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Fianna Fail set to lose half its senators when 24th Seanad is elected

FIANNA Fail stands to lose half its senators after the 2011 General Election, even if the Upper House is not abolished.

And many of the present incumbents will also be up against TDs who lose their seats in the subsequent Seanad election.

The party's senators are in revolt over government proposals to hold a referendum on polling day. But the loss of Taoiseach's nominees and the dwindling number of Fianna Fail councillors mean most of them will lose out anyway.

Unlike the past three general elections, Fianna Fail won't have the Taoiseach's nominees to the Seanad.

Former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern put in six Fianna Fail Senators from his 11 nominations in 2007.

The bulk of those with votes in Seanad elections are city and county councillors.

The loss of seats in the past two local elections in 2004 and 2009 will dramatically reduce Fianna Fail's vote base.

Sitting TDs also have a vote, so Fianna Fail's expected loss will mean less votes.

A number of TDs who lose their seats in the 2011 General Election will also run in the subsequent Seanad election.

Fianna Fail had 28 senators when the 23rd Seanad was elected in August 2007.

When the 24th Seanad is elected later this year, the party will be lucky to come back with 14 seats.

Irish Independent