"I was dreaming of Michael Noonan last night" - The views of voters in Limerick City

Shona Murray went door-to-door with Limerick Fianna Fáil TD Willie O'Dea for Newstalk Breakfast...

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Michael Noonan. Image: RollingNews.ie

The starting pistol for General Election 2016 is all but fired at this stage, as TDs turn their full attention to the race ahead.

Last week, Shona Murray went door-to-door with Limerick Fianna Fáil TD Willie O'Dea.

The Limerick City constituency is a four-seater with two Fine Gael seats - Finance Minister Michael Noonan and TD Kieran O’Donnell.

It is also the constituency of Education Minister Jan O’Sullivan and Deputy O'Dea.

Michael Noonan topped the poll in 2011, but Willie O’Dea is normally the one to do so - particularly in 2007 where he got 19,000 votes, nearly 39% of the vote.

We went to Carysfort in Limerick, a short distance away from the train station in the inner city. It is a nice working class area where Willie was treated by some of the neighbours as a hero.

Two things that were remarkable at the doors was the support for a Fianna Fáil/Sinn Féin government.

That is despite the conventional wisdom in the past that Sinn Féin would never win a seat in Limerick City because it is the constituency of the Garda Jerry McCabe.

The second thing was that water charges was by far the issue that people wanted to discuss most.

One constituent explained, "we need to get rid of it - I just can't afford it. I'm paying a mortgage... I'm left with nothing".

They were also significant concerns about the ongoing - perhaps even perpetual - health service crisis.

"All the people in beds at the moment... The one thing that gets to me is... I hear Joan Burton talking, and I don't know what she's talking about," one woman explained.

"Mary Lou McDonald, I like her for one reason - she speaks up," the same woman suggested. "She spoke up against [Joan Burton] and look what happened to her. She had to leave the Dáil," she added, referring to the incident when Deputy McDonald had to leave the Chambers for making false accusations against former politicians.

Deputy O'Dea's constituency colleague is Minister for Finance. What did the constituents have to say about Minister Noonan? Well...

So how will it go on the election day?

Michael Noonan and Willie O’Dea will romp home. Fianna Fáil recognises that they can only win one seat, and therefore they have only one candidate running.

However, Fine Gael will hope that Noonan again produces a massive surplus and drag Kieran O’Donnell across the line as he did in 2011...

Live from @ElectionNT