Published 26/02/2011 | 05:00
Fianna Fail's jewel in the crown and Fine Gael, Sinn Fein and the Labour Party have their eyes on the prize. After Taoiseach Brian Cowen's retirement, Fianna Fail is in danger of losing two of its three seats. Three for Fine Gael would be an entry into overall majority territory.
Old Fianna Fail country where the party will only win one seat and it's a straight fight between Fine Gael, Labour and Sinn Fein for the loose seat, with the winner indicating who is going to have a really good day.
On the back of Enda Kenny's coronation as Taoiseach, Fine Gael is driving for four out of five seats. Vote management at its best will have to be employed here.
The group of death will not only leave some big names disappointed, but it will also give an indication of the strength of the swing. Only four can emerge from the star names of Gilmore, Barrett, Hanafin, Cuffe, Andrews, Bacik, Boyd-Barrett and Mitchell-O'Connor. If Fine Gael take two seats here, it's game on for an overall majority.
Micheal Martin will be desperate to win two seats by bringing in his running mate, but Fine Gael are pressing hard for three seats and at Fianna Fail's expense. Fianna Fail losing out would cap a miserable day for the new leader.
The perfect storm for Fianna Fail where, again, three seats are in danger. The party should challenge for two, but Fine Gael's team, led by Phil Hogan, is looking for three with Labour and Sinn Fein also in contention. The county divide dynamic is difficult to master and also gives the Green Party a bizarre outside chance.
The departure of Bertie Ahern leaves plenty of intrigue, but there's plenty of competition in the field to give an indication of where the votes are going to go. The possibility of Fianna Fail winding up with no seat in the former Taoiseach's heartland will ensure that everybody is watching closely.
The barometer constituency has three TDs and an MEP in contention. Fianna Fail failing to win a seat here would be an ominous sign for the party.
Eamon O Cuiv's presence raises Fianna Fail's chances of winning two seats. But Fine Gael and Labour have new candidates in the field so there is an element of change in the air already and it will be interesting to see how the new bucks fare.