Monday 26 September 2016

Labour adopts one-candidate policy for election

Published 18/08/2015 | 02:30

Minister of State Ann Phelan has been selected as the party's sole candidate in the Carlow/Kilkenny constituency
Minister of State Ann Phelan has been selected as the party's sole candidate in the Carlow/Kilkenny constituency

The Labour Party has adopted a one-candidate "hold what we have" policy in all but three constituencies in the general election due to its dismal showing in the polls.

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A party spokesman said last night the one-candidate policy would everywhere except Dublin South-West, Dublin Mid-West and Louth.

Minister of State Ann Phelan has been selected as the party's sole candidate in the Carlow/Kilkenny constituency as part of the strategy. Traditionally, the party has run more than one candidate here and the person to lose out is Carlow councillor Willie Quinn who ran in the recent by-election but got just 7pc of the vote.

Local party sources have expressed disquiet at the one-candidate decision, citing the huge economic battering that Carlow has taken during the recession.

Councillor Quinn is disappointed he won't get the chance to contest the next poll but has said he understands the decision in the best interests of the party.

Kilkenny-based Phelan was a first-time candidate when she took her seat in the last election, with Carlow's Des Hurley as her running mate, This time, with the party at such a low ebb in the polls, Labour has opted to run just one candidate rather than risking of splitting what could be a low party vote.

Meanwhile, Fianna Fáil has selected three candidates to run in Carlow/Kilkenny after holding two separate conventions - one in Carlow and one in Kilkenny. They are chairman of the Public Accounts Committee John McGuinness, Bobby Aylward, who was victorious in the May by-election, and Carlow Councillor Jennifer Murnane O'Connor.

Fine Gael is also running three candidates. They are sitting TDs John Paul Phelan and Pat Deering, while local councillor David Fitzgerald, who came second in the by-election, has been added to the ticket.

The Sinn Féin candidate will be Kathleen Funchion while Councillor Patrick McKee will be the Renua Ireland candidate. They both ran in the recent by-election.

Irish Independent

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