Surprise in Labour Party as Dowds steps down
A Labour Party backbencher has announced his decision to step down at the General Election after the party privately conceded that it had little chance of holding on to two seats.
In a surprise move, Dublin Mid West TD Robert Dowds yesterday said he believed his Dáil colleague Joanna Tuffy is better placed to hold on to her seat than him.
Mr Dowds said he will now not contest the election, despite being selected alongside Ms Tuffy at the party's selection convention in June. He told the Irish Independent that voters in his constituency remain "sore" despite the economic recovery. "I got a big vote in Clondalkin but I know people are still feeling sore. While we have got some of those voters back, we won't be able to return two this time," he said.
"While this Government hasn't got everything right, Phil Hogan's mishandling of water charges being the low point in this regard, I am proud of Labour's role in government."
Elsewhere, Fianna Fáil TD Colm Keaveney has been selected following a tight contest in Galway after the party issued its latest gender diktat.
The directive that one female and one male candidate be put forward meant that councillor Anne Rabbitte was automatically added to the ticket - leaving Mr Keaveney in a battle with councillor Michael Connolly and Gerry Finnerty.
And Fine Gael TD Patrick O'Donovan and Cllr Tom Neville were selected to run for the party in Limerick.
Mr O'Donovan, who is a close supporter of the Taoiseach, secured 277 votes at the selection convention in Adare. Mr Neville, the son of outgoing TD and party chairman Dan Neville, finished second.