Apr 26, 2016

Live: Seanad TCD Panel Count

Edmund Heaphy, Daniel O'Brien and Charlotte Ryan are providing live updates throughout the course of the second day of counting, live from Trinity's Public Theatre.
Edmund Heaphy | 7:35 PM
So, that looks like it’s it. The mood has really calmed here in the Public Theatre, but we’ll be on tenterhooks for a while anyway because we have a semi-permanent disposition for being that way.
Sinéad Baker | 7:33 PM
On Sean Barrett:
“He is by far the best Senator in the place”
— Senator David Norris
Sinéad Baker | 7:30 PM
Lynn Ruane celebrating with her mother and campaign manager: counting2
Sinéad Baker | 7:25 PM
“Sean has been absolutely outstanding Senator, has contributed so much to the Seanad as a University of Dublin representative. It was such a pleasure to work with you for the last five years, Sean”
— Senator Ivana Bacik
Sinéad Baker | 7:23 PM
Ruane, ending her speech in tears, told the room that she is “extremely overwhelmed” by the support she has received.
Sinéad Baker | 7:22 PM
Sean Barrett, addressing the room, calls for a round of applause for Ruane and for the Deputy Returning Officer.
Edmund Heaphy | 7:18 PM
Count 15
Seats Filled Valid Votes Spoiled Quota
3/3 16,064 43 4,017
Candidate Change Votes
David Norris 4,017
Ivana Bacik 4,017
Lynn Ruane +833 3,343
Sean Barrett +671 3,228
Averil Power –2176 0
Thomas Clonan 0
Oisín Coghlan 0
Anthony Staines 0
William Priestley 0
Ethna Tinney 0
Sean Melly 0
Sabina Brennan 0
Kevin Cunningham 0
Edward Davitt 0
Eoin Meehan 0
Maeve Cox 0
Dan O’Brien | 7:15 PM
Results of the final count coming up right now!
Edmund Heaphy | 7:08 PM
Looks like counters and the Deputy Returning Officer are making final checks.
Edmund Heaphy | 6:53 PM
Rumours flying here about which candidate is getting more, but it’s honestly way too close to even chance trying to make some sort of call. Ruane has to make up the 46 votes in any case, obviously, but I think the split is going to be more pronounced than the previous counts in either case, given the number of votes we’re dealing with – whether it goes for Barrett or Ruane.
Edmund Heaphy | 6:32 PM
Counting for the final count is well and truly underway now.
Edmund Heaphy | 6:32 PM
I don’t think Power is interested in the Seanad in the long term, though. As in, she has almost as good of a shot in the Dublin Bay North Dáil constituency – and some further groundwork there over the next few months before a possible second general election could work for her.
Dan O’Brien | 6:28 PM
And all the evidence suggests that seat will open up sooner rather than later. Her support today should provide a good platform going forward.
Charlotte Ryan | :6:26 PM
Let’s not forget what a big deal it is for Power to have lost her second election in the last few months. It can’t be much of a motivation for the politician hoping to run again in the next election. That said, her performance today leaves her as a front-runner for whatever TCD seat opens up – presumably Norris’s when he steps down. In that case, today need not be a total loss.
Edmund Heaphy | 6:24 PM
Count staff seem to be taking a break, so we’ll be waiting a bit for the final count.
Edmund Heaphy | 6:17 PM
My gut would tell me that Power’s votes will favour Ruane more than Bacik. That’s what I’ve been thinking all day, but others say differently, so we’ll see. It’s really hard to call.
Edmund Heaphy | 6:11 PM
Count 14
Seats Filled Valid Votes Spoiled Quota
2/3 16,064 43 4,017
Candidate Change Votes
David Norris 4,017
Ivana Bacik 4,017
Sean Barrett +55 2,557
Lynn Ruane +31 2,511
Averil Power +41 2,176
Thomas Clonan 0
Oisín Coghlan 0
Anthony Staines 0
William Priestley 0
Ethna Tinney 0
Sean Melly 0
Sabina Brennan 0
Kevin Cunningham 0
Edward Davitt 0
Eoin Meehan 0
Maeve Cox 0
Dan O’Brien | 6:09 PM
There’s reason to think that a sample of Clonan-to-Bacik transfers may favour Barrett over Ruane, maybe a preference for establishment candidates.
Edmund Heaphy | 5:56 PM
To be clearer, it is a sample of 127 votes from Clonan’s transfers to Bacik – rather than all her votes – that will be considered.
Edmund Heaphy | 5:49 PM
This is where the random sampling comes into play. Rather than looking at all of Bacik’s votes to determine what proportion of her 127 votes will go where, they’re going to just pick 127 of Bacik’s votes in a random sample, and will distribute those.
Dan O’Brien | 5:44 PM
Bacik’s surplus of 127 votes is going to be significant given the slim margin – 22 votes – by which Barrett leads Ruane.
