Galway East

Profile

Province: Connacht-Ulster

Seats: 3

Current TDs: 1 FF, 1 FG, 1 IND

Projection: 1 FF, 1 SF, 1 FG

Gains

SF +1

Losses

IND -1

Analysis

October 2021

Galway East is yet another regular feature here, and once again the polling pendulum has swung back against Independents, putting Seán Canney at a disadvantage against Anne Rabbitee (FF). Earlier in the year the Sinn Féin seat here looked like a squeaker, but their robust polling in Connacht-Ulster is now showing they’re a bit ahead of the Canney/Rabbitte scrap. That said, I expect polls to continue to show these three bouncing around behind Fine Gael’s Ciarán Cannon, who should cruise home on current numbers. Currently modelling here assumes FG will run one candidate, but they may well be tempted to run two – in which case the entire thing becomes even more difficult to call.

September 2021

Galway East continues to swing back and forth and remains extremely close. While Fine Gael and Sinn Féin still look quite secure to grab one seat each – assuming they don’t attempt any galaxy-brain electoral strategies – the final seat is still bouncing around. This month, the polls favour independent Seán Canney holding his seat over Fianna Fáil or a second Fine Gael, but this could well change again by the next set of projections.

June 2021

Galway East again sees the FF polling recover indicating a change, but this is another one that is really close – while Fine Gael and Sinn Féin are still safe to win a seat each, the third seat is open between FF, a second FG and Independent Seán Canney. Currently FF incumbent Anne Rabbitte now has a slight edge that was previously held by FG, but this is essentially too close to call.

January 2021

This raised my eyebrows when the model spat it out, but looking at the probable outcomes, it’s a surprisingly robust call given how close the model has been on other constituencies. With polling numbers for independents down massively, Seán Canney looks set to lose his seat regardless of how other things break – although its always hard to be confident in how much these swings will affect individual Independent candidates.

A surging FG should have no problem bringing in an additional TD, and SF look poised to jump ahead of both Canney and FF incumbent Anne Rabbitte. If FF only run Rabbitte, they have a shot, albeit not a massive one, at holding off SF. If they run two they look less able to do so – they barely managed to do so in 2020, which was in a much more pro-FF polling environment.

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