Dublin Central

Profile

Province: Dublin

Seats: 4

Current TDs: 1 SF, 1 FG, 1 GP, 1 SD

Projection: 2 SF, 1 FG, 1 SD

Gains

SF +1

Losses

GP -1

Analysis

March 2022

Not a lot to note here, as the change from last month flips back. The SDs got a crazy high result in Dublin in the B&A poll this month (11%!), and while the RPA has successfully smoothed that out for the most part, it has had an impact in this constituency, where a razor-thin margin continues to separate the Social Democrats, the Greens and Fianna Fáil in the race for the final seat. With FF and the Greens generally trending upwards in Dublin, I suspect this will remain competitive for a while yet.

Who gets eliminated first will be key. If FF or the SDs are knocked out first, that would favour the Greens; if the Greens go first, that would favour the SDs – essentially making it quite difficult for FF to get ahead. The presence of a second Sinn Féin candidate is, however, a bit of a wildcard when it comes to transfers, so there’s still a lot of unknowns here.

February 2022

Another tough one this month for the Social Democrats. With the Greens and Fianna Fáil rising, and Sinn Féin all but guaranteed to take a second seat here, Gary Gannon could be on the outside looking in, with Neasa Hourigan (GP) now favoured to keep her seat. With that said, the distance between the SDs, Greens and FF is basically negligible, and this could swing right back with even a marginal shift in polling. Indeed, on current numbers, the final seat here is one of the closest in the country and looks to be settled by transfers – something that inherently carries a much higher margin of error when projected.

Who gets eliminated first will be key. If FF or the SDs are knocked out first, that would favour the Greens; if the Greens go first, that would favour the SDs – essentially making it quite difficult for FF to get ahead. The presence of a second Sinn Féin candidate is, however, a bit of a wildcard when it comes to transfers, so there’s still a lot of unknowns here.

February 2021

There’s not a ton interesting here – this was an inevitable outcome of the Green polling numbers in Dublin, really. FPV projections still have Neasa Hourigan (GP) ahead of Gary Gannon (SD) by a razor thin margin, but similar to DBN, transfers make the difference. As with DBN I would of course sound a note of restraint when it comes to transfers, but the FPV gap here is so small that I’m more comfortable with this call. It’s worth noting as well that Fianna Fáil aren’t a mile behind either candidate, but they are even less transfer friendly than either, so will need to pull ahead on FPV to be truly competitive. Given their current numbers in Dublin, this doesn’t look particularly likely.

January 2021

Okay, like, I get that Sinn Féin were caught completely flat-footed in 2020 by their own electoral success, but not running two in Dublin Central was frankly irresponsible. Mary Lou McDonald got 24% in 2016, Maureen O’Sullivan had retired, and the constituency has an engaged and actively voting working-class voter base. They won’t be making the same mistake again, and will stroll into two seats.

Paschal Donohue will cruise home for FG, but after that it gets interesting. Donohue benefitted from a weak running-mate in 2020, allowing him to stay ahead in a close race for the seats behind McDonald. This time he’s in a much better spot, and there’s potential for him to bring in a running-mate if a few things break FG’s way.

Specifically, this requires the continued polling struggles of the Green Party and the Social Democrats. One of Neasa Hourigan and Gary Gannon is going to lose out to SF, but a continued FG surge could see the other also in trouble, especially with less SF surplus transfers to help them out. Hourigan’s numbers are currently holding up better than Gannon’s, so the model thinks it more likely that the SD will lose out but with the Greens polling in steep decline, this could well change in the near future.

It’s worth noting that the GP and SD candidates here have repeatedly clashed with their own party’s leadership and shown a more independent minded streak than some of their colleagues. It remains to be seen whether or not this will help them buck their parties’ trends, but the model cannot, at this stage, factor that in.

Short of a meme return for Bertie Ahern and his lifelong commitment to ruining Mary Fitzpatrick’s career, Fianna Fáil aren’t coming close to a seat here.

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