Current TDs: 2 IND, 1 SF
Projection: 2 IND, 1 SF
Independents have been polling well recently, particularly in Connacht-Ulster, so this change shouldn’t be a huge surprise, as the model now favours Denis Naughten to hold his seat against Fine Gael, though naturally it remains close. Fianna Fáil are the only other party looking at breaking 2% FPV here, so their transfers will be crucial in deciding this one, and in 2020 they didn’t look great for FG.
Sinn Féin’s Claire Kerrane and Independent Michael Fitzmaurice look fairly comfortable here. Polling numbers have Kerrane as a potential poll-topper, and Fitzmaurice is easily popular enough to ride out the downward movement of Independents.
The other IND TD, Denis Naughten, might be in trouble, and the model suggests that he will lose out to a surging Fine Gael. The one thing that is missed by the model, and might help Naughten, is that he is essentially an Independent FG candidate, having represented the party in the Dáil for over a decade. While his vote crumbled in 2020, following a fairly disastrous stint as a Minister, he still commanded enough support to handily see of an FG challenger. It remains to be seen if he can pull that off again and peel away enough of the FG surge to keep his seat, but right now it looks tough.
Fianna Fáil will also be borderline competitive here, but their declining numbers put them below Naughten right now, let alone Fine Gael. Without a polling swing back in their direction, regaining the seat they lost in 2020 will be a big ask.