Rational voters do not elect independents

In the wake of last weekend's two by-elections, the focus has been on the drop in the Fianna Fáil vote and the victory of Fine Gael in Meath.

19th March, 2005

There has been little analysis of the success of Independent candidate Cather ine Murphy in Kildare North, which raises important questions about the rationality of Irish voters. Inmost other party systems, when the electorate is dissatisfied with a government, it transfers support to the opposition parties in the hope that they will defeat the incumbents and forma government. This appears tobe a rational and logical decision, as the only way to get rid of one...

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