Edmund Heaphy | 5:39 PM
Count 13
Seats Filled Valid Votes Spoiled Quota
2/3 16,064 43 4,017
Candidate Change Votes
David Norris 4,017
Ivana Bacik +386 4,144
Sean Barrett +405 2,502
Lynn Ruane +352 2,480
Averil Power +282 2,135
Thomas Clonan –1,742 0
Oisín Coghlan 0
Anthony Staines 0
William Priestley 0
Ethna Tinney 0
Sean Melly 0
Sabina Brennan 0
Kevin Cunningham 0
Edward Davitt 0
Eoin Meehan 0
Maeve Cox 0
Edmund Heaphy | 5:35 PM
There is a sizeable crowd gathering now in the Public Theatre, as the race is due to hit the point that the past two days have been building up to. It’s really tense.
Edmund Heaphy | 5:22 PM
A result from the 13th count is expected quite shortly. Bacik does look set to make the quota here. It is uncertain whether transfers will favour Barrett or Ruane, but word in the count room is that they’ll favour Barrett, but not by a lot.
Edmund Heaphy | 5:09 PM
Dan O’Brien | 4:44 PM
Unless something mad happens, I think we can count Power out of the race for the third seat. Either way, she hasn’t yet picked up any major clumps of transfers in the same way as Barrett and Ruane.
Edmund Heaphy | 4:36 PM
Count 12
Seats Filled Valid Votes Spoiled Quota
1/3 16,064 43 4,017
Candidate Change Votes
David Norris 4,017
Ivana Bacik +276 3,758
Lynn Ruane +225 2,128
Sean Barrett +125 2,097
Averil Power +112 1,853
Thomas Clonan +152 1,742
Oisín Coghlan -1,017 0
Anthony Staines 0
William Priestley 0
Ethna Tinney 0
Sean Melly 0
Sabina Brennan 0
Kevin Cunningham 0
Edward Davitt 0
Eoin Meehan 0
Maeve Cox 0
Edmund Heaphy | 4:30 PM
Indications coming from tallies by our Statistics Editor, Conor Parle, indicate that Ruane may get about 100 more transfers from this count than Barrett. Clonan will also perform well. No indication of transfers to Bacik, but you would expect that she’ll do well.
Sinéad Baker | 4:27 PM
Sean Barrett waiting patiently for the next count: counting2
Edmund Heaphy | 4:26 PM
Edmund Heaphy | 4:25 PM
The twelfth count proceeds: votes
Dan O’Brien | 4:01 PM
Coghlan himself doesn’t sound too confident about where his transfers will go in terms of the third seat, but he does predict Bacik will pick up the biggest chunk as she continues to lock up her seat.
Charlotte Ryan | 3:58 PM
Likewise. I don’t want to assume anything but I don’t see his transfers going to a candidate like Barrett, with Barrett’s background in business clashing with his green credentials.
Edmund Heaphy | 3:57 PM
Yeah. I’m really hesitant to try and predict where Coghlan’s transfers will go after that.
Dan O’Brien | 3:55 PM
Staines’s transfers went even better for Barrett than I would’ve imagined. That’s a real boost for him when he needed it most.
Edmund Heaphy | 3:53 PM
Looks like our indications were quite off: Staines transferred quite a lot to Barrett. It turns out that a stack of Barrett votes were being counted on an inside table, away from view.
Edmund Heaphy | 3:50 PM
Count 11
Seats Filled Valid Votes Spoiled Quota
1/3 16,064 43 4,017
Candidate Change Votes
David Norris 4,017
Ivana Bacik +176 3,482
Sean Barrett +206 1,972
Lynn Ruane +110 1,903
Averil Power +97 1,741
Thomas Clonan +132 1,590
Oisín Coghlan +72 1,017
Anthony Staines –904 0
William Priestley 0
Ethna Tinney 0
Sean Melly 0
Sabina Brennan 0
Kevin Cunningham 0
Edward Davitt 0
Eoin Meehan 0
Maeve Cox 0
Sinéad Baker | 3:47 PM
Minister for Education, Jan O’Sullivan, has arrived, and is in conversation with incumbent Senator Sean Barrett: counting2
Edmund Heaphy | 3:43 PM
No change in order in the battle for the third seat is expected in the eleventh count, but the gap between Barrett and Ruane is going to narrow. Bacik is going to get the majority of Staines’s transfers, followed by Barrett, Clonan and Ruane. Power isn’t far behind.
Edmund Heaphy | 3:39 PM
“The issues remain – unchanged by the outcome of the election. The human rights of our most vulnerable are violated on a daily basis in Ireland. I was committed to effecting change before I ran for the Seanad, I remain committed irrespective of the outcome of the election. My candidacy was always about the issues, not about me. I will continue to do what I can outside of parliament.”
— Sabina Brennan, in a LinkedIn post after being eliminated
Sinéad Baker | 3:09 PM
Candidate Averil Power is now watching the count in the Public Theatre: counting2
Edmund Heaphy | 3:06 PM
Count 10
Seats Filled Valid Votes Spoiled Quota
1/3 16,064 43 4,017
Candidate Change Votes
David Norris 4,017
Ivana Bacik +109 3,306
Lynn Ruane +147 1,793
Sean Barrett +83 1,766
Averil Power +62 1,644
Thomas Clonan +94 1,458
Oisín Coghlan +98 945
Anthony Staines +52 904
William Priestley –737 0
Ethna Tinney 0
Sean Melly 0
Sabina Brennan 0
Kevin Cunningham 0
Edward Davitt 0
Eoin Meehan 0
Maeve Cox 0
Edmund Heaphy | 3:59 PM
Ruane is going to get almost 150 transfers in the tenth count, it seems. Coghlan will also get about 100 transfers. Results should be coming shortly.
