Monday 16 September 2019

Ivan Yates' predictions: who will make it to the Dáil - and whose heads will roll

From left: Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams, Taoiseach and Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny, Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin and Tánaiste and Labour leader Joan Burton before their final TV debate, on RTÉ’s ‘Prime Time’. Photo:Tony Maxwell/PA Wire
From left: Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams, Taoiseach and Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny, Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin and Tánaiste and Labour leader Joan Burton before their final TV debate, on RTÉ’s ‘Prime Time’. Photo:Tony Maxwell/PA Wire
Ivan Yates

Ivan Yates

It was a short, sharp, three-week blitzkrieg campaign. I have looked at it constituency by constituency, as you will see below. From my analysis, the gamechanger will be the decimation of Labour Party - denoting a shift to the hard left from a moderate social democracy. The outcome will probably also result in a new Labour leader, more than likely Ged Nash.

It will also produce the worst conceivable Fine Gael performance, given their prior expectations of 60 seats and upwards. Remember, they held 76 seats in 2011.

This will inevitability prompt a change of government, given that the Fine Gael/Labour Coalition will not be able to span the gap of the more than 20 TDs required for a working Dáil majority.

You will also see a significant recovery right across the country for Fianna Fáil, giving a clear endorsement to Micheal Martin's leadership. The rejuvenation of Fianna Fáil will bolster a determination not to prop up Fine Gael in a grand coalition, or to play the role of the minor party in office.

At this remove, it is impossible to imagine a special delegate ard fheis to endorse an Fine Gael/Fianna Fáil programme.

Arguments based on a "parity of esteem" could reopen the discussion about a rotating Taoiseach.

When the Dáil resumes on March 10 there's going to be no agreement on forming a government at all.

Be prepared for a period with an interim incumbent caretaker administration until Easter and beyond.

One might also expect recriminations within Fine Gael to start a leadership crisis for Enda Kenny. This time, his survival prospects will be far from certain.

He will be blamed personally for the poor outcome, along with Michael Noonan for the wrong calls on 'Fiscal Space' and the great USC giveaway.

But all four party leaders could well face threats to their leadership over the next year.

The country and Ireland Inc will get on just fine with the permanent government (civil service) helping a lame-duck administration. There'll be endless posturing, uncertainty, false speculation, jockeying for position - and enough hot air to worry climate change scientists.

Then another, November election may ensue. Exciting times for our democracy.

Here's my best calculation of the likely outcome for Friday's poll:

Carlow/Kilkenny: John McGuinness (FF); John Paul Phelan (FG); Kathleen Funchion (SF); Bobby Aylward (FF); Pat Deering (FG).

Cavan/Monaghan: Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin (SF); Heather Humphreys (FG); Brendan Smith (FF); Kathryn Reilly (SF).

Clare: Timmy Dooley (FF); Pat Breen (FG); Dr Michael Harty (Ind); Joe Carey (FG).

Cork East: David Stanton (FG); Kevin O'Keeffe (FF); Pat Buckley (SF); Tom Barry (FG).

Cork North Central: Billy Kelleher (FF); Jonathan O'Brien (SF); Dara Murphy (FG); Mick Barry (AAA).

Cork North West: Michael Creed (FG); Michael Moynihan (FF); John Paul O'Shea (Ind).

Cork South Central: Michael McGrath (FF); Simon Coveney (FG); Micheál Martin (FF); Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire (SF).

Cork South West: Jim Daly (FG); Margaret Murphy-O'Mahony (FF); Noel Harrington (FG).

Donegal: Pearse Doherty (SF); Pat the Cope Gallagher (FF); Joe McHugh (FG); Charlie McConalogue (FF); Pádraic Mac Lochlainn (SF).

Dublin Bay North: Richard Bruton (FG); Finian McGrath (Ind); Sean Haughey (FF); Denise Mitchell (SF); Tommy Broughan (Ind).

Dublin Bay South: Eoghan Murphy (FG); Chris Andrews (SF); Lucinda Creighton (Renua); Eamon Ryan (Green Party).

Dublin Central: Mary Lou McDonald (SF); Maureen O'Sullivan (Ind); Paschal Donohoe (FG).

Dublin Fingal: Clare Daly (Ind); Darragh O'Brien (FF); James Reilly (FG); Louise O'Reilly (SF); Brendan Ryan (Labour).

