Fitzpatrick’s seat in jeopardy in Louth, latest opinion poll analysis suggests
Dundalk-based TD Peter Fitzpatrick faces a real battle for his seat in the forthcoming General Election, with a leading analyst speculating he could fail in his re-election bid.
NUI Maynooth lecturer Dr Adrian Kavanagh, one of the country’s most respected election commentators, carried out a constituency level analysis based on last weekend’s Sunday Business Post Red C opinion poll.
In it Fine Gael lost some support and that could be crucial for Fitzpatrick, who Dr Kavanagh had earlier tipped for re-election following a similar analysis of The Sunday Times Behaviour and Attitudes Opinion Poll in mid-December.
At the time Kavanagh predicted two Sinn Fein seats, two Fine Gael seats and one Fianna Fáil seat in the Louth/East Meath constituency.
However, based on the latest trends, Dr Kavanagh is now speculating that Fitzpatrick will miss out, with the fifth and final seat being taken by someone from the ‘Other/Independent’ category.
Support for the various parties in Louth shows Sinn Féin at 32%, with Fine Gael at 23%, Fianna Fáil at 14%, Labour at 9% and the others/independents at 19%.
Such an outcome, Kavanagh predicts, would lead to both Ged Nash and Peter Fitzpatrick losing their seats, with Senator Mary Moran also out of the running.
While Gerry Adams and Fergus O’Dowd would be expected to retain their seats, there would be three new TDs in the form of Imelda Munster, one of the Fianna Fáil pairing of Declan Breathnach or Emma Coffey and one from the chasing pack.
Amongst the others confirmed to run in the election are Mark Dearey (Green Party), Michael O’Dowd (Renua), Gareth Weldon (People Before Profit Alliance), Anthony Connor (Direct Democracy Ireland), Pat Greene (Direct Democracy Ireland) Jeff Rudd (United People), Kevin Callan (Independent Alliance) and Maeve Yore (Independent Alliance).
While opinion polls could yet change, with the election set to be called tomorrow for a date expected to be February 26th the time for candidates to make up ground is running out. Of course, they could be wrong either but weren’t far off the mark when the people of this constituency last went to the polls five years ago.
The full analysis of the latest opinion poll can be found here.