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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.

Continue reading

Today’s Irish Times

In today’s Irish Times.

A full-page ad for Fine Gael sits on page five of the newspaper, alongside the newspaper’s general election coverage.

Meanwhile…

Speaking of placement…

Sigh.

Election 2020 outtakes: SF candidate takes a break from it all (Mark Hilliard, The Irish Times)

Last night.

On RTÉ One’s Claire Byrne Live, Ms Byrne held a climate debate.

During the debate, Fianna Fáil’s Jack Chambers took issue with Ms Byrne’s questioning of his party’s climate change policies and said she was being “very unfair” and “disingenuous”.

He accused of her trying to “undermine” the party’s climate action plan by raising the fact that their manifesto pertaining to climate change contains promises about child pornography, Traveller rights and female representation. Mr Chambers argued that those matters come under the remit of the “broad” line department.

Mr Chambers said:

It’s unfortunate RTÉ spends all it’s time looking at polls and process and not looking at the issues and climate action.”

Later, speaking about Sinn Féin, he said:

They oppose everything to be populist and it’s a new kind of Trumpism in Irish politics.”

Sinn Féin’s Eoin Ó Bróin, who was sitting on the same panel with Mr Chambers, told him to “be serious”.

Mr Chambers replied:

“You want the public to take you seriously? I think you need to be serious. What about, what about, what about, what about the Special Criminal Court? What about the Special Criminal Court? Do you support the Special Criminal Court in this country?”

He then turned to Ms Byrne:

“You see, these are the hard questions. The media has spent the last two weeks talking about polls and if Mary Lou McDonald is in or out of the debate. I’m glad she’s in the debate tomorrow night [tonight] so she can face the scrutiny because it’s all about the big drama and obsession with Sinn Féin.”

Sounds familiar?

Watch back in full here

Meanwhile…

From front page of today’s Irish Times

This morning.

The Irish Times reports in full on its Ispos/MBRI poll which puts Sinn Féin at 25%, Fianna Fáil at 23% and Fine Gael at 20%.

The results were announced at 10pm last night.

Sinn Féin leads way in Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI poll with highest support ever (Pat Leahy, The Irish Times)

Irish Rail train

This morning.

Rebecca Daly reports in The Irish Times

Irish Rail commuters have expressed anger over its refusal to allow the use of reusable cups on train services.

While InterCity trains offer catering, it is against company’s policy for passengers to receive hot drinks directly in reusable cups.

“We cannot currently accommodate [passenger] keep cups on our service,” Irish Rail spokeswoman Jane Cregan said.

This was due to staff health and safety concerns and the fact of a limited supply of water on train services, she said.

Irish Rail ban on reusable cups angers passengers (Rebecca Daly, The Irish Times)

Meanwhile…

No.

It was the boogie.

Again.

Brexit blamed for fall in Dublin property prices (Irish Times)