Saturday, February 26, 2011

It's a hold up...

So, eh, how many election counts have you held up recently. 'Cause I just held up one all on my own. Yep. Ready to call out the final count in the North Tipperary elections... but wait... Dan's not ready. Stall the feckin' digger lads! Dan's not ready.

Alright it wasn't that dramatic, but they did stall the entire count on my behalf. Which was cool. It was so we could go live and broadcast the final election call of the day from Nenagh. Remember all the bitchy shit I said about RTE? I meant it all, but I lso now kind of love them. Go figure.

Kathleen from RTE television literally stalled for me to be ready, and the returning officer stalled because she didn't give the signal to say that I was ready and just in the nick of time... cut to North Tipp... Boom.

It was an important one to be fair. First time in the history of the state that Fianna Fail has been without a seat in North Tipperary. Anywhere in Tipperary for that matter. Sums up their day really.

Kind of sums up mine too. Day of ups and downs. More ups than downs. I'll tell you what. I'll sleep tonight. Final election result from North Tipp: Michael Lowry (Ind) - Elected. Noel Coonan (FG) - Elected. Alan Kelly (Lab) - Elected.

Maire Hoctor... eliminated. Lousy. She was nice.

Don't think I'm done blogging yet though. THere's still clean up to dodge.

It's a sleep thing...

I'm getting progressively nastier and more mean spirited as the night progresses. It's lack of sleep. And the fact that you're all fat and ugly.

Look at me; I'm Ricky Gervais...

Where it's not at...

Clare. Are you fucking kidding me? It's ten o'clock at night already. Or almost at any rate. Not a single person elected yet? I told you that was going to be one shitty place to be a hack/rubbernecker.

Where it's at...

Dun Laoghaire. That's where. At this late stage of the game it's easy to get involved in smug congratulations and spitting on people who you know once said hello to a Fianna Failer. But bear you in mind, there's still some life in this dog left. And that dog's name is spelled funny: Dun Laoghaire. I think.

Labour have ruined everyone's day by throwing all their toys out of the pram after precious Ivan Bacik got eliminated. They were actually congratulating the woman earlier on, proving that you can count your red, union loving, tax hiking chickens before they hatch. And who's fighting the fight? Mary Frickin Hanafin. Boom. I told you we love underdogs.

She'd lost this election this morning. It was over. Ball burst. Go home Mary. And you too other Mary. But the blonde with the steely eyes, she was having none of it. When Barry Andrews (shudder) got the axe, she came roaring back, and now Richard Boyd Barrett is sweating in his hemp pants and sandals. Damn crusty hippy.

Hanafin's got Labour running scared...

Now the unfortunate counters are going to have to crack open the boxes and start all over again. Classic! Glad I'm not there...

Ten to Nine

It's that time of the day. Ten to nine. In about twenty minutes, it'll be that other time, about ten past nine.

It's slow going on election day in Ireland. Then shit out of nowhere you're standing outside and the crazy Returnign Officer announces the second count while you're chatting with your mate. Only consolation is that no one else fecking well got it either. There wasn't a journo in the place who was ready for that call.

Half the job out here is being ready for the call, and we're all here with our fancy laptops and our lazy Frenchmen, and we miss it curse you cruel fates. Curse you inconveniently located dressing room/media room.

Here's how it's breaking down now: Parties are about to get their party on. Except Fianna Fail who will cry and the Greens who will cease to exist. How's that for an existential crisis. One day you exist, several million angry votes later, you do not. Bitter pill to swallow.

Labour: 11
Fine Gael: 18
Fianna Fail: 3
Green Party: 0
Independents: 6
Sinn Fein: 4
Others: 1

Watch Joe Higgins there under the "Other" category. He loves being Other. Gets him off. You know it. It's going to go long into the night... but not here. Just a handful left to count now, and then we're gonna be done. They're going to make me pack my fancy laptop and productive Frenchman (I changed my mind mid blog) and leave...

You'll miss me right?

Not just yet... we have time yet. Me and you...

Sky Sports

I feel like the Sky Sports pisstake on Mitchell and Webb... All the counting all the time. Counting, counting, counting, each count mattering massively to someone somewhere, presumably.

