Current TDs: 1 FF, 1 SF 1 FG, 1 GP, 1 LAB
Projection: 2 SF, 1 FG, 1 FF, 1 LAB
Well now. Joe O’Brien (GP) has proven pretty resilient under the model’s conditions – at one point looking more likely to keep his seat than his party leader, but that isn’t the case here as the movement among other parties has dropped him into a more vulnerable position; indeed, he’s now favoured to be the one to lose out if Sinn Féin win a second seat here. What this ultimately means is that Labour’s Duncan Smith looks in a better position to hold on than O’Brien.
I’ve been saying this was one to keep an eye on since last October, and with Labour slipping ahead of the Greens in Dublin, the dynamics have shifted. Whether that endures or not remains to be seen – Fingal typically has quite a fractured vote; although the people in the middle of results rarely threaten for seat, it can have a real impact when it comes to transfers. There’s a lot that could move around here yet, especially if we again see Independents take a decent chunk of votes.
Perhaps a bit of a surprising one here, given how well Fine Gael are doing in Dublin in general, but there’s three aspects to consider that are hurting them versus Sinn Féin – transfers, an apparent recovery in the Green vote in Dublin, and a modest recovery for Labour as well. Fingal has some very unique and messy dynamics, and the model once again indicates that these will stand to favour the GP’s Joe O’Brien. This is likely a long-count constituency with a lot of marginal eliminations taking place
Don’t completely write off Duncan Smith (LAB) yet either – while it’s still an uphill struggle for him to keep his seat, he’s not far off, and FG transfers here tend to favour Labour over the Greens or SF. If that dynamic continues – and it will be very interesting to see how transfers between the current coalition partners are affected by this term in government – he has an outside shot on current numbers of beating either O’Brien, or a second SF candidate. But it is an outside shot.
Corrected modelling of the FG vote explains this to a large extent, but there’s more than just this going on. This is a much more politically diverse constituency than, for example, DBS above. The decline in the GP’s support has a very real impact here. Joe O’Brien certainly isn’t done for, and how the breakdown of Labour transfers goes will be really significant here. That said with polling showing a consistent downward tick for his party’s support in Dublin, O’Brien holding this seat looks more and more challenging. It’s worth noting that it’s not simply a case of Green Party vs a second FG candidate; a second Sinn Féin candidate wouldn’t be clear of that fight either – there are two seats in play rather than just one.
It feels like every Dublin constituency will have two Sinn Féin candidates romping home at this stage, but that isn’t the case for Fingal. Yes, Louise O’Reilly will handily hold her seat, and while the most likely outcome is her bringing home a running-mate, it’s far from a sure thing. There is going to be an almighty contest for the final seats here.
Before getting into that, I should also note that FG’s Alan Farrell is safe, as is FF’s Darragh O’Brien, though if FF opt to run two candidates they open up a real risk that he slides backwards into the mix competing for the remaining seats.
There’s going to be a very close contest behind that between incumbents Joe O’Brien (GP) and Duncan Smith (LAB) and the second candidates from SF and FG. Right now, the model favours O’Brien and SF, but again, with current trends for the Green Party down and Fine Gael going up, this projection could easily change multiple times over the coming months.