On 29 August 2016 my BLOG “HISTORICAL LETTER FROM HISTORY IRELAND” carried a letter of mine published in that magazine in MAY/JUNE 2009.

It is a detailed letter covering the General Election Results in Ireland in 1918, previous general elections, the phenomenon and significance of uncontested seats, and municipal, county council and other local elections in 1920, and much more..

I sent it to the blog to scotch the objection that Sinn Fein got only 47% of the votes cast in Ireland, ignoring the 25 uncontested seats, and suggesting Sinn Fein’s victory was somehow hollow.

That objection had recently been made here by “MT” and I believe that he made it in honest ignorance.

A few months earlier it had appeared in the Sunday Independent under the name of Eoghan Harris. I don’t believe Harris is an ignorant man……..



  1. Antaine de Brún September 8, 2016 at 6:20 pm #

    And now here is the news…from the BBC

    More than half of people in Northern Ireland do not want the government to call a border poll, according to a new survey for BBC NI’s The View.

    Between mid August and early September the pollsters Ipsos Mori interviewed more than 1,000 people face-to-face at locations across Northern Ireland.

    Half of people in Northern Ireland = 1000 people? Is this a sine of madness from the BBC?

  2. Scott Rutherford September 8, 2016 at 8:44 pm #

    I’m a little confused here, are you saying that SF got more than 47% of the total popular vote in the 1918 General election in Ireland?

    • Jude Collins September 9, 2016 at 10:22 am #

      Stop being confused, Scott. If they did get 47% of the vote, that’d put them neck-and-neck with Thatcher. The point is, they swept the board in number of seats.

      • Scott Rutherford September 9, 2016 at 10:34 am #

        That’s very true Jude but if we are using the 1918 General election as a hypothetical referendum on Irish independence (assuming a vote for SF is a pro independence vote) then there would have been a narrow no vote for Irish independence.

  3. Donal Kennedy September 9, 2016 at 2:40 pm #

    I suggest, Scott, that you read, very carefully the full letter.
    In 25 Irish Constituencies the Unionists and John Dillon’s Nationalists did not deign to put
    up candidates nor hazard candidates’ deposits.
    All those 25 seats went to Sinn Fein plus 48 seats in each of which Sinn Fein won more than 50% of the votes cast. Thus Sinn Fein, which fought the Election on a Republican Separatist
    Manifesto took 73 Parliamentary Seats of a total of 105 in Ireland.
    The Home Rule Nationalists, led by John Dillon emerged with 6 seats, five of them in Ulster
    and some of those in agreement with Sinn Fein Republicans.
    That left the Unionists with 26 seats (one of them for Dublin/Rathmines, two of them for
    Dublin University (Trinity College) and 23 for Ulster.
    There was nothing hypothetical about the campaign nor its oputcome.
    The Irish Population had contributed its blood in Britain’s War on the Central Powers and the Ottoman Empire for the promise of the milk-and-water measure of Home Rule. It had then been cheated of it.
    In 1918 it withdrew its assent to foreign rule .

    Perhaps Scott you believe that England, Britain, or the British Monarch in Parliament ,has
    the right to withhold from or grant independence to other countries.

    The Irish people politely repudiated that idea in 1918 and after.

    In these less polite days I say BALLOCKS to it.

    never approved of rule from London.
    In 1918 it withdrew its assent t

    • Scott Rutherford September 9, 2016 at 4:44 pm #

      Apologise Donal but I can’t find the full letter you speak of. Is the link on this post?

  4. Seán McGouran September 9, 2016 at 3:13 pm #

    “…assuming a vote for SF is a pro independence vote…”. Sinn Féin stood on an openly Republican ticket and promised not to sit in Westminster, but to set up a parliament in Ireland. They won the election hand’s down and set up their under-populated parliament / Dáil in central Dublin.
    It was under populated because most of its members were arrested and many deported to England, before it could meet.
    The stale old twaddle about percentages hinges on the fact that Sinn Féin had walks-over in most of the constituencies in Munster, Connacht & Leinster (Unionists got three of the four Dublin University seats – SF (amazingly) the other one).
    Even in west Ulster SF got the 6 seats due them under the pact with the Redmondite rump, despite the latter reneging on the deal and standing against SF in ‘its’ constitutencies.
    During the Nationlist / Unionist pre-1918 ascendancy most seats in Ireland were uncontested.

  5. Donal Kennedy September 9, 2016 at 7:22 pm #

    DUBLIN UNIVERSITY is Trinity College Dublin, founded by Queen Elizabeth I on the site of a former Augustinian site “ALL HALLOWS”

    NATIONAL UNIVERSITY – covering University Colleges in Dublin, Cork, Galway “and I think
    Maynooth College, elected Eoin MacNeill for Sinn Fein, and (I think,) one other Sinn Feiner.

    Scott – Google the words “Sinn Fein’s 1918 Vote” and you will get my original letter in History
    OR -check “HISTORICAL LETTER FROM HISTORY IRELAND” from my Blog 29 August.