independent

Sunday 22 January 2017

The knife-edge election

Published 20/02/2016 | 02:30

A horse outside Oranmore, Co Galway inspects the election board of Noel Grealish. Photo: Hany Marzouk
A horse outside Oranmore, Co Galway inspects the election board of Noel Grealish. Photo: Hany Marzouk
Mary Hanafin. Photo: Tom Burke
Eoghan Murphy. Photo: Tom Burke
Aengus Ó Snodaigh
Kathleen Lynch. Photo: Tom Burke

It’s the most unpredictable general election in living memory. Through briefings from strategists from all the main parties and access to internal polling data, Fionnán Sheahan cuts to the chase on the seats where Election 2016 will be won and lost

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DUBLIN

DUBLIN CENTRAL

SF's Mary-Lou McDonald will top the poll. Ind Maureen O'Sullivan is under pressure from Ind former Lord Mayor Christy Burke and Cieran Perry.

FG minister Paschal Donohoe is pipping Lab's Joe Costello for the Coalition seat.

In the mix: 1 SF, 1 Ind, 1 FG

DUBLIN BAY NORTH

Apart from FG minister Richard Bruton, nothing else is certain in the 'Battle of the Bay', with plenty of head to heads: Ind Finian McGrath vs SF's Michéal MacDonncha and Denise Mitchell; Lab's Aodhan O Riordain vs Ind Tommy Broughan; FF's Sean Haughey vs Ind Averil Power; Renua's Terence Flanagan vs FG's Naoise O Muirí.

In the mix: 1 FG, 1 Ind and then good luck...

DUBLIN NORTH-WEST

Chalk down SF's Dessie Ellis and SD's Róisín Shortall. Lab's John Lyons has FG's Noel Rock and FF's Paul McAuliffe hunting him down.

In the mix: 1 SF, 1 SD + 1 up for grabs

DUBLIN NORTH

Ind Clare Daly will comfortably top the poll, followed by FF's Darragh O'Brien, FG minister Dr James Reilly and Lab's Brendan Ryan. After that it's FG's Alan Farrell, SF's Louise O'Reilly and Ind

In the mix: 1 Ind, 1 FF, 1 FG, 1 Lab + 1 up for grabs

DUBLIN WEST

FG'S Leo Varadkar, SF'S Paul Donnelly and FF's Jack Chambers are across the line. The final seat comes down to Tánaiste Joan Burton for Lab and Soc Ruth Coppinger with Ind David McGuinness an outside bet.

In the mix: 1 FG, 1 SF, 1 FF + 1 up for grabs

DUBLIN MID-WEST

SF's Eoin O Broin doesn't even need to canvass, followed by FG minister Frances Fitzgerald. The last two seats come down to Lab's Joanna Tuffy, AAA-PBP Gino Kenny and FF's John Curran.

In the mix: 1 SF, 1 FG + 2 up for grabs

DUBLIN SOUTH-WEST

SF's Sean Crowe to top the poll. PBP's Paul Murphy ought also to be okay. Then there's FG's Colm Brophy, FF's John Lahart, Lab's Pamela Kearns and SF's Sarah Holland.

In the mix: 1 SF, 1 PBP + 3 up for grabs

DUBLIN RATHDOWN

Mark down Ind Shane Ross and probably FG's Alan Shatter. The final seat see Lab's Alex White trying to fend off FG's Josepha Madigan, FF's Mary White and Green Catherine Martin .

In the mix: 1 Ind, 1 FG + 1 up for grabs

DUN LAOGHAIRE

FG's Mary Mitchell-O'Connor will top the poll, followed by PBP's Richard Boyd-Barrett. The last seat is there for FF's Mary Hanafin to win, but not before seeing off FF's Cormac Devlin and FG's Maria Bailey.

In the mix: 1 FG (Ceann Comhairle), 1 FG, 1 PBP + 1 up for grabs

DUBLIN BAY SOUTH

FG's Eoghan Murphy and SF's Chris Andrews are odds on to win. The last two seats come down to Renua's Lucinda Creighton, Lab's Kevin Humphreys, FG's Kate O'Connell and FF's Jim O'Callaghan, with Green Eamon Ryan just behind.

In the mix: 1 FG, 1 SF + 2 up for grabs

DUBLIN SOUTH-CENTRAL

SF Aengus Ó Snodaigh will romp home, while FG's Katherine Byrne and AAA's Joan Collins will be alright. Lab's Eric Byrne, SF's Maire Devine and AAA/PBP Bríd Smith.

