Constituency Profile: Longford-Westmeath

Quick facts:

  • 4-seater
  • 4 sitting TDs: James Bannon (FG), Gabrille McFadden (FG), Willie Penrose (LAB), Robert Troy (FF)
  • Population: 116,802
  • 2011 poll topper: Willie Penrose, Labour
  • 2014 by-election poll topper: Gabrielle McFadden, Fine Gael
  • One to watch: Kevin 'Boxer' Moran, Independent

Definitely at least one Fine Gael and one Fianna Fáil, and while the national picture for Labour is not good, Willie Penrose may well buck that trend.

He has been in the Dáil for 23 years, and will be hard to shift. Apart from his first win in 1992 he has never got less than 8,000 votes, and his decision to resign in late 2011 as Minister of State and also resign the party whip over the decision to close Mullingar Barracks will not do him any harm in the election.

Sinn Féin will feel that they have a real chance to take a seat here, but they are hindered by their lack of support in Longford which is the only council in the State where they have no representation. A number of Independents led by ex-Fianna Fáil Cllr Kevin “Boxer” Moran will also believe that they can make it. However as both the Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil certain seats are likely to come from Westmeath, it will be the battle for the Longford seat that will determine the final outcome.

The concern for Fianna Fáil is that both in the local elections and in the by-election Fine Gael out polled Fianna Fáil comfortably, and this would leave sitting TD James Bannon poised to get re-elected.

Possible result:

  • 2 FG
  • 1 FF
  • 1 LAB

Ivan's take: Yates is calling the result as one for Fine Gael, one for Labour, one for Fianna Fáil and one Independent - with three of the four sitting TDs will be returned here and the fourth spot going to Independent Kevin 'Boxer' Moran.

  • James Bannon - FG More Info:

    James Bannon has been a TD for Longford-Westmeath since 2007. Prior to entering politics he worked as a farmer and auctioneer. He was first elected to Longford County Council in 1985 and served as a councillor until his election to the Seanad in 2002.

  • Peter Burke - FG More Info:

    Peter Burke is a Fine Gael Councillor in Mullingar, and has previously missed out on Dáil seats in the 2007 and 2011 general elections. He is a chartered accountant, and has a keen interest in horse racing.

  • Brian Fagan - IND More Info:

    Brian Fagan is a Mullingar-based businessman and community activist. He announced that he would run as part of the Independent Alliance on February 8th.

  • Connie Gerety-Quinn - FF More Info:

    Gerety-Quinn is a Longford businesswoman who created controversy when she was added to the FF ticket because of gender quotas.

  • Stephanie Healy - IND More Info:

    Stephanie Healy is originally from Limerick and now lives in Athlone where she works in a fast food outlet. She has a degree in Psychology and Sociology and is running for Direct Democracy Ireland.

  • Paul Hogan - SF More Info:

    Paul Hogan has been a local councillor for Westmeath since 2014. He was the Sinn Féin candidate for the Longford Westmeath by-election in 2014. However he was unsuccessful, receiving 15.4% of first preference votes

  • Donal Jackson - IND More Info:

    Business consultant Donal Jackson was a first-time candidate in the 2011 General Election. He received 101 votes and was excluded after count one. He also contested the 2014 Longford Westmeath by-election, and after the first count he was eliminated having received 238 first preferences.

  • Manchán Magan - GP More Info:

    Magan is a television presenter and travel journalist who contributes to Newstalk and the Irish Times among others.

  • Gabrielle McFadden - FG More Info:

    Gabrielle McFadden is a TD for Longford-Westmeath. She was elected to the Dáil at the 2014 Longford–Westmeath by-election, resulting from the death of her sister Nicky McFadden. She was appointed to the Public Accounts Committee in December 2014. Prior to being elected as a TD, she served as a councillor for the Athlone area from 2009 to 2014.

  • Noel McKervey - IND More Info:

    Noel McKervey, from Athlone, is running for the Catholic Democrats.

  • James Miller - IND More Info:

    Miller is from Kilbeggan and is campaigning as a member of the Public Banking Alliance to set up public banks on a regional basis.

  • Kevin 'Boxer' Moran - IND More Info:

    Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran is an independent councilor for Westmeath. He was first elected to Westmeath County Council in 1999. In both the 2009 and 2014 local elections topped the poll for the Athlone area, receiving 16.8% and 21.78% respectively. 

  • James Morgan - IND More Info:

    Longford businessman and chartered accountant James Morgan will contest the general election under the banner of the Independent Alliance - following his participation in 2014’s Longford Westmeath by-election. Morgan has said what he likes about the Independent Alliance is the freedom it affords to each member, while still having access to other TDs and their collective knowledge.

  • Dom Parker - AAA-PBP More Info:

    Parker is an anti-austerity and anti-water charge campaigner in Westmeath.

  • Willie Penrose - LAB More Info:

    Willie Penrose was first elected to the Dáil in 1992. He has topped the poll in every general election he has stood in since 1997. He served as Minister of State for Housing and Planning from March to November 2011, when he resigned his position and also the Labour Party whip over the closure of an army barracks.  He later rejoined the Labour party. 

  • Mae Sexton - IND More Info:

    Mae Sexton is a Longford based Councillor who is a former PD TD. She ran for Labour in the 2011 General Election.

  • Barbara Smyth - IND More Info:

    Barbara Smyth is an Independent candidate for Longford Westmeath. She unsuccessfully contested the local elections in 2014, receiving 4.4% of the first preference votes. She is an entrepreneur and owns a local audio repair centre. 

  • Robert Troy - FF More Info:

    Robert Troy (born 1982) is a Fianna Fáil TD for Longford Westmeath. He was elected to the Dáil in 2011 and received 7.4% of first preference votes. Prior to being elected to the Dáil, he served as a councillor for the Mullingar West area from 2004 to 2011.

Longford-Westmeath - First Preference Vote Share, General Election 2011