Laois-Offaly has been separated for the first time in the history of the State.
What it has resulted in is probably the most predictable result in the election. Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin will share the three seats.
Labour’s Senator John Whelan will huff and puff but won’t blow any houses down.
Ivan’s take 13/01/2016: 1 FG, 1 FF, 1 SF - the three incumbents will hold their seats – and no Labour TD returned.
Thomasina Connell is joining Minister Charlie Flanagan on the Fine Gael ticket for Laois. A solicitor, she says she has gained real insight into the causes and effects of rural crime through her professional experiences. She also says "we cannot call ourselves a fully equal and just democracy while the number of women in the Dáil remains at its current rate of 15%".
Charlie Flanagan is a Fine Gael TD for Laois-Offaly and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade. He was first elected to Dáil Éireann at the 1987 general election. He retained his seat at each election until losing it in 2002 and regaining it at the 2007 general election. He was the Fine Gael parliamentary party chairperson from 2011 to 2014.
Seán Fleming has been a TD for Laois-Offaly since 1997. He’s the current Fianna Fáil spokesperson on Public Expenditure and Reform.
Sinead Moore is a Green Party candidate for Laois. A secondary teacher, Sinead says she joined the party "to campaign on environmental and social justice issues".
Brian Stanley (born 1961) is a Sinn Féin TD for Laois-Offaly. He was elected to the Dáil in 2011, after unsuccessfully contesting the 2007 and 2004 general elections. Prior to becoming a TD, he served as councillor for the Portlaoise area from 2004 until his election to the Dáil.
John Whelan is a Labour Senator. He was elected to the upper house on the Labour Panel in April 2011. He unsuccessfully contested the 2011 general election, receiving 7.8% of first preference votes. Prior to joining politics, he was a journalist for over 30 years.