I received a letter today from Cllr. Laura McGonigle announcing her candidacy for the Fine Gael Dáil Convention. This brings to five the number of declared candidates. Fine Gael is planning to run 3 candidates in the next General Election.
The other declared candidates are sitting TD’s Simon Coveney and Deirdre Clune, local Senator Jerry Buttimer and two Councillors from the South East Ward, Des Cahill and Laura McGonigle.
In the last General Election Fine Gael got 28.42% of the first preference vote. According to PoliticalReform.ie Fine Gael will get between 26.9% in the Ipsos MRBI poll to 34.3% in the Red C poll in Cork South Central. Fine Gael could take three seats depending on transfers, if the support is closer to the Red C poll.
The question is what 3 will be standing. The sitting TD’s obviously have a really good chance of being re-selected. The question will be who will be the third. Jerry Buttimer has a very good chance of being the representative as neither Clune or Coveney are based in the West of the constituency while Cahill and McGonigle are based in the East, as are Clune and Coveney. Jerry also has the advantage of having being tested in the last General Election. In that time he got 8.77% of the vote and lasted till the 4th count.
Des Cahill faced his first election in the local elections and topped the poll in Cork South East ward with 15.48% of the vote. Laura McGonigle who was also elected on the first count in the first count in 2009 in the same ward with 14.58% of the vote. Laura was also facing her first election to the council having been co-opted to replace Deirdre Clune after the Dual mandate was abolished.
I think the line up for Cork South Central will be as follows:
- Deirdre Clune
- Simon Coveney
- Jerry Buttimer
While I think it would great for Laura McGonigle to be on the ticket due to her youth, enthusiasm and experience, I don’t think she will make this time.
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