Wednesday 28 September 2016

Burton to lose her seat: poll

Published 11/02/2016 | 02:30

Labour leader and Tánaiste Joan Burton beside her party headquarters in the Dublin Docklands yesterday Photo: Gerry Mooney
Labour leader and Tánaiste Joan Burton beside her party headquarters in the Dublin Docklands yesterday Photo: Gerry Mooney

Tánaiste Joan Burton is facing a massive battle to save her own political career, the Irish Independent can reveal.

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An exclusive poll of the Dublin West constituency shows the Labour Party leader has only an outside chance of retaining her seat.

Cabinet colleague Leo Varadkar is set to top the poll and could even take his place in the new Dáil after the first count.

Sinn Féin is also set for a major breakthrough, with Paul Donnelly matching the Health Minister's 20pc.

But the poll will send shockwaves through Labour as it shows Ms Burton's vote is just 10pc - less than half of what she achieved in 2011.

Fianna Fáil will be delighted with the performance of newcomer Jack Chambers who, on 17pc, is within touching distance of winning back the seat once held by the late Brian Lenihan.

Ruth Coppinger of AAA-PBP has not been significantly boosted by the retirement of her colleague Joe Higgins but is 5pc ahead of Ms Burton in the race for the final seat.

The Millward Browne poll of 520 voters in the constituency was carried out between February 5-8, after the General Election was called.

Based on the figures, Ms Burton will be relying heavily on transfers from Mr Varadkar if she is to have any chance of getting elected.

A massive 43pc of Fine Gael voters say they will give her their second preference but the gap between her and Mr Chambers and Ms Coppinger appears insurmountable.

Ms Burton previously lost her seat in 1997, but has been a solid performer in every election since. However, 42pc of her constituents listed her as the least effective sitting TD of the current Dáil. Mr Varadkar was by far seen as the most effective.

Irish Independent

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