Dublin Mid-West: Eoin Ó'Broin (SF); Frances Fitzgerald (FG); John Curran (FF); Gino Kenny (AAA/PBP).

Dublin North West: Dessie Ellis (SF); Róisín Shorthall (Social Democrats); Noel Rock (FG).

Dublin Rathdown: Shane Ross (Ind); Alan Shatter (FG); Catherine Martin (Green Party).

Dublin South Central: Aengus Ó Snodaigh (SF); Joan Collins (Ind); Bríd Smith (AAA/PBP); Catherine Byrne (FG).

Dublin South West: Paul Murphy (AAA/PBP); Seán Crowe (SF); Colm Brophy (FG); John Lahart (FF); Sarah Holland (SF).

Dublin West: Leo Varadkar (FG); Paul Donnelly (SF); Jack Chambers (FF); Ruth Coppinger (AAA/PBP).

Dun Laoghaire: Sean Barrett (FG); Richard Boyd Barrett (AAA/PBP); Mary Mitchell O'Connor (FG); Mary Hanafin (FF).

Galway East: Sean Canney (Ind); Paul Connaughton (FG); Anne Rabbitte (FF).

Galway West: Éamon Ó Cuiv (FF); Seán Kyne (FG); Noel Grealish (Ind); Catherine Connolly (Ind); Trevor Ó Clochartaigh (SF).

Kerry: Michael Healy-Rae (Ind); Jimmy Deenihan (FG); Brendan Griffin (FG); John Brassil (FF); Martin Ferris (SF).

Kildare North: Catherine Murphy (Social Democrats); Bernard Durkan (FG); James Lawless (FF); Emmet Stagg (Labour).

Kildare South: Martin Heydon (FG); Seán Ó Fearghail (FF); Mark Wall (Labour).

Laois: Sean Fleming (FF); Charlie Flanagan (FG); Brian Stanley (SF).

Limerick City: Michael Noonan (FG); Willie O'Dea (FF); Maurice Quinlivan (SF); Kieran O'Donnell (FG).

Limerick County: Niall Collins (FF); Patrick O'Donovan (FG); Emmet O'Brien (Ind).

Longford/Westmeath: Robert Troy (FF); James Bannon (FG); Willie Penrose (Labour); Kevin Boxer Moran (Ind).

Louth: Gerry Adams (SF); Fergus O'Dowd (FG); Declan Breathnach (FF); Imelda Munster (SF); Ged Nash (Labour).

Mayo: Michael Ring (FG); Enda Kenny (FG); Dara Calleary (FF); Lisa Chambers (FF).

Meath East: Thomas Byrne (FF); Helen McEntee (FG); Darren O'Rourke (SF).

Meath West: Damian English (FG); Peadar Tóibín (SF); Shane Cassells (FF).

Offaly: Barry Cowen (FF); Marcella Corcoran-Kennedy (FG); Eddie Fitzpatrick (FF).

Roscommon/Galway: Michael Fitzmaurice (Ind); Denis Naughten (Ind); Maura Hopkins (FG).

Sligo/Leitrim: Martin Kenny (SF); Tony McLoughlin (FG); Marc MacSharry (FF); John Perry (FG).

Tipperary: Michael Lowry (Ind); Seamus Healy (Ind); Tom Hayes (FG); Michael Smith (FF); Alan Kelly (Labour).

Waterford: John Deasy (FG); David Cullinane (SF); John Halligan (Ind); Paudie Coffey (FG).

Wexford: Mick Wallace (Ind); Paul Kehoe (FG); Brendan Howlin (Labour); Malcolm Byrne (FF); James Browne (FF).

Wicklow: Stephen Donnelly (Social Democrats); Simon Harris (FG); John Brady (SF); Andrew Doyle (FG); Pat Casey (FF).

This forecast tally means: Fine Gael on 51 seats; Fianna Fáil on 39; Sinn Féin on 29; Labour on 7; AAA/PBP on 6; Social Democrats on 3; Renua on 1; and Independents on 22 seats.

While it's impossible to predict with complete accuracy given vagaries of our PR system, I'm certain this outcome is likely to be more right than wrong. Momentum in the last week of the campaign has been significant, predominantly moving away from the Government parties.

Irish Independent

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