Thursday 27 July 2017

John Drennan: Sinn Fein's uphill fight to take seat despite court win

Transfers could be enough to get Labour or Fine Gael candidate elected in Donegal poll

John Drennan

John Drennan

Sinn Fein Senator Pearse Doherty, whose court action forced the Government into calling the Donegal South West by-election on November 25, may be favourite to take the seat -- but he faces an uphill struggle.

Local figures have noted that the Sinn Fein tally in the local elections was a disappointing 6,500 votes in 2008 while there are also suggestions that Doherty's national profile has evolved at the expense of his constituency work.

Despite a national meltdown in support for Fianna Fail, its likely candidate, Brian O Domhnaill, may top the poll -- though he is not expected to take the seat. The party fared poorly in the local council elections, securing 11,500 votes, a third of the first preferences.

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