Independents rule out joining Right2Change vote transfer pact

Elaine Loughlin Irish Examiner Thurs, Oct 29, 2015

A number of independents have dismissed joining Right2Change claiming they are not interested in a vote transfer pact.

Catherine Murphy Social Democrats

Catherine Murphy Social Democrats

It comes after Sinn Féin said they would be advising supporters to give their second preference votes to members of Right2Change.

However, it appears that a number of Independent TDs and members of smaller parties will not join the Right2Change voting pact — a coalition of unions, politicians and groups opposed to water charges.

Catherine Murphy, joint leader of the Social Democrats said: “I don’t see any situation where we would be looking at a voting pact.”

She said her party would discuss the proposals and would deliver a statement on it today.Speaking of the objectives identified by Right2Change she said: “It’s quite general and there are things that we want to go further on or do differently.

“We won’t be going into a pact with any groups so that particular aspect for us is out. We will be setting out our stall in the election like every other group.”

Also ruling herself out, Independent TD Maureen O’Sullivan said she was “surprised” Sinn Féin, who are not usually “transfer friendly”, were seeking a pact.

“I suppose I was surprised that there were going to do that. I have seen them very much as a lone player they want to be the main player in the Dáil and had been building towards that,” she said. “I am trying to stay in an alliance-free zone.”

Parties and independents have been asked to give a decision on joining by tomorrow.

Independent Alliance member John Halligan, ruled out entering any pact but said if elected, he would be willing to talk to any group, including Sinn Féin.

John Halligan Independent Alliance

John Halligan Independent Alliance

“The position with me is that I am an independent and I don’t think it would be acceptable to the people who vote for me to go into a pact.”

He added:

“I feel that you should be open to speaking to anyone but that does not commit you to anything.”

He expects most Independent Alliance members would not be entering the voting pact but said “some will go, but I don’t know if it will take off big time”.