Saturday, February 27, 2016

Irish General Election: Saturday Afternoon Roundup

Well, we've only had one seat filled, which has gone to Fine Gael's Sean Barrett.  But all indications from the tallies that we've been getting via twitter and live blogs, seem to suggest that there are some significant changes on the way in Irish Politics.

Most of the first counts are expected between about  4pm and 7pm, with either eliminated candidates, or those who pass the 'quota', that is to say the minimum number of votes required to win a seat in the constituency, which is different depending on constituency size and turnout, their 'supplementary votes', votes of the other preferences below first preference, will then be counted to help determine who else is elected from that constituency. 

It is a complex and slightly esoteric system of electing a parliament, but it's that kind of quirkiness that gives it its appeal, in my eyes.  The Single Transferable Vote system allows for a less predictable election result, especially in situations like this where you have multiple parties, and multiple candidates sometimes from the same party, battling over a limited number of seats.

The Single Transferable Vote would be quite workable here in the UK too, as it could be made to work in single seat constituencies.  The quota just becomes a straight 50% +1 vote of the total number of votes cast, and candidates would be eliminated from the bottom upwards, until we got a candidate over that threshold.

So, the declarations will shortly actually begin, and we'll get official word on who has actually been elected.  More on this later.

No comments: