#EP14 and the current state of play with the southern game…

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So, the southern elections. What’s to say with less than a week to go? Well probably not much more than last week’s issue of The Phoenix:

The Phoenix on LE14

Mid term, there’s probably little in it for Labour.

- Fianna Fail should pick up a seat in each of the four seater constituencies, but will struggle to get back into three seat Dublin. Their Dublin West candidate came second last time out, but it’s likely to get decided on the floating Labour vote and that;s not coming to them.

- Sinn Fein, as Ireland’s most prominent Eurosceptic party are probably safe for three seats with three virtual unknowns. Dublin is a no brainer. North will be tough but should see Matt Carthy to Brussels, and Liadh Ni Riada should coast home in south. OUtside shot for Dublin West: a dodgy use of polling suggests they are throwing in the kitchen sink to catch Ruth Coppinger.

- Fine Gael again, safe across the country with perhaps Brian Hayes struggling more than he should in Dublin with a under energised Fine Gael base choosing to stay at home rather than jumping ship to anyone else.

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  • Nordie Northsider

    Just possible that Luke Ming Flanagan might edge out SF’s McCarthy in the North West/Midlands or whatever they’re calling it now.

  • Mick Fealty

    Yeah, that’s one scenario I’ve heard talked about. Saw Harry McGee saying two candidates for FF was unwise, but given the size of the constituency I don’t see they have a choice. Likewise FG.

  • Mc Slaggart

    Luke Ming Flanagan cannot have the man. Habitats Directive from the EU was not a plot to bring down western farmers. If elected he team up with Diane Dodds MEP the Non-attached Member of the European Parliament. They can sort out the EU mistreatment of farmers.

  • Politico68

    Well it looks like FG will have two seats in the South, Fianna Fail one and Sinn Fein One. In Midlands/North west Sinn Fein are topping the poll sure of one seat, Ming Flanagan independent gets one here too as does FG, fourth seat could go to another Indo as FF are under serious pressure. In the North it will most likely be business as usual SF/DUP/UUP, very slim chance that the SDLP could take the third seat, would be a beautiful blow to Unionism but I am not overly hopeful, 2019 for sure. We will have the Dublin poll tomorrow. It is more than possible that a Shinner could be elected in all four Irish constituencies. Nothing short of a bloomin miracle that their vote has help up so well. Feeling happy.

  • Mick Fealty

    For some of the reasons outlined about three southern EP seats is as close to a racing certainty P68 as it possible to get.

    In Harry McGee’s profile today (http://goo.gl/3TAV35) on ‘what’s at stake’ he gives more space to FF than anyone else (last night’s Moodys upgrade has got to hurt them somewhere):

    There has been a lot of emphasis on Labour, but Fianna Fáil could have an election that confirms Éamon Ó Cuiv’s assessment of a party becalmed. This is the party’s first big electoral test since the 2011 meltdown – and it needs to show something for it.

    That is particularly true in Dublin, where it needs to almost double its local representation and bring in prospective Dáil candidates as councillors.

    Getting an MEP in Dublin would be a great result for Fianna Fáil, but it’s a crowded field, and, with Sinn Féin the repository for protest votes, this looks like a long shot.

    If Fianna Fáil fails to make a mark in the byelections, comes in below its 218-seat total in councils, and returns only two MEPs, uncomfortable questions will be asked about the party’s recovery strategy and the team behind it.

    Losing out in Midlands North West would be a serious body blow, and doubts would be raised about Micheál Martin’s leadership. He will survive, though; the party has no other prospective leader at present.

  • Politico68

    I am concerned for SF in the South Constituency, its ver conservative so no rhiada will rely on transfers. Burstin to find out the poll results for Dublin. Oh the pain of being so far away !! I think FF will do better than most people are expecting, indabimbo news and media will keep the pressure on SF all week in the hope of doing some damage, might give FF some wriggle room.

  • Mick Fealty

    She is a good choice. She has a well respected name, and I suspect she’ll get a good chunk of FF’s massive transfers…

  • roadnottaken

    Lynn Boylan now looking safe-as-houses in Dublin. Hayes will be fighting hard to top the poll (after all wasn’t he just assumed by the great and good to be the only one for that title?) and will be utterly embarassing if a newcomer cruises in past him.

    Liadh Ní Riada wwill attract transfers off Crowley aswell as Indo’s and Prendergast.. she’s the only anti-establishment candidate in the running, and Crowley’s vote in largely personal.

    Crowley looking like the only FF seat at this stage. That is a total disaster for Martin. And I would have thought after all the wrangling going on down in Cork between him and McGrath, that McGrath will be the challenger for the leadership. That will be potentially very damaging for FF.. constituency colleagues in a messy bloody scrap to lead a devastated party? Voter turn-off. And don’t doubt Ó Cuiv’s sense of grandfatherly watch over his own grandfather’s party.. he may step into the ring.

    FG struggling in MNW. Harkin now looking likely to slip in on FF transfers at the expense of the remaining FF candidate (the leakage of votes is bound to be high here, and I seriously doubt that The Cope will beat Byrne, so Pat’s votes will break to Harkin geographically)

    At local level, FF are looking at a transfer bloodbath on meltdown proportions..over 400 candidates (a strategy cooked up when they were on the high-20′s in the polls). That will give SF’s much more strategically targetted campaign a boost.. gaining councillors who slip in past a divided FF field, on transfer leakage from one ‘republican’ party to another, with Labour candidates and other assorted Indo’s and others eliminated in earlier rounds.

    All in all, this election is shaping up for a Civil War busting General Election.

  • Mick Fealty

    What you say about the effect of Byrne coming in ahead of “The Cope” could work out, although their combined total is 20% in Red C averages.

    I’d agree the EP elections are going to be an absolute playground for SF (as they will for UKIP).

    Poll topping will yield a lot of good headlines, but on such a split field, you can top the poll with just 17%. SF’s consolidated vote will serve them well in this regard.

    A reduction to one seat for FF would be a hell of a blow. Poor progress in Dublin already means Martin will take serious flack from a party used to strong ruthless leaders if Mary Fitz fails.

    For completeness, the south:


    But as a party they have the same problem Man City had back in the 1990s: ie, there’s no one limbering up down the tunnel to run in and take on the captaincy.

    A big fat row and perhaps some critical changes in the handling of candidate selection is the most that will happen. I doubt even McGrath thinks he’s ready to take over yet.

    The locals will be much tougher fought. I’d be looking at Donegal (5 rather than 6 six seats next time) for the biggest leaps forward, then Cavan, Monaghan and Louth.

    SF will publicly focus on the EP wins, because that’s where they can build the momentum story on its largest scale.

    But the practical ‘civil war busting’ work will come through the party’s gains at local council level.