The Power of Alphabetical Voting
Could this explain the Ahern era? You have a better chance of becoming a TD if your surname starts with a letter early in the alphabet. And Byrne is the most electable Irish surname. Maybe Gaybo picked the wrong career. >>>
Easy as ABC
Do Dáil candidates get more votes simply by being listed higher on the ballot paper? It certainly seems so. Fifteen of the forty first-time TDs have surnames starting with A, B or C, and over half have surnames starting with a letter from A to F.
And this is not a freak result. If you look at all of the TDs ever elected to the Dáil (that’s well over a thousand of them since 1921), four in ten have had surnames starting with A to F, and over half starting with A to H.
What’s Dat, Gaybo?
Byrne is the most electable Irish surname. What’s dat, Gaybo? The most electable Irish surname. And all of that sort of thing, don’t you know.
Newly elected Catherine of Fine Gael in Dublin South Central and Thomas of Fianna Fáil in Meath East are the most recent of fifteen TDS with this surname since the foundation of the State.
The other Byrne TDs have been Christopher (1921), Alfred and Daniel (1922), Conor (1923), John Joseph (1927), Alfred (1937), Thomas (1951), Patrick (1954), Henry (1965), Hugh (1969), Hugh (1981), Seán (1982) and Eric (1989).