Current TDs: 1 SF, 1 FF, 1 SD
Projection: 1 SF, 1 FG, 1 SD
This one is a bit interesting, as the downward SD trend over the summer isn’t reflected, largely because of the movement between other parties. It’s still really close; we’re talking an edge of fractions of a percentage in term of probability for for Róisín Shortall over a putative second SF candidate, but it’s the first time the model has had the Soc Dem co-leader keeping her seat.
I’ve discussed DNW a couple of times, but to be clear – a loss here would be devastating for the SDs. I expect they’ll overperform the modelling because of Shortall’s name recognition and the importance of the seat, but this remains potentially very interesting.
Yes, yes, I know. Róisin Shortall losing her seat looks wrong. I agree that the SDs dropping this seat looks wrong too, but I’m not going to arbitrarily adjust the model outputs based on feeling (though I will of course be working continuous to improve the model). I will explain here why the model gives this result.
Firstly, you have to consider that Sinn Féin’s Dessie Ellis got over 44% of FPV in 2020, and is projected to come in around the same amount next time. This is an insane number, particularly in a three-seater. It is absolutely implausible to think that he wouldn’t bring home a running mate, even if it ends up in a Cyprian Brady scenario. Hell, in 2020, Ellis’ surplus nearly Cyprian Brady’d Conor Reddy, a first-time PBP candidate who had polled less than 4% (PBP will not be anywhere close this time if SF run two).
Without Ellis’ surplus, and with SD poll numbers looking ropey, Shortall is suddenly at a disadvantage against whoever wins out between FF and FG, and currently the environment favours FG there, who would probably have held the seat in 2020 if they had had a stronger incumbent. It’s not a sure thing but right now the model favours a generic FG candidate over either Shortall or FF incumbent Paul McAuliffe. With that said, if FG run Noel Rock again, all bets are off.
Now, with that said, Shortall is high profile enough that she might buck the downward trend in SD polling, or absorb more SF transfers than expected. But right now, the numbers indicate this will be an uphill struggle for her.