Edmund Heaphy | 2:45 PM
Coghlan will likely overtake Staines according to indications coming from our Statistics Editor, Conor Parle. That means Staines will be the next eliminated.
Edmund Heaphy | 2:39 PM
So Priestly, being a former TCDSU President and a candidate focusing on access to education, is likely to transfer quite heavily to Ruane, as we’ve been saying. Ruane, for those a bit out of the loop, is the current TCDSU President and came into Trinity through the Trinity Access Programme, and has focused on access as part of her campaign.
Edmund Heaphy | 2:32 PM
Edmund Heaphy | 2:25 PM
Count 9
Seats Filled Valid Votes Spoiled Quota
1/3 16,064 43 4,017
Candidate Change Votes
David Norris 4,017
Ivana Bacik +84 3,197
Sean Barrett +113 1,683
Lynn Ruane +83 1,646
Averil Power +55 1,582
Thomas Clonan +84 1,364
Anthony Staines +64 852
Oisín Coghlan +51 847
William Priestley +48 737
Ethna Tinney –631 0
Sean Melly 0
Sabina Brennan 0
Kevin Cunningham 0
Edward Davitt 0
Eoin Meehan 0
Maeve Cox 0
Charlotte Ryan | 2:17 PM
Next will be Priestley, whose transfers will definitely favour Ruane .
Edmund Heaphy | 2:15 PM
Looks like Barrett is going to get the most transfers from Tinney, as predicted – but Bacik and Ruane are only about 30 behind. And this will likely be the last count that favours Barrett heavily.
Edmund Heaphy | 2:08 PM
Counting is now being conducted entirely on one long bench, so candidates and campaign members can oversee each count: counting2
Charlotte Ryan | 2:00 PM
It shouldn’t be long now before the results of the ninth count are known.
Edmund Heaphy | 1:46 PM
Candidates Sean Melly and Lynn Ruane with Ruane’s daughter, Jaelynne. mellylynn
Sinéad Baker | 1:42 PM
Now that everyone is returning from lunch, the number of counters needed has been reduced. If there are major recounts the numbers may be increased again, but for now we’re looking at an emptier counting area.
Edmund Heaphy | 12:56 PM
Proceedings have broken for lunch, and will resume at 2.30pm.
Edmund Heaphy | 12:33 PM
Count 8
Seats Filled Valid Votes Spoiled Quota
1/3 16,064 43 4,017
Candidate Change Votes
David Norris 4,017
Ivana Bacik +70 3,113
Sean Barrett +127 1,570
Lynn Ruane +39 1,563
Averil Power +62 1,527
Thomas Clonan +47 1,280
Oisín Coghlan +18 796
Anthony Staines +46 788
William Priestley +28 689
Ethna Tinney +37 631
Sean Melly –513 0
Sabina Brennan 0
Kevin Cunningham 0
Edward Davitt 0
Eoin Meehan 0
Maeve Cox 0
Edmund Heaphy | 12:25 PM
Some indications now coming from the eighth count – the distribution of Melly’s transfers – which suggest that Barrett will easily get over 120 votes from this round. This could move Barrett ahead of Ruane by a handful of votes. Bacik and Power will also get over 60 transfers, it seems. Ruane will only get about 40, but this was expected to be the weakest count for her.
Edmund Heaphy | 12:21 PM
Yeah, but I don’t think BESS graduates make up that much of Power’s vote, so while I definitely could be wrong, I’d still bet her transfers will favour Ruane.
Dan O’Brien | 12:20 PM
There’s speculation here that a subset of Power supporters are BESS graduates, which suggests those transfers would eventually go more to Barrett rather than Ruane. He would have lectured many of them, after all, so he’ll be hoping he left them with a good impression.
Edmund Heaphy | 12:17 PM
With regards to what Dan was saying about transfers from Melly and Tinney, given the gap between Barrett and Power is only 22 votes, there’s a good chance that these transfers will take Barrett ahead of Power. This could make all the difference in the end for Ruane – given Power’s transfers are likely to go to her more than Barrett.
Charlotte Ryan | 12:11 PM
It’s interesting to see such a spike in transfers coming to Clonan from Brennan. It’s very likely that it’s due to the focus both have on disability rights.
Dan O’Brien | 12:08 PM
I would expect a decent run of transfers to Barrett coming from Melly and Tinney. But once we get to Priestly I think Ruane will really benefit from how well he’s done.