Here's what I'm talking about:

Curse the assfaces in South Tipperary, they're just a compass point away from me, and yet they're finished already. Elected are some guys who love to be TDs apparently...

Nah, I'm kidding - the breakdown for South Tipp is as follows:
Seamus Healy (Independent), Tom Hayes (Fine Gael) and Mattie McGrath (Independent). Fianna Fail could have put Jesus Christ and David Bekham in there and they'd not have got a seat. We're properly bitter are we Irish...


We love the little guy. The underdog. The downtrodden. We love them, because we love being them. Tomorrow morning there'll be fifty thousand Independents elected to the Dail, and they'll all decide to become Fianna Fail just 'cause they feel bad on them. And we'll all probably support them. Expecially if they play sport. We love sporting underdogs. We hated Rocky when he was an arrogant twat. We love soccer players like Robbie Keane - the little engine that couldn't...

I wonder if Robbie Keane would vote Fianna Fail...


It's boring when you can see the future. I don't care what anyone says. You'd be bored out of your tits. If you had tits. If you didn't have tits, you'd have been bored out of your unneccassary nipples.

I'm referencing good old home town Limerick where there are three more seats to fill. Quota's 8,000 and something or other. Noonan's through, and Jan O'Sullivan, Willie O'Dea and Kieran O'Donnell have seven thousand something or other each. Everyone else in the list has peanuts. Only peanuts. Even if they could mash Cian Prendeville and Maurice Quinlavin into one (really weird looking) person, and combine them, they'd still not be close. This race is over folks.

Those mentioned above are in. Everyone else is out. This means, two Fine Gael, one Labour and one Fianna Fail. Who's the one? Only Willie O'Dea, who swears on his tash that it's daycent hash...

Millions of politicians.

There are sixteen candidates in Clare. SIXTEEN. In my head, that's the same as a million. So technically, there a million candidates in Clare. Don't argue with the logic, just go with it. This is bad news for the journalist based in Clare.

Here's why:

Sixteen candidates dilutes the vote, distributing it across the million, unevenly, but breaking it down. This means that none of the candidates meet the quota, so the lowest is eliminated. The five votes that guy got because he looked like the goofy guy who has a cameo in that zombie movie you saw, now have to be distributed upwards. Those votes aren't enough to beat a quota for anyone, so the next most unpopular lemon-head is eliminated and the sympathy votes he got because he looks like his mam and dad might be brother and sister, are now distributed to the other 999,998 candidates.

This process repeats itself until (A) Someone gets enough hand-me-down votes to make a quota, (B) they run out of candidates and elect the last four losers or (C) everyone in the election kills themselves out of boredom and the politicians sneak home lest they be accused of being in a cult.

God Bless the hack in Clare... you've a long night ahead. Two counts down, and two unpopular people eliminated...

No Quota Still Hopa...

It doesn't even rhyme!! What the hell am I thinking. The auld brain is running on Lucozade and KitKat bars. Not healthy. Feeling a little crappy to be honest.

Speaking of crappy... The Greens still have no seats. Me and my housemates have won the same number of seats in the new Dail as the Green Party.

Speakign of crappy, again, Brian Lenihan, the old boss of the purse strings, he's just been elected. Without a quota. Basically that means that he's craptacular and not all that awesome. He's the second FF TD. One of them was given a free pass for being Ceann Comhairle, which makes Lenihan the first FF TD that was actually elected by the people. It makes me grin one of them evil grins that makes the other people in the press room in North Tipp edge away from me nervously.

Speaking of nervously...

Fergus O'Dowd has been elected in Louth.

Speaking of Louth. I dislike it.


BEDLAM is the only word for it. There's complete mayhem going on here. I can't get from my laptop to the election hall, the wireless box is making a strangee fizzing noise, and it gets better and then worse if it's moved. This room is jamp packed with wireless signals. I should be typing in capital letters, because in my head I'm shouting...

First count done though.

Lowry elected. Everyone try not to die of shock all at once yeah?

I don't even know what's going on all over the rest of the country. We wait for round two and I think I'll go get me some not-so-fresh air...


