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General Election 2020: Social Democrats double seats with four elected candidates in the 33rd Dail


The Social Democrats have landed four seats so far in the 33rd Dail.

Despite being just five years old, the party doubled its seats between the elections, benefiting heavily from transfer votes.

While the Sinn Fein surge was on everyone’s lips, the Soc Dems quietly succeeded across the country.

Party co-leader Roisin Shortall was second in the door in Dublin North West behind Sinn Fein’s Dessie Ellis.

She received 18.9% of first preference votes and was deemed elected after Count 4.

Also successful in Dublin was popular councillor Gary Gannon, who took the final seat in Dublin Central after Count 9.



Social Democrat candidate Gary Gannon on Sean McDermot Street Dublin

Speaking after his election, Gannon told RTE: “In my own constituency, I’d to deal with a Sinn Fein and a Green surge.

“Myself and the other Social Democrats who got through got through on hard work, we got through on shoe leather, performing well on the councils and the performances of our leaders, Catherine and Roisin throughout the four years in the Dail.

“The Social Democrats want to be legislators but today, we just want to see how the other counts go [for our candidates].”

The party’s other co-leader, Catherine Murphy, received 19.3% of first preference votes, and was the first elected in Kildare North even though she had to wait until the third count.

Elsewhere in the country, Holly Cairns was successful in Cork South West with 10.6% of first preference votes that saw her elected after Count 8.

Jennifer Whitmore is patiently waiting in Wicklow to get her seat, while party defector Stephen Donnelly missed out on his.

The party was formed midway through 2015 by Catherine Murphy, Roisin Shortall and Stephen Donnelly.

Donnelly left the party in 2016 before joining Fianna Fail the following year, citing “difficulty with the co-leaders” as his reason for departure.

The party fielded 20 candidates in the election, and received 2.9% of first preference votes.

In 2016, they had 14 candidates with just three taking seats but received slightly more first preference votes with 3%.



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