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THE CANDIDATES:

•Cllr Patrick Nulty (right) is Labour's candidate in the by-election and is considered by many as the favourite to take the seat. The Corduff-based Fingal county councillor got 2,686 first preference votes in February's general election and was pipped by Brian Lenihan to the final seat.

Fianna Fail's David McGuinness is hoping to take over from Brian Lenihan as his party's only TD in Dublin. Leader Micheal Martin has made a point of visiting the constituency a number of times during the by-election campaigning.

•Many were surprised when Fine Gael's Eithne Loftus (below) secured the nomination to contest the seat. Kieran Dennison had been considered the best placed in the process but the local organisation opted for Cllr Loftus.

•Sinn Fein chose Paul Donnelly to contest the seat. He has framed the by-election as an "opportunity for the people of Dublin West to give their verdict on the performance of the Fine Gael/ Labour coalition".

•The Socialist Party's Ruth Coppinger is considered to have a fighting chance of winning. If she won, it would mean Dublin West would have two Socialist Party TDs after leader Joe Higgins' victory in the general election. She lives in and represents the Mulhuddart Ward as a Fingal councillor.

•Roderic O'Gorman (Green Party) was born and bred in Mulhuddart. In his first electoral outing in the Castleknock ward in 2004 at the age of 22, he won more than 1,400 votes before being eliminated.

•Barry Caesar Hunt stands out from the rest of the field, not only because of his middle name, but also because he was a contestant on The Apprentice last season. The barber (33) is passionate about his policies for Dublin West, in particular creating jobs.

•The rest of the field: Peadar O'Ceallaigh (Fis Nua) and Independents Gary Birmingham, Benny Cooney, Brendan Doris, John Frank Kidd and Jim Tallon.