Everyone has to shut the hell up, because RTE are in the room and they're about to record an interview with Michael Lowry. So everyone shut up. 'Cause they're RTE and you're subhuman.

In other news... Labour 6, FG 4, FF 1, Ind 2, Others 1, Green Party 8.... nah, I'm fucking with you. Nobody voted for the Greens. Zero is what that should have said.

Big fat zero.

Cycle that to work....

Big Numbers...

10. Ten is a big number. So I'm not telling you who the people are that are getting elected except Mick Wallace... not official yet, but looks a cert. This means for the first time the Dail will have a long white haired man. I wonder if there's code of "parliamentary hair"?

Here's the numbers as they stand - this is official. Well as official as a sweaty fat guy in North Tipperary can be...

Labour: 4
Fine Gael: 3
Fianna Fail: 1
Independents: 1
Others: 1

Others means Joe Higgins, the world's least practical commie. Still, variety is the spice of life.

It's a Seat Rush...

In the last few minutes we've elected (I say we, because I'm blaming all of you too when this all goes tits up, sure who else would I blame?):

Leo Varadkar, Martin Heydon and Jack Wall.

I know what you're thinking: What the hell are those two doing palling around with Varadkar. Well, if you were thinking that, then you haven't the faintest clue of what's going on. If, like me you were thinking; "Martin Whosit and Jack What"? Then I'm on the same page as you...

As for Leo... I look forward to seeing him spar across the Dail. In the way that someone looks forward to seeing a car crash.

Sly Rabbits...

Pat Rabbitte is in. That's good news. He's a favourite. And fun to look at too!

The Combover Dynasty

There's been loads of speculation about whether or not Jackie Heaely Rae's son Michael could do enough to win his Dad's old seat in Kerry. The Healy-Rae Dynasty is a legendary one, colourful characters the two, by all accounts, but it's the Senior's legendary combover that is his trademark. It gives him superpowers. You can't prove that it doesn't.

So with all the hype and sepculation about the younger Healy Rae, who I've never seen a photo of, I only have one question: Does he have a combover? If not. No dice.


Attention Limerick-heads... Peter Power has just bowed his head in defeat. He arrived at the count centre in Limerick a little while ago and admitted he's conceded. Note I said conceded, not conceited. I guess there's only so long you can get elected on the strength of your running mate's glorious moustache - and yes, Willie has a resplendant tasher.

I remember when I was a kid, kicking ball with Thorny Wire in Parteen. Peter Power came cnvassing and he kicked the ball around with us. I ran in and told mam and dad that they HAD to vote for him, because he was the coolest.

Years later I realised that children are naive. Then I felt robbed. Consider this your cummupence Peter!!

Spoiler Alert

In Dublin North Central the old countign has been suspended there for a little while so the returning officer can adjudicate on some spoiled votes. That always gives me a laugh: spoiled votes. They always had the best stuff, they were pampered and well looked after. They got massages whenever they wanted and they always had ice cream.

In reality spoiled votes are much more hilariously pointless. Here's an example of a stupid spoilt vote: Each and every one of the thirteen candidates in Limerick is marked correctly from one to thirteen. At the very bottom of the list is the friendly cab driver from the Christian Solidarity Party. Someone doesn't like him, so they draw a little goatie on him, because as everyone knows, goaties are the sign of someone being a dick. This vote doesn't count. All the candidates are clearly marked and the voters preference is easy to see, but you can't doodle on ballot paper so this one doesn't count.

Why even bother going to the polling station? Honestly?

So the returnign officer is now in a battle of wills with some politicians over whether or not avote counts as spoilt, since it's his or her discretion to decide if it is or not.

Kind of like being a referee; it's a horrible job, all you'll get is abuse and most people hate you when you're done.


Sometimes deomocracy is boring. I was all about it this morning, but I'm fading fast. I wonder is there a bed about the count centre somewhere.

I'm not above sleeping on the job you know...

Supplying Gift Grub for Four Years...

The first candidate of the 2011 General Election has been voted in by democratic process. Joan Burton of the Labour Party is elected in Dublin.

