Current TDs: 1 SF, 1 PBP, 1 GP, 1 R2C
Projection: 2 SF, 1 FG, 1 PBP
It’s not all doom and gloom for PBP in Dublin, in spite of the serious polling difficulties mentioned earlier on. Remodelling DSC, specifically giving SF a much more realistic split of the vote between three candidates, puts Bríd Smith firmly back in pole position for the fourth seat. SF could still manage three, of course, as their raw FPV remains very solid here, but it would require an extremely delicate vote managing act that will be very difficult to pull off.
If SF can’t pull this off, it’s not clear that there’s anyone else who could compete with Smith – the GP and FF vote here is floundering, Labour and the SDs are non-factors even with decent candidates like they ran in 2020, and FG are nowhere near competing for a second seat. The only potential wild card is Joan Collins (R2C). Because R2C is electorally a one-woman show, they don’t get polled separately, so projections for her are based on general IND trends. There’s no way of knowing how accurate that is.
Collins’ FPV imploded in the face of the SF surge in 2020, but she was extremely transfer friendly and was able to hold her seat, overhauling a huge deficit to overtake FF and FG. With SF running at least two candidates, it’s going to be super-tough for Collins, but her vote is totally unpredictable so I’m not going to write her off entirely.
The People’s Republic of Dublin South-Central was the only constituency in Ireland to return zero right-wing candidates in 2020, a rare feat last achieved by Dublin North-West in 2011. That situation doesn’t look like it will endure for the next election, as a number of factors look set to decimate smaller parties’ chances in the constituency.
Firstly, SF are posed to absolutely clean up here. Veteran TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh crushed the rest of the left at the last election, before his surplus bailed them all back out. Sinn Féin are guaranteed two seats, and if they run three candidates, would be more likely than not to get them all returned.
Still, the third SF seat is no slam dunk and will need a candidate who can win in inner city and south suburban areas where Ó Snodaigh’s vote is relatively lower. This does give Bríd Smith (PBP) a path to holding her seat, although it will be difficult. If SF play it conservative and only run two candidates, Smith should be able to hang on without too many problems. Joan Collins (R2C) and Patrick Costello (GP) could also be in play under either of these scenarios, but are much longer shots than Smith to benefit.
Secondly, despite the constituency’s left-wing lean, 2020 was the first time since its creation that it did not return a Fine Gael candidate, and Smith beat out FF in 2016 by literally 35 votes. With FG’s numbers surging in Dublin, they look very safe to take a seat here. This combination spells an uphill struggle for the smaller left-wing parties to hold their seats.