Province: Rest of Leinster
Current TDs: 1 FG, 1 SF, 1 FF
Projection: 1 FG, 1 SF, 1 FF
Meath East isn’t particularly interesting (sorry, Meath East fans) compared to some of the other constituencies; the only intrigue is whether the final seat can be held by FF’s Thomas Byrne, or if FG can win it back. With FF’s good recent polling, Byrne has the edge – and even if he doesn’t, Regina Doherty’s decision to move constituency might make this tougher for FG to hold than the numbers indicate.
FF’s Thomas Byrne is in trouble. He lost his seat to FG in 2011 – where FF lost both their seats – before reclaiming it in 2016. History looks to repeat here, as the FF vote in Meath East is very flaky, and Byrne has proven before that he isn’t a strong enough candidate to buck the trend of his party’s fortunes in election years.
Sinn Féin ought to do well, with another strong left-wing Green candidate leaving the party, leaving a chunk of left votes available to be scooped up, but not enough to make up the gap to FG to bring a second candidate into play. FG are poised to dominate here, and it’s difficult to see any outcome where they don’t take two seats.