Roscommon-Galway

Quick facts:

  • New 3-seater
  • 3 sitting TDs: Frank Feighan (FG), Michael Fitzmaurice (IND), Denis Naughten (IND)
  • Population: 84,586
  • 2011 poll topper (Roscommon/South Leitrim): Denis Naughten, Fine Gael (now Independent)
  • 2014 by-election poll topper (Roscommon/South Leitrim): Ivan Connaughton, Fianna Fáil (not elected - Independent Michael Fitzmaurice won seat)
  • One to watch: Maura Hopkins, Fine Gael

The only safe bet is by-election victor Michael Fitzmaurice, who inherited the “Ming” Flanagan seat. With the south Leitrim part of the old constituency gone, the replacement area of 14,000 voters from east Galway - including Ballinasloe and east Tuam - may well have a decisive influence on at least one of the other two seats - and the Tuam side is actually Fitzmaurice’s base.

The local election and by-election results point to Fianna Fáil winning back a seat, but Ivan Connaughton has fallen out with the party and has threatened to run as an Independent. Fine Gael are also in disarray as Frank Feighan will not defend his seat following controversy over the Roscommon Hospital issue.

That same issue caused Denis Naughten to leave Fine Gael three months after the 2011 election, and he will contest as an Independent.

Sinn Féin hope that they may slip in under the radar, but as only one of their three candidates in Roscommon got elected in 2014 that hope appears forlorn.

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

Ivan's take: Yates is calling the result as two Independents and one seat for Fine Gael - as long as Shane Curran does not run. If he does, he could take the seat.