Edmund Heaphy | 12:05 PM
Count 7
Seats Filled Valid Votes Spoiled Quota
1/3 16,064 43 4,017
Candidate Change Votes
David Norris 4,017
Ivana Bacik +87 3,043
Lynn Ruane +53 1,524
Averil Power +51 1,465
Sean Barrett +57 1,443
Thomas Clonan +61 1,233
Oisín Coghlan +35 778
Anthony Staines +35 742
William Priestley +27 661
Ethna Tinney +41 594
Sean Melly +16 513
Sabina Brennan –484 0
Kevin Cunningham 0
Edward Davitt 0
Eoin Meehan 0
Maeve Cox 0
Edmund Heaphy | 11:57 AM
OK, so now some indications of Barrett’s transfers: it looks like he’ll get more than Ruane.
Edmund Heaphy | 11:55 AM
Some indications from the seventh count indicate that a lot of Brennan’s transfers will go to Bacik, followed by Clonan, Ruane and Power. But there’s no indication of how many will go to Barrett or Melly.
Dan O’Brien | 11:47 AM
Sabina Brennan’s votes are being transferred now.
Dan O’Brien | 11:31 AM
Ruane has been far more transfer-friendly than I think we would have predicted yesterday, and consistently more so than Power and Barrett so far.
Edmund Heaphy | 11:29 AM
Count 6
Seats Filled Valid Votes Spoiled Quota
1/3 16,064 43 4,017
Candidate Change Votes
David Norris 4,017
Ivana Bacik +20 2,956
Lynn Ruane +37 1,471
Averil Power +14 1,414
Sean Barrett +24 1,386
Thomas Clonan +15 1,172
Oisín Coghlan +23 743
Anthony Staines +18 707
William Priestley +36 634
Ethna Tinney +15 553
Sean Melly +26 497
Sabina Brennan +14 484
Kevin Cunningham –259 0
Edward Davitt –151 0
Eoin Meehan –145 0
Maeve Cox –136 0
Edmund Heaphy | 11:18 AM
Indications are that Cunningham’s transfers will go in a big way to Ruane and Priestley.
Dan O’Brien | 11:12 AM
From here on the transfer numbers are going to be getting more substantial as well. Over 100 more votes to come from Cunningham compared to Davitt.
Edmund Heaphy | 11:09 AM
And, as per normal procedure, Kevin Cunningham will be eliminated next.
Edmund Heaphy | 11:06 AM
Count 5
Seats Filled Valid Votes Spoiled Quota
1/3 16,064 43 4,017
Candidate Change Votes
David Norris 4,017
Ivana Bacik +32 2,936
Lynn Ruane +16 1,434
Averil Power +12 1,400
Sean Barrett +9 1,362
Thomas Clonan +4 1,157
Oisín Coghlan +24 720
Anthony Staines +5 689
William Priestley +24 598
Ethna Tinney +4 538
Sean Melly +6 471
Sabina Brennan +4 470
Kevin Cunningham +4 259
Edward Davitt –151 0
Eoin Meehan –145 0
Maeve Cox –136 0
Dan O’Brien | 10:58 AM
Davitt looks to be transferring disproportionately toward Coghlan and Priestly – not too surprising given their shared history of green activism. Bacik is going to get the most, and Ruane is still transferring more than Barrett and Power.
Dan O’Brien | 10:50 AM
Edward Davitt is now eliminated going into the fifth count.
Edmund Heaphy | 10:45 AM
Count 4
Seats Filled Valid Votes Spoiled Quota
1/3 16,064 43 4,017
Candidate Change Votes
David Norris 4,017
Ivana Bacik +17 2,904
Lynn Ruane +19 1,418
Averil Power +8 1,388
Sean Barrett +20 1,353
Thomas Clonan +6 1,153
Oisín Coghlan +6 696
Anthony Staines +10 684
William Priestley +13 574
Ethna Tinney +6 534
Sabina Brennan +9 466
Sean Melly +13 465
Kevin Cunningham +9 255
Edward Davitt +4 151
Eoin Meehan –145 0
Maeve Cox –136 0
Dan O’Brien | 10:42 AM
We’re getting the fourth count from the Provost (Returning Officer) himself just now.
Edmund Heaphy | 10:37 AM
I think that one of the more interesting things to come from that count is an indication that Lynn Ruane is quite transfer friendly, and the indications coming from the fourth count is that Barrett, Ruane and Bacik will get the most transfers. Power looks set to be behind.
Dan O’Brien | 10:35 AM
You may have missed that Edward Davitt just overtook Eoin Meehan. That makes a difference in which transfers are distributed next, although presumably in the long-run it will all work out the same.
Edmund Heaphy | 10:27 AM
Count 3
Seats Filled Valid Votes Spoiled Quota
1/3 16,064 43 4,017
Candidate Change Votes
David Norris 4,017
Ivana Bacik +16 2,887
Lynn Ruane +18 1,399
Averil Power +17 1,380
Sean Barrett +7 1,333
Thomas Clonan +14 1,147
Oisín Coghlan +5 690
Anthony Staines +6 674
William Priestley +11 561
Ethna Tinney +10 528
Sabina Brennan +10 457
Sean Melly +1 452
Kevin Cunningham +13 246
Edward Davitt +5 147
Eoin Meehan +2 145
Maeve Cox –136 0
Edmund Heaphy | 10:15 AM
We should be getting a third count – the result of Cox’s transfers – very quickly. Looks like Ruane and Power, followed by Clonan, are to receive the most of her transfers, if indications are to be believed.
