How We Voted – PAUL HEALY
Denis Naughten won the day in the general Mid-Roscommon area. The tallies aren’t entirely accurate but they give us a good indication of how people voted. Where Naughten, as a Fine Gael candidate, amassed about 2,240 number ones in this area in 2011, he appears to have polled around 3,000 this time around. That being the case, it is clear that the Roscommon electorate exacted revenge on Fine Gael over the closure of Roscommon A&E and threw its support behind Naughten, who opposed the Coalition’s downgrading of the hospital.
A glance at tally figures suggests that Naughten topped the poll throughout the traditional Mid-Roscommon area with the exception of Lissaniskey, where he was beaten by Fitzmaurice (Fitzmaurice 191; Naughten 103).
In Roscommon town, Naughten got up to 1300 number ones, compared with 345 for Fitzmaurice, 342 for Murphy and 245 for Hopkins.
CASTLEREA & BALLAGHADERREEN
In the Castlerea urban area, there were five polling booth areas. Michael Fitzmaurice topped the poll here, according to tallies. The support in the past of Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan may have been a factor here. Tallies suggest about 383 number ones for Fitzmaurice in Castlerea, with Denis Naughten in second on 352.
Maura Hopkins attracted 213 number ones followed by Shane Curran (native of Castlerea) on 149, Eugene Murphy on 113 and Claire Kerrane of Sinn Fein on 105.
In Ballaghaderreen urban area, Maura Hopkins, who is from that neck of the woods, performed very solidly, polling almost 500 number ones. I assume that Sinn Fein will be disappointed that Claire Kerrane (who did very well overall) only polled about 142 number ones in Ballaghaderreen. (In her native Tibohine, she got 54, second to Hopkins on 66).
Labour Party Senator John Kelly had a bad day, polling just 1211 on the first count. Predictably, he fared best in Ballaghaderreen in terms of vote numbers, pulling 322 number ones. Other interesting totals – Fitzmaurice 156, Murphy 120, Naughten 59.
Denis Naughten ruled South Roscommon, as had been widely expected.
The day’s poll-topper pulled some huge votes in the south. Take for example the following examples of dominance – Clonown: Naughten 148, with next nearest challenger being Eugene Murphy on 25; Cornafulla: Naughten 668, with next nearest challenger being Murphy on 63 (Kerrane 46, Fitzmaurice 45, Curran 42, Hopkins 33); Drum: Naughten 300, with the other eleven candidates totalling 116 between them.
In Monksland, Naughten polled about 365 number ones, with no other candidate within sight of him (Kerrane 67, Curran 47, Fitzmaurice 35).
In Bealnamullia, Naughten polled 449 – again destroying all-comers (Hopkins was second, on 72).
In Brideswell, Curran’s base, Naughten was king, polling 106 to 43 for the Fianna Fáil newcomer.
In Kiltoom, Naughten swept up with 665 number ones; Fitzmaurice was next, way back on 169, followed by Hopkins on 167 and Curran on 128.
In Curraghboy, Naughten again topped the poll (on 221) with no one close. In Moore and Creagh, it was the same story, Naughten polling 819 with Curran second on 128.
No one came close to Naughten in the south. It was entirely predictable that Fitzmaurice would see some of the votes he picked up there in the 2014 by-election return to Naughten.
That said, Fitzmaurice will be disappointed with some of his totals in the south. He got a respectable 129 in Kiltoom and pockets of support in every other box.
According to tallies, about 650 of Curran’s first preference total of 2206 came in the South. The fact that Eugene Murphy could poll in the region of 550 in South Roscommon is very significant. They are revealing figures in the context of Curran’s failure to challenge for a seat and Murphy’s remarkable success.
Cllr. Maura Hopkins (Fine Gael) polled about 700 number ones in South Roscommon, according to tallies. This was down on her by-election performance and substantially down (the Naughten departure being decisive) on the Fine Gael showing in 2011.
In Boyle urban area, Fine Gael will note with concern that, post Frank Feighan, their vote dropped substantially.
Feighan got about 1150 number ones in Boyle town boxes five years ago; Maura Hopkins pulled about 411.
In a fine electoral debut, Eddie Conroy of People Before Profit-Anti-Austerity Alliance, topped the poll in Boyle urban area, with 480 number ones.
Eugene Murphy polled 262, Michael Fitzmaurice 181, Denis Naughten 175 and Claire Kerrane 165.
Eugene Murphy was always going to do well in his traditional stronghold, and this proved to be the case. The tallies are not absolutely accurate but they give us a good indication of how people voted.
Taking Strokestown itself together with Slatta, Whitehall and Kiltrustan, we see that it was a case of ‘Murphy’s law.’
The new TD dominated all-comers, getting about 1050 number ones in those areas. Naughten was second, well back on 410, followed by Fitzmaurice (200), Hopkins (182) and Kerrane (132).
In boxes in Rooskey NS, Murphy polled a handsome 170, Naughten next on 101.
Michael Fitzmaurice ‘carried’ Galway – but perhaps not by as much as he would have expected.
If tallies are accurate, Fitzmaurice didn’t manage to collect one out of every two votes cast in Galway. Some observers had predicted that he would; some even said that Fitzmaurice would take seven out of every ten votes cast!
Those sort of figures were never realistic. While Fitzmaurice was always going to win the biggest share of the Galway vote, there was always going to be a Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and Sinn Fein vote. And Denis Naughten was always going to take a fair amount of votes too.
Fitzmaurice polled close to 4,000 number ones in Galway, according to the tallies. He destroyed all opposition in Glenamaddy, taking over 500 number ones, compared with 105 for Hopkins, 44 for Murphy, 31 for Kerrane and 29 for Naughten.
Cllr. Maura Hopkins had begun making her presence felt in Galway several months ago. The appointment of Dr. John Barton as her Director of Elections was also a wise move. Hopkins polled about 1650 number ones ‘across the border’ in Galway, which was a good showing.
Eugene Murphy’s haul of 858 was magnificent, and a key to his eventual election. In contrast, Shane Curran polled 584 in the Galway boxes.
Denis Naughten got a great vote in Galway. This was key to his taking the poll-topping honours at the expense of Fitzmaurice.
Naughten attracted about 1,000 number ones in Ballinasloe urban area. This compares with about 450 for Cllr. Hopkins and a mere 130 for Fitzmaurice. It was a stunning show of strength by Naughten in Ballinasloe. His vote there was a reflection of his profile as a TD and also suggests that he is viewed by the Ballinasloe electorate as the most credible voice on health services affecting that area. The Naughten family is of course well-known in the area; Denis Naughten’s late father, Liam, served as a public representative in that area.
Naughten impacted on Fitzmaurice elsewhere in East Galway too. In Ahascragh, for example, Naughten polled about 133 number ones to 54 for Fitzmaurice.
Overall, tallies suggest that Naughten polled just over 2,000 number ones in Galway. That, as much as his popularity in Roscommon, is why he was top of the poll.