Last week the independent candidate for the European election, Nessa Childers, toured the North County meeting voters in the Dublin constituency. Ms Childers, the daughter of the late President and former FF Minister, Erskine, was first elected as a Green Councillor in Wicklow before moving in 2008 on to the Labour Party. She won a seat in the European Parliament for them in the Ireland South constituency. In 2012 she resigned from the Labour Party and currently sits as an Independent. Now with the redrawing of the constituency boundaries, Childers has opted to contest the Dublin Constituency.
On calling into the Offices of North County Leader she told us that, because of the amalgamation of her current constituency into the greater South constituency that she had no option but to move. She says she is anti-austerity and pro transparency. When asked how she will vote should she be elected in the contest for Commission president, she said that she was unsure as the election itself will create change, but that she would be voting for a social democrat when the time came.
Indeed the position seems quite unclear. The agreed understanding was that the candidate of the party who secured the most votes, would be elected as President of the European Commission. The current forecast suggests that the seats in the parliament will be EPP 214, S+D 208, Alde 60, GUE/NGL, 51 Greens 44 with the other 174 across a range of the smaller groupings and others. While the big three appear to have some understanding between them as to how they will proceed after the election, Gabi Zimmer of the GUE/NGl, to which both the Socialist Party and Sinn Féin are aligned to, said that back room deals are a thing of the past that the nomination of President must be reflective of the new parliament. Time will tell with your vote and those of the rest of Europe influencing the outcome.