Mario Rosenstock and all at Gift Grub on Today FM are holding a small celebration. Long live this Government, for between her and Inda there's fodder for comedians all over the country.

Top politician though...

The MP in Louth...

Gerry Adams destroying all comers in Louth.

I shouldn't use "Gerry Adams" and "destroying" in the same sentence. At least it's okay to say that in Galway West, the alliteration friendly Frank Fahey of Fianna Fail is bombing. He's gonna lose his seat...

Nooooo Not Mary

Don't take away my Mary. You can have Hanafin. You can take Coughlan. You can't take away O'Rourke. I don't want to lose her. She's a legend. A colourful character with political savvy, and a head like a hammer. She's tough as nails and as nice as pie. I don't want her to go.

Sadly, it looks like she's going to be shown the door in Westmeath. Another casualty of the FF backlash... We'll miss you Mary. You mildly ocassional racist.

The lie of the Land

It's happening up and down the country: Fianna Fail TDs are fighting like beavers for their seats, and they're losing. Meanwhile journalists are abandoning impartiality and integrity in favour of dancing small jigs on our former Goverment Party's grave. It's comical. Here's a list of words being used: Slaughtered. Annihilated. Massacred. Butchered. Mangled. It'll be a wonder if any of them live to tell the tale. Those who do will have to hide their faces or go into exile. Or worse. Move to Cork. Michael Martin will put them all up in his gaff. They can hide out in his attic.

I can smell the smug from King Inda from here.

Fine Gael are marching on though. What's even worse than outright smuggery is the kind of veiled, patronising smugness that you know is just going to be reeking from Leo Varadker tomorrow morning. Eugh. I can smell it from her.

In the Batcave (Liberty Hall, it's where the Unions live) Eamonn Gilmore is coverign his ears and squeezing his eyes shut trying to repress the memory of those ddddddreadful "Gilmore for Taoiseach" posters. Honestly, what was he thinking of??

There's a good chance that the Shinners are going to be the biggest party in Opposition. Would you really want to be in opposition against them? Remember the last guys they were in Opposition against... I know, brings a whole new meaning to the term "sweating bullets".

As for here in North Tipp... it's quiet. The returning officer has called for lunch, as even Democracy must eat. And so must I. Corned beef sandwich, here I come.

Tally me Banana...

Donegal South West... Our former Tanaiste looks like she's about to get the chop... Fianna Fail getting utterly battered.

MARY COUGHLAN (FF) 5009 / 11.63%

PEARSE DOHERTY (SF) 14249 / 33.08%

JOHN DUFFY (GR) 535 / 1.24%



DINNY MCGINLEY (FF)8484 /19.69%

BRIAN O'DOMHNAILL (FF) 4755 / 11.04%

THOMAS PRINGLE (IND) 5804 / 13.47%

ANN SWEENEY (IND) 253 / 0.59%

And that's not to leave out Donegal North East... of course.

Dara Blaney, Ind 3.21%
Jimmy Harte, Lab 10.82%
Betty Holmes, Ind 3%
Padraig MacLochlainn, SF 24.74%
Charlie McConalogue, FF 17.4%
Ian McGarvey, Ind 3.53%
Joe McHugh, FG 19.13%
Humphrey Murphy, Green Party 0.53%
John Ryan, FG 12.13%
Dessie Shiels, IND 4.96%
Ryan Stewart, IND 0.55%

Sinn Fein stealing away in Dublin South Central...

Bennet IND 0.25%
Bradley IND 0.62%
Brophy FG 6.68%
Byrne C FG 11.09%
Byrne E LAB 16.15%
Calanan CSP 0.48%
Collins PBP 12.95%
Conaghan LAB 10.78%
Connolly FaRRELL ind 0.38%
Kelly IND 0.26%
King IND 0.29%
McGInley FG 5.96%
Mooney IND 0.23%
Mulcahy FF 9.36%
O hAlmhain GP 1.98%
O Neill IND 0.87%
O Snodaigh SF 13.46%
Upton LAB 8.20%

In the gangsta sounding Cork South Central, Dan Boyle might actually take the hint this time:

