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The post-crisis Irish voterVoting behaviour in the Irish 2016 general election$
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Michael Marsh, David Farrell, and Theresa Reidy

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781526122643

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781526122643.001.0001

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Mining the ballot: Preferences and transfers in the 2016 election

Mining the ballot: Preferences and transfers in the 2016 election

(p.14) 2 Mining the ballot: Preferences and transfers in the 2016 election
The post-crisis Irish voter

Kevin Cunningham

Manchester University Press

This chapter 2 makes use of mock ballot data gathered in an exit poll of voters as they were leaving the polling station. This allows a unique analysis of voting behaviour in Ireland’s unusual single transferable vote electoral system. The chapter examines the stability in first preference voting behaviour in 2016 and how this has changed since before the financial crisis. The chapter also explores the patterns of lower preferences and what they might mean for the party system. Finally, it addresses whether preferences mattered in terms of the number of seats a party won in 2016. The analysis shows that the erosion of party allegiances that were so evident in the 2011 election have continued. Even though the worst of the financial crisis had abated, large numbers of voters continued to switch votes from one party to another in 2016. Second, there is the intriguing finding of the emergence of two parallel party systems in terms of the transfer of voter preferences, with voters on the right transferring votes between the main established parties while those on the left transferring between non-established parties.

Keywords:   Mock ballot data, Single transferable vote, Transfer patterns, Irish party system

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