The National University of Ireland (NUI) consists of four colleges, UCD, UCC, UCG and Maynooth. It can elect three members of the Seanad. As can Trinity College graduates.
Graduates of the NUI who are registered can vote in the election by postal ballot. Unfortunately many graduates fail to register and so cannot vote. The next date for updating the register is June 2016 so it is not possible to register for the present election at this stage.
St. Patrick’s and Mary Immaculate teacher training colleges used to be included but St. Patrick’s is now part of DCU and so is out of the loop. However, many Primary School teachers can vote under the old dispensation.
There are 103,000 graduates on the electoral register and in practice 35,000 – 40,000 actually vote. On past experience the quota will be between 8,000 and 10,000 votes. To be in with a chance of securing a seat, a candidate would need 4,500 – 5,000 first preference votes and then be transfer friendly.
Each candidate is entitled to postage for an election address to each voter. That has already happened. Because of the size of the electoral register and its dispersed nature, door to door canvassing is virtually impossible. Personal networking where people ask friends and acquaintances to vote is the most effective method of canvassing. Whereas many Union members may not themselves be voters, they may have family members who are.
Ballot papers will issue through the post from Monday 21st March and must be returned by 26th April. In practice anyone who is going to vote will do so in the first couple of days. After that the envelope is likely to remain on the mantelpiece. Therefore, this week is critical. Use your vote.
To view the candidates for the NUI panel please click here
To view the candidates for the Trinity panel please click here