Dublin Bay North July 17, 2012Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Politics, The Left.
There’s a profile in the current Phoenix of Dublin Bay North, the new super constituency constructed from Dublin North Central and Dublin North East. As it happens that is my and long time commentor Joe’s old WP hunting ground, or at least the DNE element is, so I take more than a usual interest in it. I’ve also family still in the constituency. But it’s without question an odd one. Where DNC and DNE between them had 3 TDs apiece the new creation will have but five. And where the government parties currently as the Phoenix notes hold five of the six seats the likelihood of them retaining that number in the new five seater seem remote.
And it gets better – or worse, depending upon your perspective. Labour has three seats, Fine Gael two with Finian McGrath being the only non-government TD. There are strong enough challenges from various figures. Fianna Fáil has Averil Power and Seán Haughey. Problem is, and I’d completely forgotten this, as the Phoenix notes Averil Power is in the Seanad and is therefore barred from contesting the local elections. This may be very problematic to her local profile and whether the Seanad can work its peculiar magic is an open question (though it’s not as if she’s short the odd helping hand in the media). Interesting too to see what residual hold the Haughey name has further afield in the east of the new constituency – if any.
For Fine Gael Richard Bruton would appear to be a shoo-in. But two FG TDs? Maybe, maybe not. Potential running mate and DNE TD Terence Flanagan has a much much lower profile at national level – to put it mildly.
Labour. Ah, Labour. Here’s a fascinating one. Two seats in DNE, one in DNC. Tommy Broughan, currently on apostate leave from the party, and by any metric the TD with the greatest longevity in that constituency. Sean Kenny who has a markedly lower profile. And in DNC Aodhán Ó Ríordáin. I’d have thought Broughan and Ó Ríordáin would be in with a stronger shout at it. And the Phoenix sees the former shading it over the latter.
And then the others. McGrath as the Phoenix notes is quick to the mark in starting to publicise himself east of DNC and it may be that he’s able to soak up the non-SF, and those who feel they were let down by Labour. DNE was always a constituency with a radical enough streak.
And SF with Larry O’Toole having harvested an enormous vote that was almost not quite sufficient to see him to the Dáil last year would, if he has the enthusiasm to run for the job, in a good position to do so. The Phoenix mentions Mícheál MacDonncha, a local SF cllr. in DNE as was as also being in contention. Interesting to see which way the party jumps on the issue.
Interestingly no sign of a serious contender from the ULA or parts further left various. But then perhaps one could argue that the internal differentiation within the LP and with a strong SF and Independent challenge is sufficient unto the day. The Phoenix suggests that:
The first four seats will probably go to Bruton, Broughan, Haughey or Power and SF, with the fifth being a dog fight between McGrath and the second candidates of FG and Labour.
I don’t know. That’s one of the things with the new dispensation as regards constituencies. It has thrown a lot up in the air and it’s very unclear as to where it will ultimately fall.