Wednesday 16 January 2019

Young vote means wide open battle for seats

Dublin North is a rare breed. It soaks up a large section of the capital's commuter belt and as a result has a significantly lower age profile than other areas.

This always gives some hope to new candidates as many of the voters are not well established in the area and have no allegiance.

Last time, that candidate was Fine Gael's Dr James Reilly, who looks set to top the poll. He rapidly shot up the political ranks to the position of Fine Gael deputy leader despite being in the Dail only since 2007.

The proposed Metro North could bring huge benefits to the area after the initial disruption and this is the flag the two Fianna Fail candidates have been waving, but it may not be enough to save Darragh O'Brien or Michael Kennedy.

Kennedy topped the poll in 2007 with nearly 11,000 first preferences but his younger colleague has gained a substantial profile since.

If Fianna Fail survives a wipe-out then Green Party TD Trevor Sargent will also be hoping to get another term.

Labour look almost certain to make a gain here with Senator Brendan Ryan biting to retake the seat that the party lost in 2007.

His running mate Cllr Tom Kelleher will also have a good chance. Dr Reilly's running mate, Cllr Alan Farrell, could also be in the mix, while Mark Harrold is an Independent.

But there is also a chance that Claire Daly of the Socialist Party could make a breakthrough.

PREDICTION: O'Reilly (FG), O'Brien (FF), Ryan (Lab) and Sargent (Green).

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