‘Three outgoing TDs and Joe Higgins win seats in most predictable constituency in this most volatile election’
There were Constituency Commission boundary changes here and the constituency increased from three to four seats for the 2011 election. The constituency gained a seat following a major boundary change with a population of 12,768 in the Swords-Forrest areas transferred in from Dublin North.
This was the most predictable constituency in this election with the three outgoing deputies joined by Joe Higgins following the addition of an extra seat. It was practically all over after the announcement of the first count with the four leading candidates well clear of the rest of the field.
The Fine Gael vote was up 12 points and with 1.4 quotas the party could have been in contention for two seats but its vote was badly divided with Leo Varadkar just short of the quota and Kieran Dennison outside the frame in fifth place with a mere 0.4 quotas. Varadkar duly took the second seat on the second count and Dennison ended up in sixth place.
The Labour vote was up 12 points and with 1.5 quotas they also could have been in contention for two seats. Joan Burton topped the poll and was well over the quota on the first count and was the first deputy declared elected in the 2011 general election. Her running mate Patrick Nulty did poorly and with just 2,686 first preferences, was too far off the pace.
Socialist Party leader Joe Higgins lost his seat here in 2007. He went on to win a European parliament seat in 2009 and continued his winning ways in 2011. Higgins was just short of the quota on the first count and went on to comfortably take the third seat on the third count.
This was another poor Dublin performance by Fianna Fáil as its vote was down 21 points but at least the party held its seat here unlike the rest of the Dublin constituencies. Brian Lenihan was in fourth place after the first count on 6,421 first preference votes. But he was well clear of the rest of the field and there was never any doubt that he would hold his seat. He thus become Fianna Fáil’s only Dublin-based deputy. His running mate David McGuinness got just 623 first preferences and lost his expenses as did two others.