General election result predictions by Harry McGee of The Irish Times; Mr McGee

Further to spectacularly incorrect General Election predictions from the Irish Independent and RTÉ….

…on February 5, Political Correspondent for The Irish Times Harry McGee laid out his predictions for last week’s general election.

As of February 3, the election polls had shown that, following six national election polls, the combined Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael vote was less than 44%, while Sinn Féin was polling more than twice its local election vote in 2019.

Mr McGee predicted that Fianna Fáil would win 53 seats; Fine Gael, 38; Sinn Féin, 28; Labour, 8; Greens, 14; Social Democrats, 3; Solidarity-PBP, 2; Others, 14.

However, his predictions were less unequivocal than that of his peers.

Fianna Fáil would go on to lose 7 seats, Fine Gael would lose 12 and Sinn Féin would gain 15.

The final tally saw Fianna Fáil with 38 seats (one of which was automatic as Seán Ó Fearghaíl is the Ceann Comhairle); Sinn Féin, 37; Fine Gael, 35; Greens, 12; Social Democrats, 6; Labour, 6; Solidarity-People Before Profit, 5; Independents, 19; Aontú, 1; Other, 1.

Mr McGee’s approach to his predictions differed to that of RTÉ and the Irish Independent‘s Fionnan Sheahan, in that he predicted where Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin would potentially lose and win seats.

Sinn Féin

Mr McGee predicted that Sinn Féin would possibly gain seats in Donegal, Dublin West, Wexford, Cavan-Monaghan, Mayo, Longford-Westmeath.

He also predicted the party would possibly lose seats in Dublin Mid-West, Louth, Cork East.

However, confusingly, although perhaps because of the polls, while making his prediction of Sinn Féin’s losses, he also predicted Sinn Féin’s seats were safe in these constituencies which might explain his side note:

“I had another eight constituencies marked as potential losses for Sinn Féin. But that was a fortnight ago. And the world has changed since then.”

The results:

Sinn Féin gained 15 seats on top of the 22 it had at the start of the election, bringing their total to 37.

Donegal: Sinn Féin’s Pearse Doherty and Pádraig MacLochlainn won the top two seats.

Dublin West: Sinn Féin’s Paul Donnelly topped the poll and took the first seat after the first count.

Wexford: Sinn Féin’s Johnny Mythen topped the poll and took the first seat after the first count.

Cavan-Monaghan: Sinn Féin’s Matt Carthy and Pauline Tully took the first and third seats.

Mayo: Sinn Féin’s Rose Conway-Walsh took the second seat after securing 22.7% of the first-preference votes.

Longford-Westmeath: Sinn Féin’s Sorca Clarke took the first seat after the first count, after securing 21% of the first-preference votes.

Dublin Mid-West: Sinn Féin’s Eoin Ó Broin and Mark Ward took the top two seats after the first count.

Louth: Sinn Féin’s Imelda Munster and Ruairí Murchú took the top two seats after the first count.

Cork East: Sinn Féin’s Pat Buckley topped the poll with 23.1% of the first-preference votes.

Fine Gael

Mr McGee predicted that Fine Gael would possibly gain seats in Dublin Mid-West, Cork North-Central, Tipperary, Cavan-Monaghan, Cork North-West, Cork East, Dublin-Rathdown, Kerry, Longford-Westmeath, Galway East, Louth, Limerick City.

He also predicted that the party would possibly lose seats in Dun Laoghaire, Dublin North-West, Galway West, Dublin Bay South, Wexford, Clare, Dublin South-Central and Meath East.

The results:

Fine Gael lost 12 seats, bringing its tally from 47 at the start of the election to 35.

Dublin Mid-West: Fine Gael didn’t win any seats.

Cork North Central: Fine Gael’s Colm Burke won a seat.

Tipperary: Fine Gael didn’t win any seats.

Cavan-Monaghan: Fine Gael’s Heather Humphreys retained her seat.

Cork North-West: Fine Gael’s Michael Creed retained his seat.

Cork East: Fine Gael’s David Stanton retained his seat.

Dublin Rathdown: Fine Gael Senator Neale Richmond won a seat and Josepha Madigan retained her seat.

Kerry: Fine Gael’s Brendan Griffin retained his seat.

Longford-Westmeath: Fine Gael’s Peter Burke retained his seat.

Galway East: Fine Gael’s Ciaran Cannon retained his seat.

Louth: Fine Gael’s Fergus O’Dowd retained his seat.

Limerick City: Fine Gael’s Kieran O’Donnell retained his seat.

Dun Laoghaire: Fine Gael’s Mary Mitchell O’Connor lost her seat.

Dublin North-West: Fine Gael’s Noel Rock lost his seat.

Galway West: Fine Gael’s Sean Kyne lost his seat but Hildegarde Naughton retained hers.

Dublin Bay South: Fine Gael’s Kate O’Connell lost her seat but Eoghan Murphy retained his.

Wexford: Michael D’Arcy lost his seat but Paul Kehoe retained his.

