Tallies predict drop in turnout in IFA election
With just three days of voting left in the IFA elections, tallies would suggest there has been a massive drop in voter turnout as farmers stay away from the polls.
A less intensive door-to-door campaign by candidates than in previous elections and increasing apathy and disenchantment among farmers with how the organisation is being run is being blamed for a collapse in voter numbers of at least 20pc.
Around half of the 946 branches had voted by Friday night, with overall turnout being estimated at between 40pc and 45pc.
Counties which returned 80-85pc turnout in 2009 are struggling to get 45-50pc in the election so far this year.
The candidates are expected to increase pressure on their local contacts to get more of the membership in the remaining branches out to vote during the second half of balloting, which runs this Thursday.
Despite average branch membership being highest in the southern counties, the turnout at some individual branches in Munster has been as low as 11 members.
Counties where local candidates are in contention for one of the positions are reporting higher than average voting patterns. A turnout of 66pc was recorded in Kinsalebeg, Waterford, the home county of national dairy chairman Kevin Kiersey, who is in contention for the post of Munster chairman.
At Knocknagoshel, the Kerry base of another candidate for the Munster post, dairy farmer James McCarthy, there was a turnout of 115 members, but some neighbouring branches had as few as 15 members turn up for the vote.