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Revealed: the ten biggest winners and losers of Election 2011

We’ve totted up the figures, quantified the quotas, and worked out the ten most – and least – popular politicians in Ireland.

583 CANDIDATES contested this year’s general election, but with only 165 seats up for grabs there were always going to be winners and losers.

Some of the country’s poll-toppers did do extraordinary well, however – coasting home on their first counts with plenty of room to spare – while others, who themselves would have realised election was a very long shot, didn’t do as well as they would have hoped.

Here, ranking them by the number of first preferences they won, are the top ten vote-winners of Election 2011.

Revealed: the ten biggest winners and losers of Election 2011
1 / 11
  • 1 - Enda Kenny

  • 2 - Shane Ross

  • 3 - Gerry Adams

  • 4 - Pearse Doherty

  • 5 - Michael Lowry

  • 6 - Fergus O'Dowd

  • 7 - Mick Wallace

  • 8 - Michael Noonan

  • 9 - Michael Ring

  • 10 - Pat Rabbitte

  • 11 - Honourable Mentions

As we mentioned, though, for every winner there’s a loser – and with over three times as many candidates as there were seats on offer, some were going to be eliminated earlier than others.

We’re not listing the poorer performers to be put on a pedestal and laughed at – far from it; election candidates come from all different creeds, hues, and backgrounds, and we list them here to celebrate the fact that they chose to run at all.

If the likes of these ten didn’t partake in our elections, Ireland would no doubt be a less healthy democracy than it is today.

  • Thomas KingThe Oranmore farmer ran in Galway West in 2007, and picked up just 60 votes then. Though he was unsuccessful on his second turn, he did at least see an 8 per cent bump in support: he won 65 votes this time around.
  • Thomas Hollywood – The little-known independent candidate in Dublin Central didn’t make much of an impact on his electorate – he, just as King, won just 65 votes.
  • Robert Glynn – The economics student and former IT salesman ran in Louth on a platform of withdrawing Ireland from the Euro, but failed to capture local imaginations – he took 61 votes in Louth.
  • Michael Pat CoxThe first time independent in Laois-Offaly in a minister of the Irish Orthodox and Apostolic Church – better known as the man who ordained Sinéad O’Connor in 1999 – managed to take 60 votes.
  • Matt Larkin – 38-year-old independent who had previously run in local elections in Limerick City nobly decided not to erect campaign posters, saying his campaign didn’t have the money to waste on them. Sadly, his exposure suffered and he won just 59 first preference.
  • Liam Johnston – The Fís Nua candidate ran in Dublin Central on an anti-war ticket, also seeking to reduce the Dáil to 130 members. His campaign ended early, however, taking just 48 first preferences.
  • Seán Forkin – The first-time independent in Mayo, a farmer by profession, was among the many overswept by the Fine Gael wave in his constituency. He won the top preference of 29 voters.
  • John Keigher – Regular readers will recognise the name; in a Daily Fix last week we included his epic typewriter-made photocopied manifesto. Sadly, it didn’t give the Ranelagh barrister much exposure: he took just 27 first preferences in Dublin South East.
  • Benny Cooney – The independent ran in both Dublin Central and Longford-Westmeath, on a platform of Seanad abolition and protection for mortgage holders. He won 130 votes in the latter constituency, but managed just 25 in the capital.
  • Peadar Ó Ceallaigh – The media studies graduate and qualified building surveyor ran to publicise the Oisin Trust, which hopes to establish a trust fund for children with disabilities. His promise to donate 50 per cent of his wages to the trust sadly didn’t bring him home, but he is a champion in his own right: his campaign in Dublin South East won him 18 first preferences.

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About the author:

Gavan Reilly

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