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Far-right parties barely register after polling less than 1% in most constituencies

Populist far-right parties failed to return a single candidate to the 33rd Dáil.

Clockwise from left: John Waters (Ind), Selina Irvine (The National Party) and Ben Gilroy (Irish Freedom Party)
Clockwise from left: John Waters (Ind), Selina Irvine (The National Party) and Ben Gilroy (Irish Freedom Party)

POPULIST FAR-RIGHT parties have failed to return a single candidate to the 33rd Dáil, polling a slim percentage of first-preference votes in every constituency they stood in.

The Irish Freedom Party and the National Party stood candidates in 21 separate locations, receiving 2% or less of first-preference votes in every instance.

Both parties campaigned on platforms of Euro-scepticism and called for controlled immigration, but failed to convert their message across the country.

The biggest dents made by the Irish Freedom Party were in Cork North-West, where it won 2% of first-preference votes, Clare (1.2% of first preferences), and Dublin Bay North (1.1%).

The National Party won its biggest first-preference shares in Dublin South-Central (1.5%), Dublin North-West (1.5%) and Longford-Westmeath (1%).

Both parties received less than 1% of first-preference votes in 15 constituencies, and many candidates were eliminated in the first and second counts.

However, some proved more transfer-friendly, such as Ben Gilroy of the Irish Freedom Party, who got almost 1,000 additional votes before his elimination on the seventh count in Dublin Bay North.

Two far-right candidates connected to a non-party movement, Anti-Corruption Ireland, also failed to win seats in the Dáil.

In Dún Laoghaire, John Waters was eliminated on the first count after winning 925 first-preference votes, 1.5% of the constituency’s total.

And in Dublin Fingal, Gemma O’Doherty was eliminated on the fifth count after winning 1,252 first-preference votes (1.9%) there.

Two independent candidates not attached to the far-right or far right parties did manage to win seats despite also making controversial comments about asylum seekers and migrants last year.

Verona Murphy the former Fine Gael by-election candidate – running as an independent this time – was elected to the third seat in Wexford.

Speaking on RTÉ’s This Week programme in November, she said she believed “there are issues with the direct provision” system and suggested that refugees should be “deprogrammed” because they may have been “infiltrated by ISIS”.

Elsewhere, independent candidate Noel Grealish was elected to the second seat in Galway West.

Last year, he was accused of “disgraceful racism” after he asked in the Dáil about money being sent out of Ireland by foreign nationals.

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