‘Fine Gael take three out of five as Independent Shane Ross tops the poll with one of the biggest votes in this election’
There were major Constituency Commission changes here since 2007. A population of 11,673 in the Cabinteely-Loughlinstown, Foxrock-Carrickmines, Foxrock-Torquay and Stillorgan-Leopardstown areas were transferred into this constituency from Dún Laoghaire. However, the constituency retained its five seats.
Seamus Brennan was elected here in 2007 but died in July 2008. Fine Gael’s George Lee won the subsequent by-election in June 2009 but resigned his seat in February 2010. Outgoing Fianna Fáil TD Tom Kitt retired ahead of this election.
Fine Gael increased its vote by 9 points on 2007 and managed to convert 2.2 quotas into three seats with an excellent vote management performance. Olivia Mitchell was the party’s leading vote getter and took the third seat with 9,635 first preferences and was followed home by newcomer Peter Mathews who took the fourth seat with 9,053. Alan Shatter had a tougher fight on his hands winning just 7,716 first preferences to leave him in fifth place, 872 ahead of Corrigan. Shatter got the better of the transfer battle and extended his advantage to 1,448 by the final count.
The Labour vote was up 8 points and Alex White delivered on his strong June 2009 by-election performance, which he had been favoured to win prior to the arrival of George Lee. White got 8,524 on the first count and went on to take the second seat. His running mate Aidan Culhane got just 4,535 to leave him in eighth place and out of contention.
The big winner in this constituency was independent candidate and long-serving Senator Shane Ross, who topped the poll with an impressive 17,075 first preferences or 1.41 quotas. He had the second best first preference vote in the country behind Enda Kenny.
It was all change for Fianna Fail as they contested this election without the names of Brennan or Kitt which had been on the ballot paper since 1981. The party selected outgoing Senator Maria Corrigan but its vote collapsed and was down 32 points to just 9.42%, their lowest in this election. Corrigan was outside the frame on the first count and never recovered. She failed to make any inroads into her first count deficit of nearly 900 votes on Alan Shatter and was well beaten in the end.
The Green vote was down four points and with just 7% Eamonn Ryan was in seventh place on the first count and virtually out of contention. Eight candidates failed to get enough votes to reclaim their expenses and this was a feature of this historic election.