456    8.16

Sinn Féin Councillor Jonathan O’Brien hung on until the sixth count before being eliminated after garnering over 1,500 transfers. The distribution of O’Brien’s votes settled the seat allocation with the bulk of his votes, 1,695, going to Labour’s Kathleen Lynch.

Cork South Central

          vote    % of poll
2002    2,063    3.73
2007    3,020    5.11

Nearly a 1,000 votes up on 2002, a council seat for Sinn Féin in 2009 is likely after this strong performance by Henry Cremin.

Cork South West

          vote    % of poll
2002    2,207    5.85
2007    2,150    5.06

In a mirror performance on 2002 Cionnaith Ó Suilleabáin vote fell marginally in this hotly contested three seat constituency.

Donegal North East

          vote    % of poll
1997    2,881    8.11
2002     3,611    9.93
2007    6,733    17.47

A surge in the Sinn Féin vote leaving Pádraig Mac Lochlainn second after the first count was still not enough to take the seat for the party. Mac Lochlainn took over 2,000 votes over the next seven counts but Niall Blaney retained the last seat for Fianna Fáil.

Donegal South West

           vote    % of poll
2002     3,829    10.75
2007    8,462    21.23

Again, another strong performance for Sinn Féin’s, Pearse Doherty, who won 21.23% of first preferences, the highest vote share of any party candidate in the election, but still not enough to win in this three seat constituency.

Dublin Central

          vote    % of poll
1997    2,377    6.65
2002    4,972    14.61
2007    3,182    9.19

Mary Lou McDonald ran fifth on the first count, the reduced vote share here replicated in all but one of the Dublin Constituencies. Though gathering over another 1,000 votes in transfers, Mary Lou was eliminated after the seventh count.

Dublin Mid-West

          vote    % of poll
2002    1,855    6.52
2007    3,462    9.27

Joanne Spain provided one of the bright spots in the Dublin counts as she added over 1,500 votes to the 2002 performance. She was eliminated after the fourth count, with the bulk of her transfers spit evenly between the Greens and the Labour Party.

Dublin North

          vote    % of poll
2002    1,350    3.07
2007    1,454    2.66

Sinn Féin’s  performance was relatively unchanged on 2002 and Matt McCormack was eliminated after the fourth count with large clumps of transfers going to the Greens, the Socialist Party and Labour.

Dublin North Central

          vote    % of poll
2002    2,299    5.74
2007    1,375    3.78

Reduced to three seats the Sinn Féin vote also fell as voters moved from Labour and the Greens to independent Finian McGrath, who held the seat won in 2002, and to whom over 500 of Peter Lawlor’s votes transferred to.

Dublin North East

          vote    % of poll
1997    2,212    5.93
2002    3,003    10.24
2007    4,661    13.36

Larry O’Toole followed up on a decade of growth in this constituency with another strong performance, but his 13.36% of first preferences were still not enough to win in this three seat constituency. O’Toole’s transfers settled the election as over 2,000 votes from Sinn Féin pushed Labour’s Tommy Broughan past Fianna Fáil’s Martin Brady.

Dublin North West

          vote    % of poll
2002    4,781    18.28
2007    4,873    15.74

Again more growth for Sinn Féin’s Dessie Ellis who survived until the last count, but was still unable to break the Fianna Fáil/Labour grip on seats here.

Dublin South

          vote    % of poll
2002    2,172    3.93
2007    1,843    3.01

A two candidate strategy still saw slight slippage in the Sinn Féin vote in Dublin South. Sorcha Nic Cormaic won 992 votes compared to 851 for Shaun Tracey.

Dublin South Central

          vote    % of poll
1997    1,937    4.77
2002    5,591    12.70
2007    4,825    10.15

It was nail biting and took two days but Aengus Ó Snodaigh held onto the seat won in 2002 by 69 votes on the tenth count.

Dublin South East

          vote    % of poll
2002    2,398    7.39
2007    1,599    4.72

Sinn Féin registered losses here. Daithí Doolan was eliminated after the second count with the bulk of his votes, over 600 transferring to the Green Party’s John Gormley who pushed out the PDs Michael McDowell for the last seat.

Dublin South West

          vote    % of poll
1997    3,725    8.9
2002    7,466    20.29
2007    5,066    12.16

This was the shock of the day for Sinn Féin as Seán Crowe lost his seat.

Dublin West

          vote    % of poll
1997    2,004    5.0
2002    2,404    8.02
2007    1,624    4.78

Again more losses for Sinn Féin in this constituency with substantially changed boundaries to 2002. Socialist Party TD Joe Higgins also lost his seat here.

Dun Laoghaire

          vote    % of poll
2002    2,159    4.03
2007    1,292    2.2

Sinn Féin’s vote share fell in this most volatile of constituencies as Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil racked up substantial vote increases along with independent Richard Boyd Barrett.

Galway East

         vote    % of poll
2002     1,828    3.7
2007    1,789    3.21

A relatively unchanged Sinn Féin vote for Jason Devlin, as Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael shared the seats equally.

Galway West

          vote    % of poll
1997    1,209    2.51
2002     2,779    5.62
2007    1,629    2.96

More slippage for Sinn Féin as Anne Marie Carroll’s vote fell compared to 2002.

Kerry North

          vote    % of poll
1997    5,691    15.91
2002    9,496    24.24
2007    8,030    20.43

Martin Ferris held this seat for Sinn Féin and was elected comfortably on the fourth count.

