Yates' Prediction: Fianna Fáil will take two seats in Donegal

Newstalk Breakfast is taking a look at each election constituency, studying the candidates and predicting how they will perform

Newstalk, Donegal, sitting, incumbent, TD, Deputy, Minister, Joe McHugh, Paddy Harte, Charlie McConalogue, Pat Gallagher, Gary Doherty, Pearse Doherty, Padraig MacLochlainn, Paula Flanagan, Dessie Shiels, Tim Jackson, John ODonnell, Thomas Pringle, Niamh Kennedy

Fianna Fail's Pat 'The Cope' Gallagher will win a seat, pictured here at a Mayo count centre in 2009. Picture by: Julien Behal / PA Archive/PA Images

Updated Feb 25th 2016 10.15

Fianna Fáil's Pat 'the Cope' Gallagher will win a seat in the Donegal constituency.

Newstalk's political pundit Ivan Yates is changing the prediction he gave for the outcome of Friday's election.

Yates gave the forecast as part of Newstalk's series of constituency predictions for the General Election.

On Donegal he says: "I underestimated the southern part of the constituency that has actually moved to Sligo-Leitrim. I think Thomas Pringle and Pearse Doherty could both be affected by that. I think I have overestimated Thomas Pringle."

"The other thing I underestimated is that Pat the Cope - a veteran campaigner - has been rejuvenated. I actually think he could get the first Fianna Fáil seat."

He is now giving the five seats in this constituency as follows; two for Fianna Fáil, two for Sinn Féin and one for Fine Gael.

Sitting TD Thomas Pringle (Ind) will lose his seat in this new configuration.

1. Padraig MacLochlainn (SF)

2. Pearse Doherty (SF)

3. Joe McHugh (FG)

4. Pat Gallagher (FF)

5. Charlie McConalogue (FF) 

You can listen to Ivan Yates' prediction on Newstalk.com's Donegal constituency page.

You can see the original article below.


January 25th

All five Donegal seats will be filled by sitting TDs in next month's General Election - according to Newstalk Breakfast presenter Ivan Yates.

Sitting TDs: Junior Minister Joe McHugh (FG), Dinny McGinley (FG), Charlie McConalogue (FF), Pearse Doherty (SF), Paraic MacLochlainn (SF), Thomas Pringle (Ind)

Voters will lose only one of their representatives, with the retirement of Dinny McGinley and the redrawing of boundaries.

The forecast comes as part of Newstalk Breakfast presenter Ivan Yates' series of election predictions. In the weeks leading up to polling day, he is calling the outcome for each of the 40 constituencies.

Sinn Féin will top the poll in the traditionally republican constituency, easily returning both Padraig MacLochlainn and Pearse Doherty.

Meanwhile, Fianna Fáil veteran Pat the Cope Gallagher will fail to win a seat, as will the Labour Party.

Donegal constituency

Donegal's constituency boundaries were recently redrawn, resulting in the loss of one seat.

Five of the six sitting TDs are running for seats - otherwise, Fine Gael Deputy Dinny McGinley is finally retiring, something he threatened to do in 2011. 

Seven other candidates have declared, meaning 12 people are running for the five seats. 

Predicted outcome

Yates is calling the result as two seats for Sinn Féin, one Fine Gael, one Fianna Fáil and one Independent - all returning TDs.

1. Padraig MacLochlainn, TD (SF)

2. Pearse Doherty, TD (SF)

3. Minister Joe McHugh, TD (FG)

4. Charlie McConalogue, TD (FF)

5. Thomas Pringle, TD (Ind)

The dominant political force here today is Sinn Féin - the party made the breakthrough in 2011 when MacLochlainn and Doherty won two seats. 

For the government parties, Fine Gael will lose the seat they used to hold for McGinley in the larger original constituency while Labour will fail to win a seat.

Fine Gael has been too slow to react to McGinley's retirement only adding Paddy Harte Jnr to the ticket in recent weeks. Ivan Yates maintains that news has come too late for Harte to make a real impact.

Of Fianna Fáil's prospects he says: "It would be foolish to write off veteran politician Pat the Cope Gallagher (FF), a professional electioneer", but predicts Charlie McConalogue will be the party's choice as they seek younger voices.

Thomas Pringle (Ind) will win in the southern part of the county, as part of that battle against Pat the Cope Gallagher (FF) for a seat.

You can listen to Ivan Yates' prediction on Newstalk.com's Donegal constituency page.

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