Sinn Fein’s southern breakthrough on the cards?

It looks like Sinn Fein has timed it’s breakthrough moment to perfection. At ten per cent in the current poll they would appear to be a bouyant position. Some reports suggested a doubling of their Dail representation would indicate substantial progress. Fionnan Sheahan notes that the party reckons that there are eight key candidates that we should keep an eye on come election night. If all came over the finish line, that’s a nice crop of 13 TDs, which would represent a huge increase in their share of talent, and a substantial drop in the age profile of the southern parliamentary party.

Padraig MacLochlainn, Donegal North-East:

“Sinn Fein insiders regard him as the party’s best all-round candidate in the whole country”.

Pearse Doherty, Donegal South-West:

“FF Ministers Mary Coughlan and Pat ‘The Cope’ Gallagher are looking over their shoulders”.

Larry O’Toole, Dublin North-East:

“FF’s two seats in this constituency, held by Michael Woods and Martin Brady, look shaky. If the tide goes out for FF, O’Toole will replace one of this pair”.

Mary-Lou McDonald, Dublin Central:

“Sinn Fein is throwing its organisational weight behind the Dublin MEP in Bertie Ahern’s backyard. The common misconception is that it’s only the Fianna Fail second seat, being sought by the Taoiseach’s running mate that is in the firing line, but tell that to Independent Tony Gregory and Labour’s Joe Costello. She poses a considerable threat to Fianna Fail”.

Dessie Ellis, Dublin North-East:

“Just like O’Toole, Ellis is in a prime position to win this time but also knows the party hierarchy will drop him if he fails. If he builds on Sinn Fein’s vote in the local elections he will pose a genuine threat to FF’s Pat Carey. Minister Noel Ahern and Labour’s Roisin Shortall will be watching nervously”.

Joanne Spain, Dublin Mid-West:

“None of the parties can really gauge how the seats will fall in this area as the constituency is only in existence for the past five years”.

David Cullinane, Waterford:

“FF’s Ollie Wilkinson and Labour’s Brian O’Shea are perceived as weaker but have enough to hang on”.

John Dwyer, Wexford:

“From his New Ross base, Dwyer would have to get ahead of FF’s Sean Connick to be in with a chance of winning”.

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty