Fianna Fail the big winners from the Constituency Commission Report June 22, 2012Posted by irishelectionliterature in Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, Irish Politics.
A lot of the initial media reaction to the Constituency Commission report naturally focused on the massive changes in Dublin and focused on individual TDs votes and areas of support being moved. It didn’t really focus on what parties would benefit from it. I did a small piece on the Left TDs and now a bit on the rest.
Looking at the Constituency Commission report the big winners are Fianna Fail. Not neccessarily in the nuances of population shifts from Constituency to Constituency but in the reduction of the number of 3 seaters and unification of the likes of Kerry and Tipperary where they have no seats at all.
Were an election to be held on the figures from 2011 with the new boundaries Fianna Fail could expect to easily pick up seats in the new five seat Kerry and Tipperary constituencies and the new four seat Sligo Leitrim. Its even concieveable that the new five seat Dublin Fingal and Dublin Bay North would return Fianna Fail candidates. The addition of some of the leafier parts of Dublin Central should help to regain a seat in Dublin West. Indeed the addition of a good deal of Foxrock and Cabinteely to Dun Laoghaire may well help Mary Hanafin there.
Where seats have been reduced there is danger of a seat loss in Cork South Central but other reductions such as Cavan-Monaghan, Mayo and Galway East should have no impact on their seat numbers (although the partys TDs may be different)
For Labour outside of Dublin the only TD in peril from the changes would be Colm Keaveney, who in the reduced Galway East will have lost a good bit of his vote. Ciaran Lynch in the reduced Cork South Central is being mentioned as a loser but on 2011 figures he’d be fine. Ditto Alan Kelly in Tipperary who loses some of his base to Offaly but again on 2011 figures he should be okay. That’s not to say that they are safe come the next election.
Its in Dublin though where Labour could suffer badly and again based on 2011 figures and the boundary changes a number will be in trouble. Alex Whites area in Dublin South is now in Dublin South West which already has two Labour TDs. Then in the reduced Dublin South Central Eric Byrne or Michael Conagahan could be in danger and possibly two out of Sean Kenny, Tommy Broughan and Aodhan O’Riordan in the new Dublin Bay North. Even Joe Costello in Dublin Central may have lost a good deal of his vote. Again that’s all before we even get to the next election where Constituency Commission or No Constituency Commission Labour will lose seats.
For Fine Gael the report doesn’t make great reading either. On 2011 figures the changes would result in seat losses in Cavan-Monaghan, Mayo with a number of places like Kerry, Tipperary, Cork South Central, Galway East, Roscommon-Galway also likely to have reduced numbers of Fine Gael TDs.
In Dublin the changes in Dublin Central would put Paschal Donohoe in danger , they probably would have held the two seats they currently hold in Dublin NC and Dublin NE in the new Dublin Bay North but Catherine Byrne may have been in trouble in a reduced Dublin South Central and at least one of the three TDs elected for Dublin South would be gone.
As for Sinn Fein, well on the 2011 results it makes little impact on the seats they actually won. The only real difference being that Larry O’Toole may have been elected in the five seat Dublin Bay North.
The Greens wont be thrilled with Dublin South butchered and with Dun Laoghaire in effect down to 3 their chances in those places of a seat are all but gone. Dublin Bay South could be an outside bet with the new Dublin Fingal a decent bet were Trevor Sargent to run.
As for the other Independent TDs not covered already. Stephen Donnelly and Mick Wallaces Wicklow and Wexford are pretty much the same. Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan should be okay, and oddly enough was downprotesting with Turf Cutters in the part of East Galway that is now in his constituency the night before the report came out.
Shane Ross should be OK in a 3 seat Dublin Rathdown although you never know. Noel Grealish seems to get in no matter what he does. In Kerry Michael Healy Rae at the very South of the constituency and Tom Fleming may well struggle. With surely 1 FF, 1 SF , 1 Labour and at least 1 FG seat its hard to see either getting in.
In Tipperary Michael Lowry will surely sail home but Mattie McGrath (Like Seamus Healy) will be vulnerable.