Limerick: Predictions And Debates

Some things strike me about the campaign in Limerick so far.

Noonan and O’Dea are looking as solid as everyone is saying. O’Sullivan slightly less so, but still a near lock for re-election.

But while Peter Power and O’Donnell are getting the news, making waves and gathering notice, Cllr Joe Leddin has been a shadow. No news coverage, barely a mention. A lot of people I know in Limerick aren’t even sure who Labour’s second candidate is.

For those reasons I’m revising my previous prediction. Noonan looks like creating a substantial surplus, and O’Dea’s voters have a tendency to give second preferences to FG candidates. Power remains lost without O’Dea’s massive tally to help him out (though he is certainly talking a good game) but O’Donnell is looking better and better to retain his seat. I’m not sure about his place within the party, but I’m beginning to see Fine Gael becoming the dominant party more and more in this city.

It’s clear even from this somewhat pro-Labour article that the party may lack the support to take a second seat. In such a situation as Limerick, where one sitting TD is losing out, two of them not being returned might be a bit much.

Paddy Power bears all of this out, with O’Donnell at 2/5 and Leddin behind him 5/4. And O’Dea’s odds have actually gotten better if that can be believed from 1/40 to 1/50. Larkin and Riordan well behind in the 50/1+ range.

As for the other candidates, it is just as quiet. Quinlivan, Kiely, Cahill, Prendiville, Larkin, Riordan, and O’Donoghue are just not doing much to garner attention.

With one exception, and even that has flown somewhat under the radar. Some debates from Limerick’s local radio station, 95FM. The first, last week, featuring Power, Quinlivan and Leddin and just the other day, Noonan, Prendiville, Riordan and O’Donoghue. Hosted by long running DJ Joe Nash, they’re available for playback here. The second one isn’t up yet, and I’ll offer comment when it is.

Nice and polite the first one, with Power and Leddin getting most of the airtime to speak. Leddin made the somewhat arrogant claim that Ruiri Quinn was the best Finance Minister the country had ever had and they all defended the Corporation Tax rate. Leddin played up the SIB and, as is becoming common with Labour, their lack of support for the bond guarantee. Power attacked the ideas with the usual, Labour’s nationalisation plan being just as bad as the guarantee, a lack of funds for any kind of SIB.

Quinlivan focused on playing up the importance of Shannon airport to the region and the need for investment. I wonder, if that’s the case, why are Sinn Fein are so desperate to get the US Air Force out of the airport?

Back onto the IMF renegotiation issue. Quinlivan thinks the debt of the country is unpayable as it stands, though “fair play” if FG/Lab can get a better deal. Leddin insists the deal will be renegotiated and that anyone who disagrees within the EU is mistaken. Power says this is nonsense and that FF are the only party with a workable economic plan. We really are going around in circles with this discussion.

Leddin thinks Labour will win two seats. Quinlivan thinks Sinn Fein will win a seat. Power thinks he will hold his seat. Shocking I know.

All three candidates defend the use of posters in the campaign and sedgeway around the issue of flying posters potentially hurting people. Nice. Leddin says the only promise he has made to people on the doors is that he’ll work for the people of Limerick.I actually know that’s a lie, because he made promises to me the other week on the doorstep.

Certainly nothing that was said in this debate makes me want to vote for these guys. Best quote goes to Leddin: “Smooth talk is no substitute for butter on the parsnips.” Wtf?

Willie O’Dea and Sheila Cahill remain the only candidates to answer my e-mail.

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1 Response to Limerick: Predictions And Debates

  1. Pingback: NFBs General Election Index | Never Felt Better

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