Dublin South-West

Profile

Province: Dublin

Seats: 5

Current TDs: 1 SF, 1 FG, 1 FF, 1 PBP, 1 GP

Projection: 2 SF, 2 FG, 1 FF

Gains

SF +1
FG +1

Losses

GP -1
PBP -1

Analysis

April 2021

I feel like I move Paul Murphy (PBP) in and out of holding his seat every time there’s a new poll, and that reflects how close things are currently in DSW. This constituency was really messy in 2020 and is probably only going to be a little better next time out. There are two factors to consider behind Murphy’s low FPV in 2020 – on the one hand, he looked dependent on SF transfers, but he also had a running mate that probably artificially depressed his FPV total. Either way, this looks increasingly like there’s going to be an almighty scrap for the last three seats between Murphy, John Lahart (FF) and second candidates from SF and FG.

None of them should feel particularly comfortable right now, and how SF’s vote split and transfers are managed could be absolutely decisive. Good discipline could make the second seat simple, poor discipline could hand Murphy an easy path, and it’s possible – albeit unlikely – that both could be elected.

For FG, things are relatively straightforward, but they may end up being at the mercy of centre-left transfers. While the Greens and Labour have had no issue transferring to FG in the past, it feels like a lot of the more FG-sympathetic voters from those parties are going to just straight up vote for FG instead. This could result in a lower than expect rate of FG transfers from those parties (and there’s precedent for this with Labour in 2020, where their transfers became substantially more left-leaning as their overall support declined), which could end up making the difference. For now, an edge for FG, but this one is going to be very close and depend on a number of factors.

February 2021

Not much of note here, just a tough bit of polling here for FG; January’s numbers looked like a comfortable second seat, but the latest updates from Dublin have them falling marginally behind Paul Murphy (PBP). John Lahart of FF is also looking shaky, and could end up being overhauled by both, but that would require a continued drop in FF’s Dublin support – and though this is plausible, their numbers are fairly flat at the moment. Francis Duffy (GP) isn’t entirely out of this one yet either, but he’s still distant enough that he would need a notable polling shift to re-enter the conversation. How well Sinn Féin fare, and how their transfers go, is going to have a huge impact on the last few seats in this one.

January 2021

SF and FG should easily win two seats each here, with Seán Crowe and Colm Brophy both well poised to bring in a running mate. The reduced SF surplus available if they run two looks like its spells doom for the remaining left wing incumbents, particularly Francis Duffy (GP).

With that said, Paul Murphy (PBP) (please do not email me 5,000 word essays about the internal structure of the Solidarity-PBP Alliance and how RISE operates within that model) does have a potential path here to take the final seat ahead of FF’s John Lahart, though it relies on a few factors. Firstly, I don’t know whose idea it was to run two PBP candidates in, well, any constituency where they did it, but they definitely should not do it again here. Secondly, it requires FF to – and this is quite plausible given they ran three candidates here last time for no good reason – run more than one candidate.

If both these things happen, it will be very close and while the model still marginally favours FF even under these conditions, it’s no dead cert. If FF only run Lahart, Murphy isn’t ruled out entirely, but the chances of him keeping his seat will become much lower.

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