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previous next General Election: 25 February 2011
Back Next Laoighis Offaly
Laois Uibh Fhaili
Laoighis Offaly Area (Leinster)

5 Seats 21 Candidates 13 Counts
Electorate: 108,142 Quota: 12,360
 Candidate     Party     1st Pref   Share   Quota     Count   Status   Seat 

* Charlie Flanagan  Fine Gael Lozenge   10,427   14.06%   0.84   8      Made Quota     1   ♂
Marcella Corcoran Kennedy  Fine Gael Lozenge   5,817   7.84%   0.47   13      Made Quota     2 ♀  
Barry Cowen  Fianna Fail Lozenge   8,257   11.13%   0.67   13      Elected     3   ♂
Brian Stanley  Sinn Féin Lozenge   8,032   10.83%   0.65   13      Elected     4   ♂
* Seán Fleming  Fianna Fail Lozenge   6,024   8.12%   0.49   13      Elected     5   ♂

John Whelan  Labour Lozenge   5,802   7.82%   0.47   (13)      Not Elected       ♂
John Foley1  Non party/Independent Lozenge   4,465   6.02%   0.36   (12)      Eliminated       ♂
* John Moloney  Fianna Fail Lozenge   5,579   7.52%   0.45   (11)      Eliminated       ♂
Liam Quinn  Fine Gael Lozenge   4,482   6.04%   0.36   (10)      Eliminated       ♂
John Leahy2  Non party/Independent Lozenge   4,882   6.58%   0.39   (9)      Eliminated       ♂
John Moran2  Fine Gael Lozenge   4,306   5.81%   0.35   (7)      Eliminated       ♂
Eddie Fitzpatrick2  Non party/Independent Lozenge   2,544   3.43%   0.21   (6)      No expenses       ♂
Rotimi Adebari  Non party/Independent Lozenge   628   0.85%   0.05   (5)      No expenses       ♂
John Bracken  Non party/Independent Lozenge   625   0.84%   0.05   (5)      No expenses       ♂
Raymond Fitzpatrick  Socialist Lozenge   561   0.76%   0.05   (5)      No expenses       ♂
Fergus McDonnell  Non party/Independent Lozenge   525   0.71%   0.04   (5)      No expenses       ♂
Liam Dumpleton  Non party/Independent Lozenge   382   0.52%   0.03   (4)      No expenses       ♂
James Fanning  Non party/Independent Lozenge   335   0.45%   0.03   (3)      No expenses       ♂
Christopher Fettes  Green/Comhaontas Glas Lozenge   306   0.41%   0.02   (2)      No expenses       ♂
John Boland3  Non party/Independent Lozenge   119   0.16%   0.01   (1)      No expenses       ♂
Michael Cox  Non party/Independent Lozenge   60   0.08%   0.00   (1)      No expenses       ♂

Total valid 74,158 68.57%

Spoilt votes 1,055 1.40%

Total poll 75,213 69.55%

* outgoing TD (3)
Final votes required for expenses: 3,091
Candidates: 1 female (♀), 20 male (♂)
The data in the table above may be sorted by clicking on the column headings

‘Only one seat changed hands as FF vote fell by 30%’

A revision of the constituency boundary here saw a population of 4,276 in the former Roscrea No.2 Rural District transferred to Tipperary North. It retained its five seats.

When Brian Cowen, who took over 19,000 first preferences in 2007, announced on 31 January that he would not be contesting the 2011 election, other parties immediately fixed covetous eyes on one if not two of the 3 seats that FF had won at every election since 1977.

In the event only one seat changed hands in Laois–Offaly. Although the Fianna Fail vote dropped by virtually 30 per cent, the party held two of its seats, making this the only constituency in the country, other than the new leader’s Cork South Central, where it won more than one seat. The party literature here looked like it used to in better days, featuring all the candidates and asking people to ‘Vote 1, 2, 3 in order of your choice’, rather than the now more common format of candidate advertisements asking people to ‘Vote No 1 for Me’ with the names of any running mate(s) in tiny print at the bottom. The Taoiseach was replaced on the ticket by his brother Barry, who polled more than 8,000 first preferences and retained the family seat quite comfortably. Seán Fleming had been given no advancement by either Bertie Ahern or Brian Cowen, and this may now have stood to his advantage as he stayed ahead of junior minister John Moloney, his fellow Laois Fianna Fail TD, to return to the Dáil for a fourth term in which he finally has a front-bench position.

Fine Gael had hoped to win three seats here for the first time since 1973, but its vote rose by less than the national average and it was never in the running for the last seat. It retained its existing two seats without difficulty, the retiring Olwyn Enright being succeeded by Marcella Corcoran Kennedy, based in Birr like Enright herself. Charlie Flanagan headed the poll as his father used to do for many years, but, just as in 1994, he had made the mistake of expressing no confidence in his party leader nine months before that leader became Taoiseach, and despite his years of service on the opposition front bench he found himself on the back-benches when the party entered government.

The seat lost by Fianna Fail was taken by Sinn Fein’s Brian Stanley, who almost trebled his 2007 vote to win the party’s first seat here since independence. He owed this partly to his ability, not shared by all Sinn Fein candidates, to attract transfers, picking up over 3,700 from first count to last and thus widening his lead over the only serious challenger, John Whelan of Labour. Whelan polled respectably given the fallout over his selection as the Labour candidate, but the dispute cannot have helped.

Other candidates polled nearly 20 per cent of the votes between them, but this was spread among 12 candidates. Dissident Fianna Failer John Foley and county councillor John Leahy both topped 4,000 first preferences, but in the end most of their votes transferred back to the major party candidates.

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