Tuesday 20 August 2019

Fianna Fail to conduct 'post mortem' on European Elections campaign as they're set to win no seats in Midlands-North-West

MEP Mairead McGuinness and Anne Rabbitte Fianna Fail at the Castlebar count centre for the Midlands-Northwest
Pic: Mark Condren
MEP Mairead McGuinness and Anne Rabbitte Fianna Fail at the Castlebar count centre for the Midlands-Northwest Pic: Mark Condren
Election: Anne Rabbitte Picture: Collins

Cormac McQuinn Political Correspondent

FIANNA Fáil is set to conduct a 'post mortem' on its disastrous Midlands-North-West European Election campaign.

The party is on course to win no seats in the constituency for the second election in a row.

Its two candidates, Cavan-Monaghan TD Brendan Smith and Galway East TD Anne Rabbitte got a combined vote of just over 12pc of first preferences.

Mr Smith said the party will examine what went wrong when the count is over.

"Naturally there will be a review within the party of the strategy and the campaign," he said.

He suggested the candidates should have been selected earlier and also pointed to the high profile enjoyed by outgoing rival candidates who are sitting MEPs.

Fine Gael's Mairead McGuinness has been elected and fellow outgoing MEPs - Independent Luke 'Ming' Flanagan and Sinn Féin's Matt Carthy are in the hunt for seats.

Former Rose of Tralee Maria Walsh is also in contention to join Ms McGuinness in Brussels.

Mr Smith stands on 44,040 votes after the second count, a long way from the quota of over 118,986.

He effectively conceded that he won't take a seat.

He said: "As they say up in Cavan you’d want to be a fierce optimist to put money on me. So I don’t think so."

Ms Rabbitte is on 31,084 votes.

She said "of course we are disappointed" but insisted that she connected with voters.

However, Ms Rabbitte said she didn't get "screen time" and wasn't on many of the debates and added: "I had a particular message, that message didn’t get out there. I didn’t have the platform for it, perhaps I would liked it."

She said she will be back in the Dáil tomorrow and "Life goes on. I am still a TD representing east Galway."

Asked if the party could have handled the campaign better Ms Rabbitte said: "I am sure over the coming weeks and months the post mortem will continue to be done and I am sure I will play a part in feeding into it."

Online Editors

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News