Current TDs: 1 FF, 1 FG, 1 IND
Projection: 1 SF, 1 FG, 1 IND
Making the changes this month to the Independents didn’t change many seats – though it did make some more or less likely – but this is one of the ones where it did. I think Seán Canney (IND) was definitely being underestimated by prior modelling, so a movement in his direction here makes sense. Canney has topped the poll here in the last two outings, albeit because other parties ran multiple candidates.
Sinn Féin were less than 500 votes away from a seat here in 2020, so it seems inevitable on current numbers that they will take one, with Fianna Fáil’s Anne Rabbitte now looking the most likely to lose out. That said it still looks tight even after the adjustments, so wouldn’t take anything for granted – Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael both ran two candidates each in 2020. Repeating that in the next GE would be ill-advised, particularly for FF, and running as a solo candidate next time may benefit Rabbitte.
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.
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.
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.
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.