cwi: election camapaigns 2004 – Ireland

Victory for Socialist Party in local elections!

cwi election campaigns 2004. Ireland.

Ireland

The Socialist Party in Ireland, a leading force in the anti-Bin Tax campaign last year, has made excellent gains in the local elections in Ireland and won four councilors, doubling its representation in the process.

These results are even more praiseworthy given the fact that Sinn Fein, seen as an anti-establishment party, poured huge financial resources into their campaign and started with an advantage of having much greater press coverage than the Socialist Party. The working class electorate understood the difference between the principled socialist ideas of the Socialist Party, its campaigning record and its determination to stick by its promises and the radical rhetoric of Sinn Fein. As a result in many areas they voted for Socialist Party candidates in greater numbers than Sinn Fein’s.

Councilor Clare Daly, imprisoned for a month last year for fighting the Bin Tax, topped the poll in Swords ward with 2763 first preference votes to rewin her seat on Fingal County Council (this represents more than a doubling of her vote since the last local elections). Together with the very creditable vote (443) of Michael O’Brien who stood in the same ward, the Socialist Party captured 19.1% of the vote in this area!

Brian Greene, a well known local Socialist Party member and community activist, standing in the Howth ward of Fingal County Council, received 815 votes (8%). Taigh Kenehan, another Socialist Party candidates received 458 votes (3.2%) in Balbriggan ward of Fingal County council.

In Mulhuddart ward, previously the area in which Joe Higgins MP was a councilor, Ruth Coppinger was elected to Fingal County Council with over 1800 votes. Together with Helen Redwood who stood in the same ward, the Socialist Party received 19.5% of the vote in this area as well!

Mick Murphy, a Socialist Party member who went to jail for three weeks for opposing the Bin Tax, was elected top of the poll in Tallaght ward, South Dublin Council, winning 2506 votes (15.6%). This is the first time the Socialist Party has had a councilor in this area and represents an excellent victory for the Party. Mick Murphy received a higher first preference vote than the sitting Sinn Fein councilor.

For the first time since its formation the Socialist Party now has a councilor outside Dublin. Mick Barry, a leading community activist, was elected top of the poll in his ward and will represent the party on Cork City Council. Mick received a fantastic 1390 votes which represented over 17% of the votes in the ward. This compares to the 4.9% he received in the same area at the time of the last local elections.

Lisa Maher, a Socialist Party candidate in the Dun Loghaire/Rathdown council in south-west Dublin gained an excellent 1285 votes (8-9%). This was the first time she stood in this ward which has a more affluent electorate and sitting councilors from right-wing parties. After ten rounds of counting Lisa was eliminated from the contest with 1991 votes at 6.30 am on Sunday morning, just 70 transfer votes short of winning.

Frank Gallagher, standing as a Socialist Party candidate in Drogheda ran a very good campaign with limited financial and human resources. He received 437 votes and was finally eliminated after losing by 80 transfer votes.

cwi members internationally, will welcome these excellent results, and also the very good votes that other Socialist Party members got in Dublin City, Limmerick, and Letterkenny.

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