Friday 13 December 2019

New political map spells danger for Coalition TDs

Former Minister for Justice Alan Shatter
Former Minister for Justice Alan Shatter
Michelle Mulherin
Jan O'Sullivan

Fionnan Sheahan

AFTER coming into office with a record majority, the Coalition parties are now facing massive losses in the next general election.

Following the local elections, the landscape is changed substantially – with the emergence of Sinn Fein and Independent candidates as threats right across the country.

Fianna Fail has also got a range of contenders for seats in constituencies where it lost out in the 2011 General Election wipeout.

The redrawing of constituencies and the reduction of the number of TDs by eight will hit the Government parties hardest.

Across the 40 constituencies to be contested in the next general election, here's where Fine Gael and Labour Party TDs are in jeopardy.


MODERATE RISK – Dublin Fingal: FG Dr James Reilly and Alan Farrell and Labour Brendan Ryan.
Danger: FF's Darragh O'Brien was already in contention, but SF's Philip Lynam has also emerged in Swords to make him a player. Green David Healy will also fancy a shot.

HIGH RISK – Dublin West: FG Leo Varadkar and Labour Joan Burton.
Danger: Burton is caught in a perfect storm between new Socialist Ruth Coppinger, SF's Paul Donnelly and FF's David McGuinness, Mary Fitzpatrick or newcomer Jack Chambers.

HIGH RISK – Dublin North-West: Labour John Lyons.
Danger: In a predominantly working class constituency, SF will go for two seats with Emma Murphy, while FF have Laura Reid and Paul McAuliffe. And don't forget FG's Noel Rock.

HIGH RISK – Dublin Bay North: Fine Gael Richard Bruton and Labour Aodhan O Riordain and Sean Kenny.
Danger: Already down a seat due to a constituency merger. FF's challenge will come from Sean Haughey, Deirdre Heney and Averil Power. SF has a choice of Larry O'Toole or Denise Mitchell or Ciaran O'Moore.

HIGH RISK – Dublin Central: Fine Gael Paschal Donohoe and Labour Joe Costello.
Danger: Already down a seat, the gap is wide open for another Independent to emerge to turn the screw.

HIGH RISK – Dublin South-Central: Fine Gael Catherine Byrne and Labour Eric Byrne and Michael Conaghan.
Danger: Down a seat on the last time, FF's Catherine Ardagh and Daithi de Roiste will put the party in contention, Sinn Fein will run a second candidate and People Before Profit's Brid Smith will also figure.

SEVERE RISK – Dublin Bay-South: Fine Gael Eoghan Murphy and Labour Ruairi Quinn and Kevin Humphreys.Danger: Lucinda Creighton will already be an Independent and attacks will come from FF's Frank Kennedy and Jim O'Callaghan, Sinn Fein's Chris Andrews and Green Claire Byrne.

HIGH RISK – Dublin Mid-West: Fine Gael Frances Fitzgerald and Derek Keating and Labour's Joanna Tuffy and Robert Dowds.
Danger: Three seats up for grabs with SF running two candidates, Eoin O Broin and Danny O'Brien, and FF's John Curran or Trevor Gilligan and Independent Paul Gogarty also present.

EXTREME RISK – Dublin South-West: Fine Gael's Brian Hayes and Labour's Pat Rabbitte and Eamonn Moloney.
Danger: With an extra seat available, FF's John Lahart and Charlie O'Connor will fancy their chances, and SF to run a second candidate, Maire Devine.

SEVERE RISK – Dublin Rathdown: Fine Gael's Alan Shatter and Olivia Mitchell and Labour's Alex White.
Danger: Down two seats already, FF's Shay Brennan and Greens Eamon Ryan or Catherine Martin will make it tighter.

HIGH RISK – Dun Laoghaire: Fine Gael's Sean Barrett and Mary Mitchell-O'Connor and Labour's Eamon Gilmore.
Danger: Barrett is the Ceann Comhairle and Gilmore is in the firing line from the FF selection of Mary Hanafin, Kate Feeney and Jennifer Cuffe.


