By-elections are due to be held either side of Budget
TWO by-elections will be held in the autumn to replace TDs elected as MEPs. Independent TD Luke 'Ming' Flanagan and Fine Gael junior minister Brian Hayes were elected in Ireland Midlands-North-West and Dublin respectively.
Fine Gael TD Simon Harris narrowly missed out on a European Parliament seat in Ireland South last night, so there won't be a by-election in Wicklow. However, there may need to be a by-election when Ireland's European Commissioner is appointed.
Environment Minister Phil Hogan from Carlow-Kilkenny and Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore from Dun Laoghaire have both been linked with the job.
Fianna Fail and Sinn Fein were early favourites to win the Roscommon-South Leitrim and Dublin South-West by-elections, which were expected to be held in September or November – either side of the Budget.
The Government parties are unlikely to win either seat, although Fine Gael and Labour will both put up a challenge in Dublin West.
Roscommon-South Leitrim is regarded as Fianna Fail's to lose, while Sinn Fein's commanding performance will put it in contention in Dublin South-West.