In the mix: 1 SF, 1 Ind, 1 FG + 2 up for grabs

LEINSTER

LOUTH

SF's Gerry Adams will have a massive vote. FG's Fergus O'Dowd, Lab's Ged Nash and FF's Declan Breathnach are ahead. FG's Peter Fitzpatrick and SF's Imela Munster chase the last seat.

In the mix: 1 SF, 1 FG, 1 Lab, 1 FF + 1 up for grabs

MEATH EAST

FG's Helen McEntee and FF's Thomas Byrne are through. FG's Regina Doherty and SF's Darren O'Rourke hunt the last.

In the mix: 1 FG, 1 FF + 1 up for grabs

MEATH WEST

SF'S Peadar Toibín and FG's Damien English to cruise. FF's Shane Cassells currently has the edge on FG's TD Ray Butler for the last seat.

In the mix: 1 SF, 1 FG + 1 up for grabs

LONGFORD-WESTMEATH

ff'S Robert Troy, FG's James Bannon and Lab's Willie Penrose appear certain. From there Ind Kevin 'Boxer' Moran, FG's Gabrielle McFadden and FG's Peter Burke chase the last.

In the mix: 1 FF, 1 FG, 1 Lab + 1 up for grabs

OFFALY

FF's Barry Cowen is sure to be elected. FG's Marcella Corcoran-Kennedy should be alright. Ind John Foley, FF's Eddie Fitzpatrick and Renua's John Leahy chase the final seat.

In the mix: 1 FF, 1 FG + 1 up for grabs

LAOIS

Boring. Anything bar, FG minister Charlie Flanagan, FF's Sean Fleming and SF's Brian Stanley is a cataclysmic shock.

In the mix: 1 FG, 1 FF, 1 SF

KILDARE NORTH

FG's Bernard Durkan and SD's Catherine Murphy are in. Lab's Emmett Stagg is a doughty performer. FG's Anthony Lawlor in deep trouble from FF's James Lawless.

In the mix: 1FG, 1 SD + 2 up for grabs

KILDARE SOUTH

FG's Martin Heydon and FF's Sean O Fearghail are across the line. Lab's Mark Wall is favourite to creep across the line ahead of FF's Fiona McLoughlin

In the mix: 1 FG, 1 FF + 1 up for grabs

CARLOW-KILKENNY

FG's John-Paul Phelan and Pat Deering to win along with FF's John McGuinness and Bobby Aylward. and Jennifer Murnane-O'Connor. SF's Kathleen Funchion to emerge.

In the mix: 2 FG, 2 FF, 1 SF

WEXFORD

Ind Mick Wallace to sweep in and Lab minister Brendan Howlin to hold too. After that it's three from four out of FG's Paul Kehoe and Michael D'Arcy and FF's Malcolm Byrne and James Browne.

In the mix: 1 Ind, 1 Lab, 1 FG, 1 FF + 1 up for grabs

Wicklow

FG's Simon Harris, SD's Stephen Donnelly and SF's John Brady are home and hosed. Then pick two from FG's Andrew Doyle, FF's Pat Casey, Renua'a Billy Timmins and Ind Joe Behan.

In the mix: 1 FG, 1 SD, 1 SF + 2 up for grabs

MUNSTER

CORK SOUTH-CENTRAL

Simple. FG's Jerry Buttimer is up against SF's Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire for the last seat. FF's Micheal Martin and Michael McGrath and FG minister Simon Coveney to win easily

In the mix: 2 FF, 1 FG + 1 up for grabs

CORK NORTH-CENTRAL

SF's Jonathan O'Brien and FF's Billy Kelleher are certainties. FG's Dara Murphy should barely scrape in. Lab's Kathleen Lynch faces the battle of her life against AAA's Mick Barry and SF's Thomas Gould.

In the mix: 1 SF, 1 FF + 2 up for grabs

CORK EAST

FG's David Stanton is fine, FF's Kevin O'Keeffe is fine, Lab's Sean Sherlock has enough in the can. FG's Tom Barry has to contend with running mate Noel McCarthy and SF's Pat Buckley

In the mix: 1 FG, 1 FF, 1 Lab + 1 up for grabs

CORK NORTH-WEST

FG's Michael Creed and FF's Michael Moynihan are sound, but not so FG's Aine Collins with pressure from FF's Aindrias Moyniahn and Inds Diarmuid O'Flynn.

In the mix: 1 FG, 1 FF + 1 up for grabs

CORK SOUTH-WEST

FG's Jim Daly will definitely take a seat. FF's Margaret Murphy-O'Mahony and Ind Alan Coleman will take a seat between them and the runner up is against FG's Noel Harrington for the last seat.