HIGH RISK – Wicklow: Fine Gael's Andrew Doyle and Simon Harris and Labour's Anne Ferris.
Danger: SF's John Brady, FF's Pat Fitzgerald and Pat Casey and Independent Tom Fortune will be in the frame.

MODERATE RISK – Wexford: Fine Gael's Paul Kehoe and Liam Twomey and Labour's Brendan Howlin.
Danger: SF's Anthony Kelly and FF's Malcolm Byrne or Michael Sheehan will challenge.

HIGH RISK – Carlow-Kilkenny: Fine Gael's Phil Hogan, John-Paul Phelan and Pat Deering and Labour's Anne Phelan.
Danger: SF's Kathleen Funchion has to take a seat this time, Greens Malcolm Noonan, FF's Jennifer Murnane and Eamonn Aylward will be in the mix.

MODERATE RISK – Laois: Fine Gael's Charlie Flanagan.
Danger: FF John Joe Fennelly will throw a shape and an Independent may emerge.

MEDIUM RISK – Offaly: Fine Gael's Marcella Corcoran-Kennedy.
Danger: SF's Brendan Killeavy or Martin O'Reilly, FF's Peter Ormonde and Independent John Leahy will cause headaches, but there's an extra seat up for grabs.

HIGH RISK – Longford-Westmeath: Fine Gael's James Bannon and Gabrielle McFadden and Labour's Willie Penrose.
Danger: SF's Paul Hogan will pose a threat to Penrose, while FF will have additional firepower from Aengus O'Rourke and Seamus Butler.

SEVERE RISK – Kildare South: Fine Gael's Martin Heydon and Labour's Jack Wall.
Danger: FF's Sean Power, SF Mark Lynch and Independent Paddy Kennedy with Wall being replaced by his son, Mark.

HIGH RISK – Kildare North: Fine Gael's Bernard Durkan and Tony Lawlor and Labour's Emmett Stagg.
Danger: FF'S James Lawless and SF's Sorcha O'Neill will pose a threat.

EXTREME RISK – Meath East: Fine Gael's Helen McEntee and Regina Doherty and Labour's Dominic Hannigan.
Danger: FF's Thomas Byrne and Wayne Harding, along with former FF Independents Nick Killian and Sharon Keogan, and SF's Darren O'Rourke are in contention.

SEVERE RISK – Meath West: Fine Gael's Damien English and Ray Butler.
Danger: FF's Shane Cassells and Vera Kelly will challenge.

SEVERE RISK – Louth: Fine Gael's Fergus O'Dowd and Peter Fitzpatrick and Labour's Ged Nash.
Danger: SF's Imelda Munster, Tomas Sharkey or Jennifer Green will run with Gerry Adams for a second seat and Independent Maeve Yore will be in the frame.


EXTREME RISK – Cork South-Central: Fine Gael's Simon Coveney and Jerry Buttimer and Labour's Ciaran Lynch.
Danger: Sinn Fein gain Chris O'Leary or Fiona Kerins will take a seat.

SEVERE RISK – Cork North-Central: Fine Gael's Darragh Murphy and Labour's Kathleen Lynch.
Danger: Socialist Mick Barry will get his day and there's a gap for an Independent.

HIGH RISK – Cork East: Fine Gael's David Stanton and Tom Barry and Labour's Sean Sherlock.
Danger: FF's Kevin O'Keeffe is motoring and will be joined on the ticket by Padraig O'Sullivan.

EXTREME RISK – Cork South-West: Fine Gael's Jim Daly and Noel Harrington and Labour's Michael McCarthy.
Danger: FF's Denis O'Donovan and a running mate will challenge, SF's Paul Hayes will challenge and Independent Michael Collins will run in 1916.

