Friday 9 December 2016

Poll: Both Healy-Rae brothers set to be elected in Kerry – but Sinn Fein’s Ferris is at risk

TG4 survey of Kerry shows big changes afoot

Published 16/02/2016 | 19:05

Danny Healy-Rae with his brother Michael hands in his nomination papers to Registrar Padraig Burke. Photo: Don MacMonagle
Danny Healy-Rae with his brother Michael hands in his nomination papers to Registrar Padraig Burke. Photo: Don MacMonagle

HIGH-profile Kerry Independent TD, Michael Healy-Rae, is odds on to be joined by his brother, Danny, in the next Dáil, a new opinion poll has revealed.

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But Sinn Féin veteran Martin Ferris, a TD since 2002, is at serious risk of losing his seat in the newly-merged five seat constituency of Kerry.  These are the key findings of an Ipsos-MRBI poll for the television station, TG4.

The survey was done last Thursday and Friday, immediately after Danny Healy-Rae announced he was joining his brother Michael on the ticket.  Danny is shown on just 4pc but his brother is on a whopping 33pc – and the combined figure leaves them very close to two quotas, making chances of the pair being elected on February 26 very real indeed.

The poll is good news for Fine Gael whose two candidates are put on the same level of support. Jimmy Deenihan, in the north, and Brendan Griffin in the south, are each on 13pc, making one seat a certainty and with a good chance of a second.

The findings are bad news for Sinn Féin, Labour and to a much lesser extent for Fianna Fáil.

Sinn Féin’s Martin Ferris, based in Fenit to the north of the constituency, is put on just 7pc. This poor showing suggests he is making few inroads in the new territory of the south and also losing in his old base.

Labour’s Arthur Spring, whose family have a link to Kerry politics going back to 1943, is ahead of Ferris on 8pc.  But that showing would leave him off the pace for a seat.

Fianna Fáil, elated at news a fortnight that Independent TD, Tom Fleming, was not standing, received a reverse last week with the late entry of Danny Healy-Rae. But they should be ahead in the scramble for the final seat.

Fianna Fáil frontrunner, John Brassil is put on 11pc, while his running mate Norma Moriarty is on 6pc.  This suggests Cllr Brassil should take the final seat.

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