CLUNE(FG) 8.80%
COVENEY(FG) 14.68%
FINN(IND) 0.71%
LYNCH(LAB) 13.23%
MARTIN(FF) 16.79%
MCGRATH(FF) 11.33%
OLEARY(SF) 8.16%

Meanwhile in the wild wild West of Mayoooo:

(FG) Enda Kenny - 17,423 - 31.54%
(FG) Michael Ring - 13,175 - 23.85%
(FG) John O'Mahony - 8,633 - 15.63%
(FG) Michelle Mulherin - 8,816 - 15.96%
(FF) Dara Calleary - 8,485 - 15.36%
(FF) Lisa Chambers - 3,357 - 6.08%
(Green) John Carey - 273 - 0.49%
(Lab) Jerry Cowley - 3,600 - 6.52%
(Ind) Loretta Clarke - 235 - 0.43%
(SF) Rose Conway-Walsh - 2,640 - 4.78%
(SF) Therese Ruane - 2,131 - 3.86%
(Ind) Dermot McDonnell - 238 - 0.43%
(Ind) Martin Daly - 874 - 1.58%
(Ind) Sean Forkin - 53 - 0.1%
(Ind) Michael Kilcoyne - 3,997 - 7.23%

Roscommoners are people too...

Roscommon/South Lietrim

Connaughton Ivan FF 4054 8.6%
Feighan Frank FG 8823 18.9%
Flanagan Luke Ming IND 8202 17.9%
Kearns Sean IND 100 0.2%
Kelly John LAB 4377 9.4%
Kenny Martin SF 4558 9.7%
Kilrane Gerry FF 2967 6.3%
Mc Daid Gareth Green 229 0.4%
Mc Dermott John Ind 3724 7.9%
Naughten Dennis FG 9738 21%

Seriously, I didn't make that up. Roscommon people are allowed to vote you racists...

Final Tally... it's what you get before they actually start counting...

Tipp South, for those who truly care about the home of Bulmers...

Michael Browne SF - 5% (1835)
Tom Hayes FG - 22% (8523)
Seamus Healy IND - 22% (8467)
Dr Martin Mansergh FF - 13% (4929)
Mattie McGrath IND - 15% (5713)
Paul McNally GP - 1% (359)
Michael Murphy FG - 13% (4967)
Phil Prendergast Lab - 11% (4273)

That there's called a Final Tally... Oddly enough, it's only now that the votes are being counted. Up to now, it was all sorting...

And now for the moment of truth... the country's most popular politician last time out: Willie O'Dea TD. Will he steal the show all over again... here's Limerick's final tally.

Cahill, Sheila 1.1%
Kiely, Kevin 2.5%
Larkin, Matt 0.17%
Leddin, Joe 5.65%
Noonan, Michael 30.72%
O'Donoghue, Conor 0.44%
O'Dea Willie 16.04%
O'Donnell, Kieran 12.57%
O'Sullivan, Jan 16.67%
Power, Peter 5.38%
Prendiville, Cian 1.61%
Quinlivan, Maurice 8.75%
Riordan, Denis 0.4%

Not first, not second, third. He's been a good servant to Limerick has Willie, but this caning has been coming. Fine Gael stealing the show and we all wait for Michael Noonan to make some crazy analogy about how elections are like malteasers... Meanwhile Jan O'Sullivan is making the shifty eyes of someone who smells blood... Them Labour crowd love the colour red.

A nod to Cian Prendeville. You fought bravely. The Project salutes you...


Quick counting down at home...

All the boxes open now. Final tallies expected soon... I wonder is Willie wary? Is Michael mumbling madly? Is Jan... crap. There aren't a lot of words that start with "j" are there?

The One That Didn't Get Away...

Forgot to mention. There's already one person "elected". The Ceann Comhairle is returned automatically. So Fianna Fail have at least one seat. Wouldn't be surprised if they tried to fit six politicians on to it. Willie O'Dea's a wee-man... they might squeeze him in there with Seamus Kirk.

Here in North Tipp it's going as expected: Cold, with some light drizzle.

Oh yeah... elections...