Kerry South

          vote    % of poll
2007    1,375    3.52

New ground for Sinn Féin’s Lynn Ní Bhaoigheallain and a challenge for council seats in 2009 is a real possibility here.

Kildare North

          vote    % of poll
2007    1,103    2.44

Again new ground and a good start for Cristín McCauley who was also a local election candidate here in 2004.

Laois Offaly          

           vote    % of poll
2002     2,779    4.11
2007    3,656    5.11

There was positive growth for Sinn Féin’s Brian Stanley, building on his 2004 local election performance, in this constituency dominated by Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael.

Limerick East

          vote    % of poll
2007    2,081    4.21

A good Leinster House start for Maurice Quinlivan, who held on until the sixth count, and the bulk of his votes, 680, transferred to the Labour Party’s Jan O’Sullivan.

Longford Roscommon/Westmeath

           vote    % of poll
2002     1,673    3.37
2007    2,136    3.89

Paul Hogan elected to Athlone Town Council in 2004 continued the party growth here with an increased vote.


            vote    % of poll
1997    3,651    8.11
2002     7,121    14.95
2007    8,274    15.04

Arthur Morgan held the seat won in 2002 with an increased majority even with an increased Fine Gael challenge to win two seats here.


             vote    % of poll
2002     2,085    3.28
2007    3,608    5.05

Gerry Murray registered more growth for Sinn Féin in Enda Kenny’s home constituency and was eliminated on the fourth count

Meath (East & West)

          vote    % of poll
1997    2,000    3.53
2002     6,042    9.43

Meath East

          vote    % of poll
2007    1,695    3.94

Joanne Finnegan was the Sinn Féin candidate in this half of the divided Meath constituency and polled on line with the 2002 party performance.

Meath West

          vote    % of poll
2007    4,567    11.29

Sinn Féin councillor Joe Reilly’s performance in this new three seater was impressive and bodes well for another Leinster House challenge here.

Sligo Leitrim (redrawn)

          vote    % of poll
1997    2,000    3.53
2002     6,042    9.43

Roscommon/South Leitrim

          vote    % of poll
2007    3,876    3.41

A huge vote for Martin Kenny in this new constituency highlighted the senselessness of splitting Leitrim into two constituencies.

Sligo North Leitrim

          vote    % of poll
2007    4,684    11.73

Again an improved vote for Sligo councillor Seán McManus, who took over a 1,000 transfers only to be eliminated on the fourth count. The distribution of Seán’s votes elected the three TDs in this new constituency

Tipperary North

          vote    % of poll
2007    1,672    3.76

Another first for Sinn Féin’s Seamus Morris and a respectable performance for the party here.

Tipperary South

          vote    % of poll
2002    1,210    3.3
2007    1,198    3.09

An almost unchanged Sinn Féin vote here for Liam Browne.


          vote    % of poll
2002    2,955    6.35
2007    3,327    6.72

Some growth for Sinn Féin’s David Cullinane here, who was elected to Waterford Council in 2004. Cullinane survived until the sixth count having garnered nearly a 1,000 transfers.


          vote    % of poll
2002    4,964    8.22
2007    5,068    7.39

John Dwyer’s vote was marginally unchanged compared to 2002, and a lack of transfers lead to his elimination after the fourth count.


          vote    % of poll
2002    1,527    2.80
2007    3,234    4.98

A big jump for Sinn Féin’s John Brady who held on until the fourth count, the bulk of his transfers going to Deirdre De Burca of the Greens and new Fianna Fáil TD, Joe Behan.


Sinn Féin’s 26-County record 1997 to 2007

1997 (Leinster House)    2.5%
1999 (local council)    3.5%
1999 (EU parliament)    6.3%
2002 (Leinster House)    6.51%
2004 (local council)    8%
2004 (EU parliament)    11.1%
2007 (Leinster House)    6.94%


Mac Manus welcomes increase in suppoprt in Sligo/Noth Leitrim

Councillor Seán Mac Manus, the Sinn Féin candidate in Sligo/North Leitrim, has thanked his supporters for the increased vote he received and said that although unsuccessful on this occasion, the results indicate that there remains a very strong basis for a Sinn Féin seat in the constituency in future elections.
“We gained an increase of almost 33% of our previous vote which was a magnificent achievement despite not being enough to gain a seat here on this occasion”.
“I think that this was a unique election in which the electorate were presented with the choice of two competing power blocs which inevitably squeezed out all of the smaller parties. However both our increase in first preference votes and the substantial transfers given to us indicate that the potential of a Sinn Féin seat in Sligo/North Leitrim remains vibrant”, Mac Manus said.
“The issues which I tried to make central to this campaign will, I believe, remain vital in future elections until a change in representation is achieved. Lack of cancer care facilities for the northwest, unbalanced regional development and incoming punitive water charges all remain to be resolved and will adversely affect the lives of our population as well as our ability to compete for jobs in this region.”


Sinn Féin remains third largest party in Mayo

Sinn Féin Director of Elections in Mayo, Councillor Noel Campbell has congratulated his party’s candidate Councillor Gerry Murray in increasing Sinn Féin’s vote in the general election.
Cllr. Campbell said: “Councillor Murray secured a very respectable 3,845 votes which almost doubled Sinn Féin’s 2002 total. Gerry and our campaign workers put in a fine campaign against a huge effort by both Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael in Mayo. The result of that campaign is that Sinn Féin remains the third largest party in Mayo.
“Sinn Féin’s campaign for change in Mayo does not begin and end with elections and we will be shortly planning for the future.”


An Phoblacht
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Dublin 1