Galway East

Quick facts:

  • 3-seater (-1)
  • 4 sitting TDs: Ciaran Cannon (FG), Paul Connaughton (FG), Colm Keaveney (FF), Michael Kitt (FF)
  • Ministerial representation: None
  • Population: 89,564
  • 2011 poll topper: Paul Connaughton Jnr, Fine Gael

The transfer of some 14,000 voters (including Ballinasloe) to Roscommon-Galway has reduced this to a three-seater, and what is certain is that both Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil will win a seat. It is equally certain that Labour, who won a seat in this constituency for the first time in 2011, will not retain it.

Ironically Colm Keaveney, Labour’s winner in 2011, will return to the Dáil as a Fianna Fáil TD, having defected largely because he voted against cuts to the respite care grant. In reality he also knew that there was no chance of keeping his seat. The retirement of Michael Kitt has left him with an open goal.

Ciarán Cannon also seems assured of a seat, which leaves the final seat between his colleague Paul Connaughton and an Independent - probably Sean Canney, who is associated with the Independent Alliance.

Some of Connaughton’s base has moved out, although Canney has to compete with Keaveney for the Tuam vote. However the Connaughton family has been ever present in the Dáil since 1981 through good times and bad - and that might be the deciding factor.

Possible result is 2 FG, 1 FF, 0 LAB (-1).

Ivan's take: The pundit is calling the result as one seat for Fine Gael, one for Fianna Fáil and one Independent - predicting that Colm Keaveney will lose his seat.