Adrian Kavanagh, March 6th 2013
What do Tomas MacGiolla, Dick Roche, Joe Higgins, Brian Hayes and Paul Gogarty all have in common? All of these candidates lost in by-election contests – MacGiolla (Dublin West 1982), Roche (Wicklow 1995), Higgins (Dublin West 1996), Hayes (Dublin South Central 1994) and Gogarty (Dublin West 1996). But they all went on to win seats in subsquent general election contests – MacGiolla (Dublin West November 1982), Roche (Wicklow 1997), Higgins (Dublin West 1997) – and in some cases won these in different constituencies, namely Hayes (Dublin South-West 1997) and Gogarty (Dublin Mid-West 2002). Indeed, over the past thirty years and twenty-five different by-elections, a total of 28 candidates have lost by-elections but went on win seats in subsequent general elections.
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