Dominic McGrath | 10:01 AM
Bacik still looks set to gain the second seat, gaining 18 of Norris’s second preferences. While Ruane only gained three of Norris’s preferences, this still leaves her marginally ahead of Power and Barrett for the third seat.
Dan O’Brien | 9:59 AM
Maeve Cox will now be eliminated and her 136 votes will be redistributed in the third count.
Edmund Heaphy | 09:56 AM
Count 2
Seats Filled Valid Votes Spoiled Quota
1/3 16,064 43 4,017
Candidate Change Votes
David Norris –53 4,017
Ivana Bacik +18 2,871
Lynn Ruane +3 1,381
Averil Power +7 1,363
Sean Barrett +9 1,326
Thomas Clonan +2 1,133
Oisín Coghlan +2 685
Anthony Staines +3 668
William Priestley +2 550
Ethna Tinney +2 518
Sean Melly +1 451
Sabina Brennan +2 447
Kevin Cunningham +1 233
Eoin Meehan 143
Edward Davitt 142
Maeve Cox +1 136
Edmund Heaphy | 9:23 AM
Leona Coady, Deputy Returning Officer, explaining redistribution: leona
Edmund Heaphy | 9:20 AM
Redistribution of Norris’s votes: morningcount
Dan O’Brien | 9:10 AM
And of course Clonan’s not out of it either. He just has a bit more ground to make up, trailing Barrett by just under 200 votes.
Dan O’Brien | 9:06 AM
Just a reminder that even those 53 transfers from Norris will make a big difference. Ruane was only ahead of Power by 22 on first count, with Power leading Barrett by 39. They’re all still very much in play at this point.
Edmund Heaphy | 8:59 AM
Conor Parle, our Statistics Editor, has been surveying some of Norris’s second preferences. Bacik is getting the most of his preferences, followed by Barrett and Power. Other candidates like Ruane, Clonan and Staines are following behind, but it’s very early and too hard to call, he says.
Edmund Heaphy | 8:48 AM
The Deputy Returning Officer has confirmed that all of David Norris’s second preferences – rather than a random sample – will be considered when the 53 votes are being distributed, as per legalisation pertaining to the election of candidates on the first count. All remaining redistributions will be done by random sample.
Edmund Heaphy | 8:43 AM
The first order of the day is the redistribution of David Norris’s surplus of 53 votes, which is likely to take around 90 minutes by normal standards.
Edmund Heaphy | 1:32 AM
I would expect that we’ll begin in the morning with some more healthy debate about where transfers are going to go!
Sinéad Baker | 1:30 AM
That’s it from the Public Theatre for now. The action starts again at 9.30am:
Edmund Heaphy | 12:46 AM
Count 1
Seats Filled Valid Votes Spoiled Quota
1/3 16,064 43 4,017
Candidate First Pref Votes
David Norris 25.3% 4,070
Ivana Bacik 17.8% 2,853
Lynn Ruane 8.6% 1,378
Averil Power 8.4% 1,356
Sean Barrett 8.2% 1,317
Thomas Clonan 7.0% 1,131
Oisín Coghlan 4.3% 683
Anthony Staines 4.1% 665
William Priestley 3.4% 548
Ethna Tinney 3.2% 516
Sean Melly 2.8% 450
Sabina Brennan 2.8% 445
Kevin Cunningham 1.4% 232
Eoin Meehan 0.9% 143
Edward Davitt 0.9% 142
Maeve Cox 0.8% 135
Edmund Heaphy | 12:25 AM
The Returning Officer, Provost Patrick Prendergast, has said that there are several rechecks occurring, but that the first announcement should be within minutes.
Edmund Heaphy | 12:00 AM
If you hadn’t figured, Dominic McGrath, our News Editor, has taken over from Dan. The pace just got a bit too much for him.
Dominic McGrath | 12:00 AM
We could be looking at a first count soon enough, apparently.
Edmund Heaphy | 11:17 PM
Indications are that the first count won’t come for at least another 90 minutes, and that this may be a generous estimate.
Edmund Heaphy | 10:53 PM
Incumbent senators David Norris and Sean Barrett have a late-night debrief as the first count proceeds behind them: norrisbarrett
Sinéad Baker | 10:22 PM
David Norris, reading over spoilt ballots, appears to be enjoying himself:
Sinéad Baker | 10:58 PM
Candidates are being called to the top of the room for a briefing on invalid papers. Only two candidates, David Norris and Lynn Ruane, are here, however.
Sinéad Baker | 9:51 PM
13,004 ballots were undelivered in the end. As of April 7th, that number was 9,762. Leona Coady, the Deputy Returning Officer, put that number down to people not being available to receive and sign for the ballot packs at the address to which it was sent, and people not notifying the College when changing their address.

Sinéad Baker | 9:44 PM
The most notable absence of the day is that of Averil Power, who hasn’t been in the Public Theatre at all.
