Symbolic Irish emigrant vote gives Fine Gael victory
Irish emigrants voted Fine Gael as the biggest party in Ballotbox.ie’s poll of Irish abroad. Enda Kenny’s party won 63 seats in the symbolic survey of 5,580 emigrants.
The Labour Party is the next biggest winner with 51 seats.
Sinn Fein came in with 23 seats, the third biggest party in the poll.
Fianna Fail received a resounding thumbs down from the Irish diaspora, retaining just two seats – those of Micheal Martin and Brian Lenihan. Their coalition partners, the Greens, on the other hand increased their Dail representation to 10 seats.
Independent candidates also did well, winning 11 seats.
Carried out over ten days, 5,580 Irish emigrants in 124 different countries voted in the poll. IP technology was used to block voters in Ireland, and passport information was used to discourage non-Irish people from voting. This is the first time such a poll has been attempted.
The aim of the site was to highlight that Irish emigrants are immediately disenfranchised upon leaving the country. This is in stark contrast to many other democracies, including the United States, the UK, Australia, Canada, and most EU countries.
An estimated 3.1 million Irish passport holders live abroad, with 800,000 being Irish-born. Nearly 28,000 citizens left Ireland in the year ending April 2010, and at least 60,000 have left in the last three years.
People Before Profit returned three candidates – including Richard Boyd Barrett – and the Socialist Party won two seats.
Other notable winners include Sinn Fein’s Gerry Adams, the Green Party’s Dan Boyle, and Independents Mick Wallace and Dylan Haskins.
Notable losers include former Cabinet Ministers Mary Coughlan, Batt O’Keeffe, Mary Hanafin, Eamon O’Cuiv and Pat Carey, Junior Minister Conor Lenihan, Independent TDs Jackie Healy Rae and Michael Lowry, and Ciaran Cuffe, the only Green incumbent not returned to be the Dail.
Breakdown by party of emigrant vote :
** Fine Gael – 63 seats
** Labour – 51 seats
** Sinn Fein – 23 seats
** Independents – 11 seats
** Greens – 10 seats
** People Before Profit – 3
** Socialist Party – 2
** Fianna Fail – 2
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