Clare: Fine Gael’s Pat Breen lost his seat but Joe Carey retained his.

Dublin South-Central: Fine Gael’s Catherine Byrne lost her seat.

Meath East: Fine Gael’s Regina Doherty lost her seat but Helen McEntee retained hers.

Fianna Fáil

Mr McGee predicted that Fianna Fáil would possibly gain seats in Dun Laoghaire, Dublin North-West, Dublin Central, Dublin South-Central, Clare, Galway East, Kerry, Longford-Westmeath, Carlow-Kilkenny, Cork East, Laois-Offaly, Louth, Kildare South, Dublin South-West, Dublin Fingal, Galway West, Limerick City and Dublin Rathdown.

He also predicted the party would possibly lose seats in Wicklow, Cork North-West, Sligo-Leitrim, Kildare North, Roscommon-Galway and Dublin Bay South.

The results:

Fianna Fáil lost seven seats bringing its tally from 45 at the beginning of the election to 38.

Dun Laoghaire: Fianna Fáil gained a seat with Cormac Devlin taking the fourth seat.

Dublin North-West: Fianna Fáil’s Paul McAuliffe won a seat.

Dublin Central: Fianna Fáil didn’t gain a seat.

Dublin South-Central: Fianna Fáil didn’t gain a seat.

Clare: Fianna Fáil’s Timmy Dooley lost his seat but the party’s Cathal Crowe won a seat.

Galway East: Fianna Fáil’s Anne Rabbitte retained her seat.

Kerry: Fianna Fáil’s John Brassil lost his seat but the party’s Norma Foley won a seat.

Longford-Westmeath: Fianna Fáil Robert Troy retained his seat and the party’s Joe Flaherty won a seat.

Carlow-Kilkenny: Fianna Fáil’s Bobby Aylward lost his seat, John McGuinness retained his seat and the party’s Jennifer Murnane O’Connor won a seat.

Cork East: Fianna Fáil’s Kevin O’Keeffe lost his seat but James O’Connor won a seat.

Laois-Offaly: Fianna Fáil’s Barry Cowen and Sean Fleming retained their seats.

Louth: Fianna Fáil’s Declan Breathnach lost his seat.

Kildare South: Fianna Fáil’s Fiona O’Louglin lost her seat.

Dublin South-West: Fianna Fáil’s John Lahart retained his seat.

Dublin Fingal: Fianna Fáil’s Darragh O’Brien retained his seat.

Galway West: Fianna Fáil’s Eamon O Cuiv retained his seat.

Limerick City: Fianna Fáil’s Willie O’Dea retained his seat.

Dublin Rathdown: Fianna Fáil didn’t win a seat.

Wicklow: Fianna Fáil’s Pat Casey lost his seat but Stephen Donnelly retained his.

Cork North-West: Fianna Fáil’s Michael Moynihan and Aindrias Moynihan retained their seats.

Sligo-Leitrim: Fianna Fáil’s Marc MacSharry retained his seat but Eamon Scanlon lost his seat.

Kildare North: Fianna Fáil’s Frank O’Rourke lost his seat but James Lawless retained his seat.

Roscommon-Galway: Fianna Fáil’s Eugene Murphy lost his seat.

Dublin Bay South: Fianna Fáil’s Jim O’Callaghan retained his seat.

Harry McGee’s final seat prediction for Election 2020 (The Irish Times, February 5, 2020)

Earlier: Mystic Mug

Yesterday: Predictive Mess

4 thoughts on “Sweet Tips McGee

  1. John F

    To be fair to Harry very few commentators (if any) could have predicted these results.
    It will be interesting to see what happens now. FF and FG do not want to enter a formal coalition and form a government along with the greens. Doing so will leave Sinn Fein as leaders of the opposition and the increased exposure would likely draw many to their cause.
    They could try the same confidence and supply scam again but this time with the roles reversed. However, they know that trick is wearing thin with the public and will severely cost them in any future elections.

    The best they can hope for is that Sinn Fein are stupid enough to lead a narrow ragtag coalition of left leaning parties and form a government. Since many of these people will start a fight in an empty room. I could not see such a government lasting more than 4 months. FFG would use this as a reminder of why leftist parties are merely protest votes.
    However, if Sinn Fein stick it out and do not seen to be causing another general election, I think they could increase their numbers further.
    There is an interesting couple of weeks ahead.

    Reply
  2. Gabby

    I predict that we will have another general election in two or three months. I predict that Sinn Fein will win 40+ seats and FF+FG will win -70 seats.

    Reply
  3. Truth in the News

    The cute hoor mentality has emerged in Fianna Fail, they inherited it from Dev
    its an absolute delight to see them try and implement their Election Slogan
    “An Ireland for All” to exclude everyone else but themselves, one has to ask
    why neither Fianna Fail and Fine Gael fought the Election on a jointly agreed
    Programme for Government since one has propped up the other with the last
    4 years

    Reply

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