Palgrave Macmillan (2011), 352 pages
Central Library, Dublin
Irish Politics & History
How Ireland Voted 2011: The Full Story of Ireland’s Earthquake Election is a collection of essays on the seismic 2011 general election. The 2011 election involved the massacre of the two governing parties (Fianna Fáil lost 57 of its 77 seats and the Green Party lost all six of their seats) and a change to the Irish political landscape. To paraphrase Labour’s Ruairi Quinn, in Greece people hurled Molotov cocktails at the police, in Ireland voters threw them into the ballot box.
This is an in-depth study of the 2011 election and is probably only for those with a deep interest in the Irish political system. Essays include topics such as candidate selection, the use of online media, the Irish voting system, and women in the election (should gender quotas be introduced?). Perhaps the most interesting chapter consists of essays by seven candidates detailing their election experiences. It is also interesting to read “The Final Seanad Election?” with the knowledge that the people, in their wisdom, voted to keep the upper house in a referendum in 2013.
How Ireland Voted 2011 is packed with tables, charts, and statistics to keep any election nerd happy. It is a comprehensive and scholarly analysis of the amazing 2011 election.