The Presidential election in Ireland and the racist bump


Last weekend saw a presidential election in Ireland where the clear victor was a left wing poet (and career politican) called Michael D Higgins who got 56% of the vote.  However a no hope candidate who was, 1 of 3, yes 3 hosts of the TV show Dragons Den running for president managed to boost his vote from close to nothing (2%) to 23% through the simple trick of Trump like racist remarks directed at the Traveller Community, a very small ethnic group who until recently were nomads but were forced to all but bandon that life by the Irish state over the last couple of decades. 

In the aftermath of the result the media reached for the same sort of lazy analysis about 'econoic anxiety' and people 'left behind' that was seen in the US after Trump was elected.  In this video Andrew argues that the exit poll data tells a very difrerent story.

I'm going to have a look at the actual evidence of who voted for Peter Casey and why they did so as found in the RTÉ / RedC Exit poll. In doing so I'm disagreeing with the emerging media narrative which speak's of 'economix anxiety' and 'silent majorities'.  Instead the poll suggests a voter base of older rural men who want to be able to say racist stuff about the Travelling community without 'fear' of being told they are racist asses but who also probably voted agains the removal of the ban on blasphemy from the constitution.

The RTE / RedC data is to be found at

Eileen Ní Fhloinn piece for the Journal is well worth a read
Activist Eileen Ní Fhloinn says it worries her as a Traveller woman “to see the brazen and openness of anti-Traveller sentiment that’s out there on social media and political forums”.

Finally Niamh Kirk has a good piece looking at the media coverage of Casey that shows "From the second week of October, to the third week of October, Casey grew from one of the least covered candidates, to the single most covered"

Casey got
25% of men but only 15% of women
23.5% of over 65s but only 16% of 18-24s
26% rural only 18% Urban and 14% of Dublin
30% Fianna Fail, 24% SF, 25% Indep but only 10% Labour

14% of MDH votes gave 2nd pref to Casey
27% of Casey voters gave 2nd Pref to MDH. - This ties in with 10% of MDH vote in polls going to Casey at the election