Edmund Heaphy | 9:39 PM
I must say, now that the frantic tally men are gone, the leisurely and altogether glacial pace of the official counters is quite the comedown. They’re apparently trying to get a first count done tonight, but I would not be surprised if it goes on until the morning.
Sinéad Baker | 9:27 PM
With the tallies concluded, the atmosphere in the room has changed dramatically, with many candidates and supporters heading home for the evening.
Edmund Heaphy | 9:20 PM
With the quota being 25 per cent (plus one vote), here is the state of play after the final tally of 16,224 votes. Norris looks like he will hit the quota. We’re expecting the first count in the next two hours.
Candidate First Pref
David Norris 25.1%
Ivana Bacik 17.6%
Lynn Ruane 8.8%
Averil Power 8.5%
Sean Barrett 8.3%
Thomas Clonan 7.1%
Oisín Coghlan 4.2%
Anthony Staines 4.1%
William Priestley 3.5%
Ethna Tinney 3.2%
Sabina Brennan 2.9%
Sean Melly 2.8%
Kevin Cunningham 1.4%
Eoin Meehan 0.9%
Maeve Cox 0.8%
Edward Davitt 0.8%
Sinéad Baker | 9:16 PM
The results of the final tally of 16,224 votes is in. In the battle for the third seat, Ruane is on 8.8 per cent, Power is on 8.5 per cent and Barrett is on 8.3 per cent.
Sinéad Baker | 8:59 PM
Tallymen are still tallying, candidates are still watching, counters are still opening envelopes:
Edmund Heaphy | 8:47 PM
With 13,500 votes now tallied, the race for the third seat has now pulled much tighter. Ruane is on 8.7 per cent, Power is on 8.6 per cent and Barrett is on 8.4 per cent. The spread is just 42 votes, and Ruane is just 10 votes ahead of Power in this tally. Clonan follows on 7.2 per cent.
Dan O’Brien | 8:34 PM
To Edmund’s point, I worry that maybe Ruane’s strong performance on first-preferences reflects her ability to draw in new voters, which could mean Power’s name recognition will be more reflected among the “established” electorate in the transfer votes.
Sinéad Baker | 8:26 PM
There is very real potential here for Trinity to have three very left-wing senators. While Norris is admittedly further right on many issues than Bacik, Power or Ruane, he’s certainly further left than some of the candidates we’re seeing on other panels, the best example being Ronan Mullen of the NUI panel who has recently received the highest number of first preference votes in the first count.
Edmund Heaphy | 8:23 PM
I would have argued, just as a matter of course, that Power has the larger profile and thus would pick up more of the transfers than Ruane on that basis. But, by that logic, you’d also expect Power to have done better than Ruane on the first count – and she didn’t.
Dan O’Brien | 8:22 PM
True. And that’s why Barrett will definitely hope to catch the transfers from Sean Melly, who may be his closest comparison on the political spectrum.
Edmund Heaphy | 8:20 PM
Yeah, but I would argue that Power is definitely to the right of Ruane by a good bit, given her Fianna Fáil roots. And if you look down the list of candidates, there are an awful lot of left-leaning ones.
Edmund Heaphy | 8:20 PM
The similarities between Ruane and Power – both young, left-leaning females with a large profile – mean that it’s quite difficult to see where the votes could go between them.
Edmund Heaphy | 8:18 PM
Sean Barrett is probably most notable for being centre-right relative to many of the candidates here, so I expect that will be a major factor.
Edmund Heaphy | 8:16 PM
Add on another 700 tallied votes and Ruane has pulled closer to nine per cent. Power remains on 8.4 per cent, whilst Barrett remains on 8.3 per cent. But then, the question, Sinéad and Dan, is: who is the most transfer friendly of the three?
Edmund Heaphy | 8:11 PM
With nearly 10,000 votes tallied, the situation surrounding the third seat is unchanged: Ruane is on 8.9 per cent, Power is on 8.4 per cent and Barrett is on 8.3 per cent. Clonan is on 6.9 per cent.
Edmund Heaphy | 7:55 PM
Candidate Lynn Ruane, who is currently leading marginally for the third seat if tallies are to be trusted, with Councillor Gary Gannon: lynnruane
Edmund Heaphy | 7:48 PM
With about 8,600 votes tallied, it’s safe to say that that’s well over 50 per cent of the total poll. Tally men are working off an estimate of about 16,000 valid votes, they said.
Sinéad Baker | 7:41 PM
Here’s the view from above, including eager tallymen and the food that has arrived for the counters:
Dan O’Brien | 7:31 PM
Interesting that not only is Barrett at serious risk of losing his incumbency, he may even be the weakest of the three candidates contesting the spot.
Sinéad Baker | 7:30 PM
On being in close contention for the third seat:
“I’m feeling very positive. I’m a lot more nervous than I was this morning. I didn’t anticipate this number of first preference votes so, whether I get in or not, it’s very encouraging to see the impact of the campaign.”
