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General Election 2016 - Issues, Implications and Predictions

  • Date: Wednesday 17 February, 2016

  • Time: 6.30-8.00pm

  • Venue: JM Synge Theatre, Room 2039, Arts Building, Trinity College Dublin

Dail The School of Social Sciences and Philosophy, Trinity College Dublin hosted an analysis of the 2016 General Election which looked at some of the key social, economic and political challenges facing Ireland in the near future, the choices that have to be made and, not least, what is likely to happen on and immediately after February 26th.

Questions which were explored included the much discussed 'fiscal space' and the various economic assumptions that define it; the processes which influence the distribution of health and well-being in societies and the choices that have to be made in regard to change for the better in Ireland; and the dynamics of public opinion with respect to the decision to be made in countless polling booths on Election Day; the implications for the gender quota on the composition and running of the Dáil; and how well public opinion measured and what the main factors underlying change since 2011.

Event Speakers

The event, which was chaired by Ed Mulhall former Managing Director of News and Current Affairs at RTÉ and School graduate, included the following speakers:

Professor Gail McElroy

McElroyGail McElroy is Professor of Political Science and Head of the School of Social Sciences and Philosophy. Her primary research interests are in the fields of legislative behaviour and party politics. Gail is also actively involved in the Irish National Election Study and the Irish Candidates Study and recent published work in this area explores the continued under-representation of women in Irish politics. Current work examines the differences in political ambition amongst Irish men and women and also the policy emphasis of men and women in the Dáil, as revealed in speeches.

Professor Michael Marsh

MarshMichael Marsh is an Emeritus Professor of Political Science and Fellow of Trinity College Dublin. He has published a number of books and about 100 professional papers and book chapters on parties and elections in Ireland and Europe. Professor Marsh was a principal investigator in the first ever Irish election study and lead author of the book based on the project, The Irish Voter (Manchester University Press, 2008). His research interests include Irish politics (Irish Elections and Public Opinion), Comparative Electoral behaviour (particularly European Union) and Political Parties and Party Organisations.


Professor Richard Layte

LayteRichard Layte is Professor of Sociology at Trinity College Dublin and a Research Professor at the Economic and Social Research Institute. Much of his work stems from a core interest in the structure of social and economic stratification in modern societies and its impact on individual life-chances, health and well-being. His research examines the fundamental processes which influence the distribution of health and well-being in societies and how these are shaped by political economy and the structure and functioning of health care systems. He has a keen interest in Irish health care and the role that health care can play in improving health and well-being.

Professor Michael King

KingMichael King is Assistant Professor of Economics at Trinity College Dublin and Director of its MSc in Economic Policy Studies which provides participants, often talented civil servants, with the economics skills to develop and evaluate policy. His research focuses on issues related to banking and household finance in developing countries, development policy and national competitiveness.

Michael has worked as a Senior Research Officer at Trinity's Institute for International Integration Studies (IIIS) and as an economist with Forfás and the National Competitiveness Council. He is also the founder and former CEO of the international development agency Suas Educational Development.

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Dáil Chamber photo - Tommy Kavanagh