This will be my second general election in Kildare North, and with an additional five years to get used to the places’ politics, I feel it would be apropos to focus a bit on it specifically during this election campaign. I’m sure it won’t be of too much interest to most readers, but hopefully at the very least I can provide a nice little snapshot of how things are going in a single constituency.
First, let’s go through who is actually running, for whom, and how I think they initially stand. I’m sure this list will grow before the deadline, and it will be updated accordingly. In alphabetical order (with campaign social media where present:
Local tutor, failed candidate, by large margins, in last local and general elections. Not likely to seriously challenge.
Local Councillor for Maynooth district, elected in 2014. If Sinn Fein’s national standing translates, she’d stand a fair shot, and she was elected to her current position on the first count, indicating some degree of popularity.
Sitting TD for several decades. Topped poll last time. Would have to take a fair battering in terms of lost votes to lose out here.
Gerard Dunne (Independent) – Website
Going by KFM story, has announced candidacy very late. Confirmed to be (former?) Labour member, a supervisor on Kildare County Council. No idea why he’s running as an Independent. Regardless, unlikely to seriously challenge.
Former Councillor for Leixlip, ran unsuccessfully for Green’s many times, switched to Renua last year. This isn’t going to be one of the new parties’ competitive constituencies.
Local Councillor for Naas district, elected in 2014. Would have to be considered a strong shot to win a seat in a constituency that previously elected two FF’s TD’s. Ease of victory in locals, topping poll, backs that up. but other FF candidate might throw spanner in works. Not sure where he stands with O’Rourke.
Sitting TD, finishing first term. Largely elected on back of Durkan’s transfers, which might vanish now. If any sitting TD will lose their seat, it has to be him.
First time candidate (I think, can’t find any pre-existing info anyway). While you can expect the left to increase its vote share, Kildare North will not be fertile ground in terms of getting seats, especially with Young competing for core vote.
Sitting TD, co-leader of her new party. You’d have to think that, with the rise in support for Independents nationally and her increased profile because of the DOB business and the foundation of the Soc Dems, she should be a lock to retain.
An election debut. The Green;s would be doing very well just to get back into the Dail with one, and this feels like a sop to the idea of just competing, no offence to the candidate.
Councillor, elected to Celbridge Leixlip in 2014 after being co-opted two years before. Similar vote share to Lawless. No idea why Fianna Fail is risking taking a seat by running two candidates, I imagine there is some geographical mathematics at play. Good chance for a seat, but only if he is the senior FF candidate.
Emmet Stagg (Labour) – Website
Sitting TD for over 20 years. Big local profile, but obviously no certainty due to Labour’s poor position nationally. Rise of Fianna Fail and Sinn Fein vote might doom him. Will be a tough battle for him.
Left leaning councillor for Celbridge/Leixlip, elected in 2014 on the 12th count. Not likely to offer a serious challenge, especially with other hard left option in Merriman.
If I was to give a fairly speculative prediction at this point, it would probably go:
I just feel like Stagg’s time might be up, and that Cronin and the FF candidates stand to take advantage. When I get a feel for which of the FF’s is taking priority I’ll be more comfortable predicting who will win success.