— Lynn Ruane
Edmund Heaphy | 7:22 PM
And more tallies are piling in. At around 7,000 votes tallied, we see Ruane pulling marginally ahead at 8.9 per cent to Power’s 8.4 per cent and Barrett’s 8.3 per cent. The debate will now turn to which of the three is the most transfer friendly.
Edmund Heaphy | 7:14 PM
In terms of those beyond that five, Thomas Clonan is on 6.9 per cent, Oisín Coghlan is on 4.4 per cent and Anthony Staines is on 4.1 per cent. William Priestly has 3.7 per cent, and Sabina Brennan has 3.2 per cent. Ethan Tinney is on 3 per cent, Sean Melly is on 2.5 per cent, Kevin Cunningham is on 1.5 per cent, Edward Davitt and Eoin Meehan are both on 0.9 per cent and Maeve Cox is on 0.8 per cent.
Sinéad Baker | 7:14 PM
The Provost, who is the Returning Officer, has arrived, and has been talking to candidates as well as the Deputy Returning Officer, Leona Coady:
Edmund Heaphy | 7:06 PM
It’s important to note that these tallies come from before ballots were mixed – but in any case, 6,000 ballots is a very good sample.
Edmund Heaphy | 7:05 PM
With 6,075 votes tallied, Ruane has pulled ahead slightly – but at this stage this probably doesn’t mean anything – at 8.8 per cent. Power is on 8.5 per cent and Barrett is on 8.3 per cent.
Dan O’Brien | 6:59 PM
It’s safe to say Norris isn’t too worried about his declining share of the vote. When Sinéad talked to him, he just seemed pleasantly surprised when reminded how much better he had done last time around.
Edmund Heaphy | 6:57 PM
And now we have 5,000 votes tallied. Norris is on 24.9 per cent, Bacik is on 17.7 per cent, Power is on 8.7 per cent, Ruane is on 8.6 per cent and Barrett is on 8.4 per cent. It’s not clear how much more any further tallies will be able to tell us, though, about the third seat – and we’ll be waiting quite a while for an official first count. Clonan is on 6.8 per cent.
Edmund Heaphy | 6:47 PM
Given Norris, at 25 per cent, will just about hit the quota on the first count if it plays out like the tallies suggest, there will be very few transfers, if any, from him.
Edmund Heaphy | 6:46 PM
With more than 4,300 votes tallied, the state of affairs is the same for Norris and Bacik, and we’re no closer to seeing who’ll take the third seat. Power and Ruane are tied on 8.6 per cent, Barrett is on 8.4 per cent. Clonan has 6.9 per cent.
Edmund Heaphy | 6:41 PM
In terms of those slightly trailing, Thomas Clonan could also be in with a shot of the third seat, with just over 7 per cent of the vote.
Sinéad Baker | 6:40 PM
On leading in the tallies:
“I’m very pleased. Very pleased indeed. It’s taken a hell of a time, though – NUI are nearly done!”
— Incumbent Senator David Norris
Edmund Heaphy | 6:36 PM
With about 3,000 votes tallied, Dan, it appears you’re right. Sean Barrett, Lynn Ruane and Averil Power are all within 0.1 per cent of each other, all hovering around 8.5 per cent. The first two seats are clear: Norris has close to 25 per cent of the vote, whilst Bacik is on 18 per cent.
Dan O’Brien | 6:32 PM
The third seat is going to be the real story, it seems. It looks totally up in the air at this point, perhaps due to David Norris losing a bit of his dominant share of the vote from the last election, where he picked up 36 per cent of first preferences.
Edmund Heaphy | 6:26 PM
Early tallies, of about 1,700 votes, have David Norris on 24 per cent, Ivana Bacik on 19 per cent, Lynn Ruane on 9.5 per cent, Sean Barrett on 8.5 per cent, and Averil Power on 7.4 per cent.
Edmund Heaphy | 6:15 PM
Ballots being stacked after being removed from envelopes: counting
Edmund Heaphy | 6:00 PM
In very early tallies – but across a couple of sheets – it seems that David Norris is topping the poll. Ivana Bacik also looks safe, but the third seat remains up in the air. It’ll all be very unclear until a good proportion of the tallies are compiled.
Edmund Heaphy | 5:56 PM
Tally men are now peering at every ballot: Tallying
Edmund Heaphy | 5:52 PM
Edmund Heaphy | 5:48 PM
The Deputy Returning Officer, Leona Coady, has now announced that the envelopes with ballot papers will finally be opened. Ballots will go back into ballot boxes for “a bit of a shuffle”, Coady said. Tallies are starting now.
Edmund Heaphy | 5:25 PM
There were around 800 ballots submitted without any declaration of identity. A further 150 declarations of identity were deemed invalid because they were incomplete. Around 230 declarations did not have a date, but were ruled valid by the Deputy Returning Officer.
Sinéad Baker | 5:22 PM
Signs of progress! The Deputy Returning Officer is now explaining to candidates what’s going to happen as the count proceeds, and may be going through invalid votes.
Edmund Heaphy | 5:07 PM
Someone here is saying they calculated the average time it took several counters to open an envelope – and got 14 seconds. “Democracy inaction” is the buzzword flying around the Public Theatre.