In the mix: 1 FG + 2 up for grabs

KERRY

Independent Michael Healy-Rae (above) will romp with brother Danny chasing a second.

FG's Jimmy Deenihan and Brendan Griffin are confidently chasing two. FF's John Brassill will surely win and SF's Martin Ferris is viewed as having enough ahead of Lab's Arthur Spring.

In the mix: 1 Ind, 1 FG + remaining 3 are too tricky to definitely call

LIMERICK COUNTY

FG's Patrick O'Donovan and FF's Niall Collins are in front and Ind Emmet O'Brien is currently ahad of FG's Tom Neville.

In the mix: 1 FG, 1 FF + 1 up for grabs

LIMERICK CITY

FF's Willie O'Dea, FG's Michael Noonan and SF's Maurice Quinlivan are bankers. That leaves Lab's minister Jan O'Sullivan and FG's Kieran O'Donnell in a straight shoot out.

In the mix: 1 FF, 1 FG, 1 SF + 1 up for grabs

CLARE

FF's Timmy Dooley is the only certainty. FG's Joe Carey seems to be stronger than party colleague Pat Breen as they chase two seats. Lab's Michael McNamara, FF's Michael McDonagh and Clare Colleran-Molloy, and Ind's Dr Michael Harty and Ann Norton.

In the mix: 1 FG, 1 FF + 2 up for grabs

TIPPERARY

Ind Michael Lowry - by a mile.FG's Tom Hayes is ahead of Noel Coonan. FF Michael Smith and Jackie Cahill are in an intriguing scrap. WUAG's Seamus Healy is leading Ind Mattie McGrath in the south and Lab's deputy leader Alan Kelly is fending off SF's Seamus Morris.

In the mix: 1 FG, 1 FF, 1 Ind + 2 up for grabs

WATERFORD

FG's John Deasy, Ind John Halligan and SF's David Cullinane are in. FG's Paudie Coffey and FF's Mary Butler for the last.

In the mix: 1 FG, 1 SF, 1 Ind + 1 up for grabs

CONNACHT

Mayo

Taoiseach Enda Kenny and junior minister Michael Ring will take two seats for FG. FF's Dara Calleary is also straight in. Then it's down to whether FG's big guns have enough to bring party colleague Michelle Mulherin across the line, with SF's Rose Conway-Walsh and FF's Lisa Chambers knocking on the door.

In the mix: 2 FG, 1 FF + 1 up for grabs

GALWAY WEST

Always interesting. FF's Eamon O Cuiv is obviously safe but struggles to bring in running mate John Connolly. Ind Noel Grealish will be back again. FG will win one and probably two from Sean Kyne, John O'Mahony and Hildegarde Naughton. SF's Trevor O Clochartaigh will be disappointed with anything but a win. Lab's Derek Nolan and Ind Catherine Connolly are also in contention.

In the mix: 1 FG, 1 FF, 1 Ind + 2 up for grabs

GALWAY EAST-SOUTH ROSCOMMON

FG's Paul Connaughton Jnr and Ciaran Cannon are under pressure to retain two. FF's Colm Keaveney has to fend off running mate Anne Rabbitte and then get elected. Ind Sean Canney is really the one to watch.

In the mix: 1 FG, 1 FF + 1 up for grabs

ROSCOMMON

Independents Michael Fitzmaurice and Denis Naughten are both in right away. FG's Maura Hopkins and FF's Eugene Murphy and Shane Currran.

In the mix: 2 Inds + 1 up for grabs

SLIGO

Surely there's a FG and FF seat here. FG's Tony McLoughlin, Gerry Reynolds and John Perry will chase two but are falling short. Likewise FF's Mark MacSharry and Eamon Scanlon. SF's Martin Kenny looks a good bet. And Inds Declan Bree and Marie Casserly are also in contention.

In the mix: 1 FG, 1FF, 1 SF + 1 that's anyone's bet

ULSTER

DONEGAL

SF's Pearse Doherty will top the poll but Padraig MacLochlainn should also get in, with the help of Gary Doherty. FF's Pat 'the Cope' Gallagher is storming - and even making sitting FF TD Charlie McConalogue nervous. FG's junior minister Joe McHugh will scrape in. Ind Thomas Pringle is solid, if not safe. In the mix: 2 SF, 1 FG, 1 FF + 1 up for grabs

CAVAN-MONAGHAN

FG expect two from minister Heather Humphreys and Joe O'Reilly. FF's Brendan Smith is again safe, likewise SF's Caoimhghin O Caolain with the party hoping for a second seat with Kathryn Reilly.

In the mix: 1 FG, 1 FF, 1 SF + 1 up for grabs.

Irish Independent

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