herald

Wednesday 7 December 2016

Fianna Fail on cusp of comeback in the city with rising star

Politics

Jack Chambers FF
Jack Chambers FF

Fianna Fail is on the cusp of dramatically reclaiming the seat formerly held by the late Brian Lenihan, according to the Herald/Millward Brown opinion poll.

The party has been boosted by the news that their candidate Jack Chambers (inset) is set to outperform TDs Joan Burton and Ruth Coppinger on first preference votes.

But more significantly, the young candidate is set to come in just short of the overall quota.

While he will struggle to pick up significant transfers, our opinion poll indicates that he is poised to take either the third or final seat.

Such a scenario will ensure that Fianna Fail finally ends its dismal record in Dublin, where the party currently has no Dail representation.

If Chambers is elected, it will mean the party will win back the seat previously held by the late Brian Lenihan, who died on June 10, 2011 from pancreatic cancer.

He was aged 52.

Chambers, a medical graduate and Fingal councillor, secured the sole place on the Fianna Fail ticket following a surprise victory over councillor David McGuinness in last year's selection convention.

Mr McGuinness, who is also in contention for a Dail seat this month, quit the party just days later.

McGuinness is believed to have brought a significant number of Fianna Fail supporters within him, including Marian Quinlan, Brian Lenihan's former constituency secretary.

Chambers was nominated by Anita Lenihan, Brian's sister.

Profile

Fianna Fail is sparing no expense when it comes to Chambers' campaign.The candidate has also appeared at several of the party's policy launches as part of efforts to build his profile.

His election will prove crucial to party leader Micheal Martin, who has championed his councillor since his election to the council in 2014.

But crucial to Chambers chances later this month will be whether he can pick up enough transfers.

With Burton, Coppinger and McGuinness all nipping at his heels, the outcome is not a foregone conclusion.

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