Edmund Heaphy | 4:54 PM
Sinéad Baker | 4:43 PM
Edmund Heaphy | 4:39 PM
There are a lot of complaints here about process compared to the NUI panel count – which is progressing much quicker. First tallies from over there, where they have significantly more people counting, came before lunchtime. Meanwhile, there’s still general sorting and searching for declarations of identity occurring in Trinity.
Edmund Heaphy | 3:52 PM
Some indications now that, despite the rush of the tally men, it could be five o’clock before we get any sense of the first tallies.
Edmund Heaphy | 3:50 PM
Candidate Lynn Ruane: lynnryane
Dan O’Brien | 3:41 PM
The tally men are getting ready to start tallying, so we should have some indication in the next 30 minutes or so as to how things are going.
Edmund Heaphy | 3:41 PM
Candidate Sabina Brennan: sabinabrennan
Edmund Heaphy | 3:29 PM
Candidate Thomas Clonan: tomclonan
Edmund Heaphy | 3:24 PM
Counters are still sorting ballots with regards to the signed declarations of identity, so no indication of anything yet: seanadweb3
Edmund Heaphy | 2:52 PM
The Dublin Central constituency in the General Election is yet more proof that transfers matter: Independent TD Maureen O’Sullivan, despite coming seventh when it came to the first-preference vote, ended up taking the third seat after 11 counts. You would expect some of the non-incumbent, but higher profile candidates – like Averil Power and Lynn Ruane – to pick up a lot of transfers.
Edmund Heaphy | 2:46 PM
Barrett, despite coming fourth when it came to the first-preference vote, took the third seat on the TCD panel in the 2011 Seanad election – gaining a significant number of transfers between the 17th and 18th counts.
Edmund Heaphy | 2:41 PM
I was just speaking with Sean Barrett there, who said that it was very difficult to get a feeling for how it was going to go. He spoke of calling around to houses and being greeted by parents who had watched their sons and daughters – recent TCD graduates – emigrate, something which he thought was disheartening.
Edmund Heaphy | 2:00 PM
Edmund Heaphy | 1:44 PM
So, proceedings broke for lunch at 1.30pm for an hour, and will resume at 2.30pm. Before lunch, counters were still in the process of checking the signed declarations that are meant to be placed in the envelope with ballots for the votes to be considered valid, and haven’t come close to even beginning the first count.
Sinéad Baker | 12:55 AM
Last night, when Academic Registry closed, 15,467 ballots had been returned. While that number has certainly gone up since – polls closed at 11am, and bags of post arrived in this morning – it is small when you consider 57,732 ballots were sent out to registered electors.
Dan O’Brien | 12:05 AM
Yeah the incorrect postal code problem is an interesting quirk of having the electorate restricted to TCD graduates. Recent graduates may still have their family home listed as an address even if they’ve moved abroad. In that case it’s hard for them to properly engage with the process when it’s restricted to postal voting.
Sinéad Baker | 12:03 PM
To increase turnout, Melly suggested that graduates should maybe have to opt-out, rather than opt-in. He was also resolute that voting should be moved online, which would prevent all the issues we’ve seen with postal addresses this year, and I suppose every year.
Sinéad Baker | 12:01 AM
That’s something that I was talking to Seán Melly about, as well. While acknowledging that it’s difficult to know exactly why it’s so low, Melly noted that we’re only seeing about 25 per cent of registered voters have valid votes here today, and that that’s down to everything from apathy to incorrect postal addresses. He agrees on the need to open up the process, calling the current system “a waste of resources and energy”.
Dan O’Brien | 11:55 AM
Coghlan also points out how little info we get about the returned ballots. If 15,000 people vote, it makes a difference whether, say, 1,000 or 4,000 of those are coming from abroad. Staines says the conventional wisdom is that older graduates are more likely to vote, but again we lack the data to verify that claim.
Dan O’Brien | 11:51 AM
I’m talking with Oisín Coghlan and Anthony Staines about the quirks of this process. They agree on the need to open up alternate forms of voting in Seanad elections, particularly for the electorate living abroad. Thanks to De Valera, though, changes like this would require a constitutional amendment.
Edmund Heaphy | 11:25 AM
Envelopes stacked, and ready to be opened. seanadcount2web
Sinéad Baker | 11:10 AM
“I hope I would get enough first preference votes to encourage me to run again. I don’t think you should run once unless you are prepared to run again.”
— Seán Melly
Edmund Heaphy | 11:09 AM
The Deputy Returning Officer, Leona Coady, announced a few moments ago that polls have now closed. Some remaining ballots are making their way from other parts of campus.
Edmund Heaphy | 10:48 AM
“I’m incredibly calm. I don’t operate very well in the unknown, so for the last few weeks I’ve been unsure, but I’m here now, and I’m very accepting that what’s done is done and what will be will be.”
— Lynn Ruane
Edmund Heaphy | 10:26 AM
Edmund Heaphy | 10:25 AM
Ballot boxes were opened just before 10am – with counters told to sort the envelopes into stacks of 25. Polls don’t officially close until 11am, and An Post has just delivered a few extra bags of ballots.

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