May 25th, 2019
The green wave in the local elections looks set to hit Dublin first with early tallies suggesting that the Green Party will top the poll in at least four wards in the capital.
Hazel Chu looks set to comfortably top the poll on the first count in Southside Pembroke with one-third of the vote.
Other complete tallies in North Inner City, South West Inner City and South East Inner City see the party at the top of the poll.
Overall, the party looks set to be the big winners in the local elections, with early tallies confirming the estimates in yesterday’s RTE exit poll that the party could take in nine per cent of the vote.
That would be a significant swell in support from the 1.6 per cent received five years ago that brought home just 12 seats. The party has over 80 candidates this time around.
Michael Pidgeon, a candidate for the South West Inner City, admitted to RTE this afternoon that the party wished it had run more candidates based on the way the votes are going.
‘Need action on climate’
Ms Chu, who has a young daughter, has previously said that if she was elected she would use her position as to change Dublin into a cleaner, greener, and safer city for all.
“We need political action to fight this crisis together. I would like our daughter to live in a cleaner, greener city where she could afford housing and not have to share a kitchen with forty-two others,” she said.
Her partner Cllr Patrick Costello, who also looks good for a seat in Kimmage-Rathmines, said last week that he was more than familiar with the challenges facing the city if elected.
“In the last five years I’ve worked with my Green colleagues to tackle many of Dublin’s biggest problems. But whether it’s the housing crisis, public transport, or climate change ¬– it’s clear to me that we still have a lot more progress to make,” he said.
“That’s why I’m hoping to use the next five years to build on the work we’ve already done. And hopefully I’ll have my better half joining me on the council to help make that job easier.”
The first of 949 councillors elected today was Independent councillor Thomas Welby on Galway County Council. He was elected after the first count with 2,140 in Connemara North and ran his campaign without any posters.
If the predictions of the RED C poll hold firm then Councillor Ciaran Cuffe looks set to top the poll in Dublin for the European Elections for almost a quarter of the vote.
This would be a major departure from previous polls that also placed his party colleagues Grace O’Sullivan and Saoirse McHugh well out of contention in the South and Midlands-North-West races.
Both, however, are in contention for a seat in their constituencies according to the exit poll results even when the four per cent margin of error is accounted for.
Reacting to the results, the leader of the Green Party Eamon Ryan said that the exit poll is “extremely encouraging”.
“Our MEP candidates Ciarán Cuffe, Saoirse McHugh and Grace O’Sullivan have put their heart and soul into campaigning across the three constituencies over the past few months,” he said.
“It would be a huge opportunity for them to work at a European level to deliver more affordable, quality housing, climate protection and better public transport that would bring life back to local communities.”
Exit polls from the Netherlands also suggest a big bump in the European elections for the Dutch Green Party GroenLinks, with estimates giving the party over 11 per cent of the vote.
The European Green Party co-leading candidate Bas Eickhout said that, as in the Netherlands, the Irish people have “shown they want to elect representatives capable of delivering climate action at a local and European level”.
“If elected, the Irish MEPs will play a vital role in representing the Green, progressive and Irish voice at the European level. I congratulate the Irish Greens on a vibrant campaign that has crossed rural boundaries and clearly won the trust of local communities across the country,” he added.