MODERATE RISK – Cork North-West: Fine Gael's Michael Creed and Aine Collins.
Danger: SF's Melissa Mullane will run and there's a temptation to run FF's Seamus McGrath, the biggest vote getter in the country.

EXTREME RISK – Waterford: Fine Gael's John Deasy and Paudie Coffey and Labour's Ciara Conway.
Danger: SF's David Cullinane has a final shot, while FF will have Adam Wyse in the city and Michael O'Ryan in the country.

HIGH RISK – Tipperary: Fine Gael's Tom Hayes and Noel Coonan and Labour's Alan Kelly.
Danger: FF's Michael Smith Jnr and Imelda Goldsboro will take a seat and SF's Seamus Morris and David Dunne will press hard.

EXTREME RISK – Clare: Fine Gael's Pat Breen and Joe Carey and Labour's Michael McNamara.
Danger: Independents James Breen and Ann Norton, SF's Mike McKee and FF's Michael Hillary smell blood.

EXTREME RISK – Limerick City: Fine Gael's Michael Noonan and Kieran O'Donnell and Labour's Jan O'Sullivan.
Danger: SF's Maurice Quinlivan is a certainty, while Socialist Cian Prendeville and FF's Maria Byrne will be in the hunt.

HIGH RISK – Limerick 3 seats: Fine Gael's Dan Neville and Patrick O'Donovan.
Danger: SF's Lisa-Marie Sheehy got 2,000 votes after getting selected three weeks ago. Independent Emmet O'Brien topped the poll after falling out with the Collins clan in FF. Independent Sen James Heffernan will feature.

SEVERE RISK – Kerry 5 seats: Fine Gael's Jimmy Deenihan and Brendan Griffin and Labour's Arthur Spring.
Danger: Down a seat from the redraw, FF's Michael D O'Shea, John O'Donoghue, Norma Foley and Tom McEllistrim will surely carve out a seat.


EXTREME RISK – Galway West: Fine Gael's Sean Kyne and Brian Walsh and Labour's Derek Nolan.
Danger: SF's Trevor O Clochartaigh and Mairead Farrell form a balanced ticket and there's Independents Terry O'Flaherty, Catherine Connolly and Mike Cubbard.

MODERATE RISK – Galway East: Fine Gael's Ciaran Cannon and Paul Connaughton Jnr.
Danger: The constituency carve up is bad enough, while Independent Sean Caney and SF's Dermot Connolly and FF's Mary Hoade are now in contention.

MODERATE RISK – Roscommon-Galway: Fine Gael's Frank Feighan.
Danger: FF's Ivan Connaughton, Orla Leyden, Rachel Doherty and Paschal Fitzmaurice will fight to get on the ticket and Independent Valerie Byrne will be in the chase.

EXTREME RISK – Mayo: Fine Gael's Enda Kenny, Michael Ring, John O'Mahony and Michelle Mulherin.
Danger: Definitely down a seat due to the redraw, there's now FF's Lisa Chambers, Ind Michael Kilcoyne and SF's Rose Conway-Walsh.

HIGH RISK – Sligo-Leitrim: Fine Gael's John Perry and Tony McLoughlin.
Danger: FF's Eamon Scanlon, Marc MacSharry and Mary Bohan, SF will also have Sean MacManus running and Independent Margaret Gormley is now in contention.

HIGH RISK – Donegal: Fine Gael's Dinny McGinley and Joe McHugh.
Danger: The merger of the two constituencies sees a seat lost and FF will go for two seats, possibly with Brian O Domhnaill, SF's Gary Doherty offers the option of going for three TDs.

EXTREME RISK – Cavan-Monaghan: Fine Gael's Heather Humphreys, Joe O'Reilly and Sean Conlan.
Danger: SF's Kathryn Reilly will already be in the frame, with possibly Matt Carthy also running and Independent Seamus Traynor, FF's Robbie Gallagher, Margaret Conlon and Deirdre Kelly give options for a second seat.

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