Independent Michael Lowry is running away with it. In hot pursuit is Fine Gael's Noel Coonan (our next Minister for Agriculture I'd guess) and behind them Labour's new shiny boy; Alan Kelly, followed by Fianna Fail's Maire Hoctor... single party candidate plan seems to be coming back to bite them in the ass.

Across the board Labour are making strong ground. What's the betting Inda pretends he was only joking when he said all that nasty stuff about Eamonn?

Dropping Like Flies...

Holy snot colours Batman... The Greens are dropping like flies. Eamonn Ryan the latest to concede he may not be taking his seat opposite Il Inda.

I for one, welcome our new overlords...

Smacks of the PDs a little doesn't it? Small party promises to hold the leash of the big party. Big party shits all over the publics' front lawn. Small party gets annihilated.

For TDs to rest their bums... The Seats

Carlow-Kilkenny: 5 seats

Cavan-Monaghan: 5 seats

Clare: 4 seats

Cork East: 4 seats

Cork North-Central: 4 seats

Cork North-West: 3 seats

Cork South Central: 5 seats

Cork South-West: 3 seats

Donegal North-East: 3 seats

Donegal South-West: 3 seats

Dublin Central: 4 seats

Dublin Mid-West: 4 seats

Dublin North: 4 seats

Dublin North-Central: 3 seats

Dublin North-East: 3 seats

Dublin North-West: 3 seats

Dublin South: 5 seats

Dublin South-Central: 5 seats

Dublin South East: 4 seats

Dublin South West: 4 seats

Dublin West: 4 seats

Dun Laoghaire: 4 seats

Galway East: 4 seats

Galway West: 5 seats

Kerry North Limerick West: 3 seats

Kerry South: 3 seats

Kildare North: 4 seats

Kildare South: 3 seats

Laois Offaly: 5 seats

Limerick: 3 seats

Limerick City: 4 seats

Longford Westmeath: 4 seats

Louth: 5 seats

Mayo: 5 seats

Meath East: 3 seats

Meath West: 3 seats

Roscommon South-Leitrim: 3 seats

Sligo North-Leitrim: 3 seats

Tipperary North: 3 seats

Tipperary South: 3 seats

Waterford: 4 seats

Wexford: 5 seats

Wicklow: 5 seats

Dead or on Holidays

Upperchurch is a small townland in North Tipp. It had a 94% turnout yesterday. Impressive stuff, I know. Tallymen assure me that the other 6% are "either dead or on holidays". At least we know where they are eh?

Meanwhile in Green Gogarty related news (remember him? Fuck you Deputy Stagg.... Hilarious). He's used Twitter to bow out. It's not even half frickin ten in the morning. He's already thrown in the towel... Where's the fightign spirit that had him spitting expletives at Emmet Stagg in the Dail? I'm a trifle disappointed.

Overall... with a 70% or so turnout, it's bad news for FF. Bertie must be cackling in his dark gothic mansion. They're facing a wipeout in Dublin according to tallies. Not a single Dublin TD for the party that's been our Government since the early nineties. But, it aint so hot for Fine Gael either. They're on track to fall way short of an overall majority. Prepare to shake hands with Comrade Tanaiste Gilmore, Inda.

And they're off...

Early doors yet here in North Tipp... But Fianna Fail aren't doing so badly just yet. They're polling badly the elast few weeks, but that's just because everyone apparently hates them.

Polls are a bit of a fraud really - I mean if there was a bad smell hanging around, you wouldn't instantly admit to farting if someone asked you. You might still have done it. Same with Fianna Fail votes. They'll do better than everyone thinks, right across the country.

In a lighter note: The very first vote, out of the very first box in Dublin Central was a spoilt vote. Someone had scrawled in red-pen: "Is this the best you can do". No word of a lie.

People are hilarious.

The Big Count 2011

Gooooood morning sports fans...

It's eighteen past the hour of nine on a bright and cheerful Saturday morning. There's a rich smell of democracy in the air. Here in North Tipp, that's mingled with a little whiff of something else. Can't quite put my finger on it...


All the latest and breaking election coverage shall be brought to you here. Magically. By the internet and me and The Frenchman.

Let the fun and games begin....