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Shatter alleges 'unnecessary interference' by Fine Gael in managing vote

The former justice minister said leaflets were distributed during the week instructing voters to give Josepha Madigan their number one.

FORMER JUSTICE MINISTER Alan Shatter has said that he disagreed with Fine Gael’s vote management policy in the constituency in which he lost his seat.

Shatter lost his Dáil seat in Dublin Rathdown this afternoon. The three-seater was filled by Fine Gael’s Josepha Madigan, Independent Shane Ross and Green Party deputy leader Catherine Martin.

Speaking on RTÉ Radio One today, Shatter said there had been an “unnecessary interference” in the campaign.


Source: RTÉ Radio 1/SoundCloud

Unfortunately, someone in Fine Gael headquarters decided there was a need to instruct a portion of the electorate in the constituency to vote number one for Josepha, in circumstances I think had they not interfered, we would have won the two seats. I think that created something of a difficulty.

He alleged that on the Wednesday and Thursday prior to polling day leaflets were distributed directing voters to give Madigan their number one vote.

Shatter said he could not say how many votes it cost him, stating it may have made no difference at all, but called it an “unnecessary interference”.

He said he had not expected this result, but said he did not wish to take away from Fine Gael’s Josepha Madigan’s win this evening and wished her well in the Dáil.

Speaking to TheJournal.ie this evening, the newly elected TD Josepha Madigan said she wasn’t aware of any vote management directive from headquarters.

She said that Shatter losing his seat was a “huge disappointment”. Madigan said it was a shame that the two seats could not have been taken by Fine Gael, stating that she thought it would have been achievable.

“I wish him all the best,” she said.

TheJournal.ie contacted the Fine Gael Party for comment on whether there was a vote management policy in place. The party said it would not be commenting on the matter tonight.

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