Current TDs: 2 SF, 1 FG, 1 PBP
Projection: 2 SF, 2 FG
It seems the Paul Gogarty (IND) meme dream has come to an end here, but there’s a lot going on. SF and FG both look comfortable enough to win two seats, but there’s going to be a whole chunk of other votes tied up between Gogarty, Gino Kenny (PBP) and whoever FF run. Between Eoin Ó Broin and Mark Ward, SF could run up a pretty handy surplus here too – there’s honestly an argument that they should consider a third candidate – which could help Kenny, though the model is placing his FPV in seriously difficult territory.
However, FG are strongly poised here, now the swing is corrected for, to take the final seat. The party is clearly invested in promoting incumbent Emer Higgins’ public profile (while this is a sensible move given the dearth of young female TDs, the results of this effort have been decidedly mixed) and Cllr Vicki Casserly put up a very respectable showing in 2020. A couple of additional percentage points of FPV would likely have seen her elected, and current polling gives FG more than enough to make up the gap. It’s also worth noting that DMW saw an extremely impressive piece of vote management from FG that election – a 56/44 vote split between two candidates – if they can replicate this, FG look even more comfortable for that second seat.
As I’ve mentioned several times previously, I believe that my model is overall more down on Independents than I think it should be. It’s fairly comfortably ruling out the likes of Danny Healy-Rae, Mattie McGrath and Denis Naughten. While I haven’t quite got a handle on the precise, constituency-level approaches I should take for this, I do understand generally what’s causing it, and thus have an idea of what’s needed to verify if its correct or not, and if it turns out it’s not, how to rectify.
There is one Independent, however, that the model loves. Absolutely loves. I have no idea why. The model takes provincial averages; there shouldn’t be someone who is just outlying the entire trend. If it shows Independents being largely flat in Dublin, that should apply in DMW too.
As a wise man once said, “by all accounts, it doesn’t make sense”.
And yet, this is who the Feburary version of the model projects will take the final seat in Dublin Mid-West, pictured here in, I think, his most famous moment.
I do think the model is somewhat underestimating Gino Kenny (PBP) at this point, but right now it shows Paul Gogarty with a clear advantage over him, FF and a second FG candidate. I’m not convinced things will actually pan out this way, and I would be surprised if this result isn’t noise which fades away in a month or so, but I’m not going to make a judgement call to overrule it.
Like many Dublin constituencies, the main problem here for the rest of the left is that SF has eaten their FPV. But there’s a second dynamic, which is FG eating FF votes. Both of these are clearly at play in DMW. SF incumbents Eoin Ó Broin and Mark Ward will have no problems keeping their seats, nor will FG’s Emer Higgins.
The final seat is very difficult to predict. While a second FG seat looks most likely from current numbers it’s far from a sure thing. If FF only run one candidate, they have a chance. Gino Kenny (PBP) pulled off a remarkable comeback on transfers to keep his seat in 2020, and while PBP’s poor polling makes that more difficult, it’s not impossible. Finally, and while this is less likely, there is a path for it – the decline in GP support, combined with the departure of a strong candidate from the party, brings could potentially bring Paul Gogarty into play. This seat is very hard to predict and I expect the model to be volatile on this with even small changes in polling.