Sinn Fein’s Chris gets the high­est num­ber of votes for a first time can­di­date in Elec­tion ‘ 16

The Sligo Champion - - NEWS -

FIRST time Gen­eral Elec­tion can­di­date Chris MacManus be­lieves he won’t have to wait too long un­til he’s out can­vass­ing again.

“I think we’re go­ing to have an­other Gen­eral Elec­tion be­fore the next lo­cals which are three and a half years away. I’d be very sur­prised by what­ever govern­ment comes about that it lasts that long. I’m en­vis­ag­ing there’ll be one in­side the next 12 months,” the for­mer Bor­ough Coun­cil­lor said.

There were raised eye­brows when the party de­cided to run two can­di­dates, adding MacManus af­ter he had lost out at the party con­ven­tion in Sligo to Bal­li­namore coun­cil­lor Martin Kenny. Nev­er­the­less, MacManus is happy to have got the chance and was al­ways in with an out­side chance of tak­ing a seat. The cam­paign, said MacManus, was most en­joy­able.

“There’s too much em­pha­sis now on leaflet­ing and pos­ter­ing. You have to knock on the door, talk to peo­ple, give them a chance to size you up to see if you are the right per­son for the job. Over­all, I’m very pleased. I’ve got the high­est vote of any first time can­di­date in this elec­tion, I’ve got over 4,500 first pref­er­ence votes, the se­cond high­est vote in Sligo town, polled nearly 30% in south Done­gal and out­polled a sit­ting TD and a sen­a­tor. Sinn Fein went into this to en­sure we took one seat and we did that and we were in the mix for a se­cond. We have put our­selves down as very se­ri­ous con­tenders at any sub­se­quent elec­tion for be­ing in the mix for two seats.” Pun­dits, sit­ting in of­fices in Dublin, he said barely gave him a men­tion.

“I’ll tell you at the next elec­tion no one will be writ­ing Chris MacManus off,” he said. Na­tion­ally, he feels Sinn Fein will play the role of op­po­si­tion in the new Dail. “We won’t be part of a Fianna Fail or Fine Gael led Govern­ment,” he said. “Peo­ple who voted for us, that’s not what they wanted. They voted for change,” he said. MacManus said he felt vot­ers from the age of 40 down­wards were pre­pared to lis­ten to him, mov­ing away from the tra­di­tional vot­ing pat­tern of one party for life.

“They were ready to lis­ten to you be­cause if you were able to show how you might be able to put a few pound back in their pock­ets and of­fer a cer­tain qual­ity of life af­ter they paid their bills they were very much open to lis­ten­ing to your mes­sage,” he said.

Fianna Fail can­di­date Marc MacSharry with his cousin Clr. Tom MacSharry and father Ray MacSharry on Satur­day evening. Pic: Carl Bren­nan.

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