Irish Republican News · June 5, 2009
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
IRISH REPUBLICAN NEWS: de Brun set to top poll
de Brun set to top poll

Early figures for voter turnout in the North’s European Parliament election are showing a significant drop in the numbers voting, but with Sinn Fein’s Bairbre de Brun in a clear lead.

It will be the first time a nationalist has emerged as the lead candidate in a Six County election.

Votes are being sorted in the King’s Hall in Belfast today, giving the parties an idea of the relative support of their candidates.

The initial tallies point to de Brun holding her seat and topping the poll with 28% of votes cast.

But it is clear that there has been a drop in turnout on the last European poll of 52 per cent, with today’s figures as low as 34 per cent in some areas. Current estimates suggest the turnout could reach only 42 per cent, with reports of very low turnouts in both unionist and deprived areas.

Anecdotal evidence from around the North led to speculation that the good weather and voter apathy in the wake of the political stalemate at Stormont may have caused voters to neglect to vote.

Unionist voters were also said to have been turned off by the expenses scandal.

All three main unionist candidates are said to be neck and neck in terms of first preferences for the remaining two seats, with hardliner Jim Allister in the running for a seat.

In the 26 Counties, where elections are taking place for local and European elections as well as two parliamentary by-elections, voting is underway today and is said to be “steady”.

The average turnout in Dublin City at 2pm was 15.59 per cent. Some 20.8 per cent of voters have already cast their ballots in the Cabra Glasnevin wards, 20 per cent have voted in Clontarf and 17.5 per cent have voted in the South East Inner City. However, just 8 per cent of the electorate in the North Inner City have voted.

Voting was reported to be “brisk” at Cork City Hall. In Galway, turnout was at about 14 per cent, with a similar turnout reported in Limerick and Tipperary.

In some Offaly polling stations, turnout was as high as 26 per cent by lunchtime, while a 20 per cent turnout was reported in Longford.

A figure of 20 per cent turnout for some areas of Wicklow has been reported, while turnout in parts of Mayo was awell over 20 per cent this afternoon.

BROWN MELTDOWN

In Britain, early results in the local elections there have pointed to the widely expected heavy losses for the [British] Labour Party. About half of its total vote has swung to the Conservatives and the smaller parties, including the ultra-right UK Indepedence Party and the fascist British National Party.

As election losses piled up, besieged British Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced a cabinet reshuffle in an attempt to stave off amn internal Labour Party heave against his premiership.

However, a series of embarrassing resignations from his Cabinet, continued today with three high profile Ministers among a total of five Cabinet members who have now suddenly quit.

His reshuffle announcement included the retention of his Chancellor Alistair Darling as well as his Direct Ruler in the north of Ireland, Shaun Woodward.

The following are the unconfirmed turnout results so far in the Six Counties:

  • Belfast South: 42.1%
  • Belfast West: 46.6%
  • Belfast East: 38.82%
  • Belfast North: 40.98%
  • Lagan Valley: 38.86%
  • South Down: 44.97%
  • North Down: 34.48%
  • Mid Ulster: 52.83%
  • North Antrim: 43.2%
  • East Antrim: 34.53%
  • South Antrim: 38.03%
  • Strangford: 34.24%
  • Newry and Armagh: 43.7%

© 2009 Irish Republican News