This year’s May Day marked a ‘JNLR Day’ in the world of Irish broadcasting. It coincided with the release of the JNLR (Joint National Listenership Research) data when radio stations cite listenership figures for their own ends.
Most stations issue release press releases trumpeting success in various ratings wars. Everyone is a winner.
Looking at Dublin ahead of the Local and European elections, count weekend may also be one of those days when every party claims victory - for the locals at least.
RTÉ's Conor McMorrow looks at the Dublin constituency
Unlike large swathes of the country where the number of councillors have been cut, the local election boundary review means there will be an increase in councillors in Dublin from 131 to 183 in the county's four local authorities. This may mean that smaller parties and Independents can make gains in the new configuration.
Fianna Fáil was decimated in the capital in the 2009 local elections. The bigger electoral areas mean the party is likely to claim a few victories at local level in Dublin.
In the Euro elections, the capital is being viewed as the bellwether for the party.
In the three-seat constituency, a 25 per cent share of the vote will be the quota target. On current poll ratings, Fianna Fáil’s Mary Fitzpatrick has a chance of winning a seat but it is by no means a certainty. As the party attempts to carve out a fresh image, it is difficult to predict how ‘transfer friendly’ the Fianna Fáil brand is.
Councillor Fitzpatrick’s perceived ‘shafting’ by the ‘Drumcondra Mafia’ in Dublin Central in the 2007 general election is viewed as a positive attribute by her supporters.
Others say she owes her notoriety to ‘Iar Taoiseach Ahern’ because of what happened in 2007. Fianna Fáil insiders have been eager to point out in recent weeks that the party has not won a Dublin Euro seat since 2004.
If they fail to secure a seat here a decade later, attention will (rightly or wrongly) focus on the party leader Micheal Martin.
Rumours of Minister of State, Brian Hayes deciding to go to Europe had been circulating around Leinster House for a long period before he officially declared. He is expected to take a Dublin Euro seat for Fine Gael.
Sinn Fein appears to believe its brand is so strong at the moment that the party can put forward three candidates that are by no means household names.
That said, it is almost forgotten at this stage that Mary Lou McDonald lost here Euro seat in the 2009 election. Polls have put Lynn Boylan in a good position to take a seat.
The party has enjoyed a largely upward trend in opinion polls since the last general election, with some polls putting the party as high as double the 9.9% it garnered in 2011. The big questions for the party are: Can the party’s poll ratings become reality? While the recent arrest of party leader Gerry Adams has certainly galvanised the party’s core support, will it deter ‘soft’ support and floating voters?
Even though the Midlands North-West and South constituencies are four-seaters, the dominant view is that Labour’s best chance of taking a seat is in the three-seat Dublin constituency.
Outgoing MEP Emer Costello is contesting the seat. According to RTÉ’s most recent ‘Poll of Polls’, Labour’s popular support over the last four opinion polls stands at 8% compared to 20% in the last general election.
It’s ten years since Nessa Childers was elected a Green councillor in Dublin. Since then she has been elected a Labour MEP for Ireland East and last year she defected to become an Independent MEP. Now contesting in Dublin, she has done well in opinion polls to date.
Childers’ former Green party colleague Eamon Ryan should have no chance when you see that his party register's little support in opinion polls. But he is a household name and there is a view that if he is not eliminated from the race too early, he may be 'transfer friendly'.
Outgoing Socialist MEP Paul Murphy, is a solid media performer and he has pitched himself as 'the only opposition MEP to fight austerity in Europe'.
He says that a 'cosy consensus exists' within the European Parliament and Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and Labour are part of that.
There is a view that there should be ‘at least one left seat’ but there are a lot of 'left' candidates. Sinn Féin may hoover up a lot of that sentiment but it depends who can stay ahead of the pack and garner transfers. Councillor Brid Smith of People Before Profit is pitched as a 'class candidate' and she is chasing votes from a similar support base.
Politicians of all persuasions will trumpet victory in Dublin in the local election ratings war. Looking at Europe, Brian Hayes looks like a good bet to take a seat.
While Sinn Fein's Lynn Boylan is also well poised, it's difficult to confidently predict who will take the second and third seats.
There are 12 candidates. There will be three winners.
Sinn Féin - Lynn Boylan
A member of the Sinn Féin Ard Comhairle. Contested the 2007 general election and the 2009 local election in South Kerry. Works in Ballymun as a community programme coordinator with an environmental NGO.
Independent - Nessa Childers
MEP. Resigned from the Parliamentary Labour Party last year. Switched from the East constituency to the Dublin constituency for this election. Daughter of a former President of Ireland, Erskine Childers.
Labour Party - Emer Costello
MEP. Member of Dublin City Council from 2003 to 2012, and was Lord Mayor of Dublin from 2009–10. Took Proinsias De Rossa's seat as an MEP after he resigned in 2012.
Direct Democracy - Tom D'Arcy
Famously referred to Constance Georgine Markievicz as "Constant Markievicz" last year saying "he" died in 1916. . Former property developer. Constance Markievicz died 11 years after the Easter Rising.
Fianna Fáil - Mary Fitzpatrick
Dublin City Councillor since 2003. She has twice unsuccessfully contested for a Dáil seat. In 2007, she infamously lost out on a seat to party colleague Cyprian Brady, who gained most of Bertie Ahern’s transfers. She was also an unsuccessful candidate in the 2011 General Election.
Fine Gael - Brian Hayes
Minister of State at the Department of Finance. First became a Senator in 1995 and TD in 1997. Supported Richard Bruton's leadership challenge to Enda Kenny. In advance of this European election, Hayes has urged Fine Gael voters to give their second preference to Labour’s Emer Costello, saying ‘it makes sense’ to support their coalition partners.
Socialist Party - Paul Murphy
An outgoing MEP and first-time candidate, Murphy was co-opted to the European Parliament after Joe Higgins won a seat Dáil in the 2011 General Election. Set up ScamBridge.org to protest the Government's JobBridge scheme.
Green Party - Eamon Ryan
Leader of the Green Part and fomer Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources.TD from 2002 to 2011 when the Green Party pulled the plug on a coalition with Fianna Fáil.
People Before Profit - Brid Smith
Elected to represent Ballyfermot/Drimnagh on Dublin City Council in 2009. Played leading role in Campaigns against the Household Charge and the Property Tax. In 1997 and 2002, she stood for the Socialist Workers Party, but in 2007 she contested on the People Before Profit ticket. On that occasion, she won 2,086 first preference votes, a 4.4% vote share.
Independent - Jim Tallon
Farmer. A veteran of more than a dozen election campaigns in several constituencies since 1981, he once appeared in a Youtube video styled as 1980s TV hero, Knight Rider.
Direct Democracy - Raymond Whitehead
Photographer. A founder of the Direct Democracy movement in Ireland, Whitehead unsuccessfully contested the 2011 General Election, securing only 120 votes in the Dublin South constituency.
Fís Nua - Damon Wise
Voluntary Community Worker and disability advocate,. Lives in Co Clare.