Yates' Prediction: Fianna Fáil cannot win a seat in Roscommon-Galway without Shane Curran

Newstalk Breakfast looks at each election constituency, studying the candidates and predicting how they will perform

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Shane Curran ©INPHO/James Crombie

The possibility of a late addition to the Fianna Fáil ticket in Roscommon-Galway could prove to be a wild card, according to Newstalk Breakfast presenter Ivan Yates.

Sitting TDs: Michael Fitzmaurice (IND), Denis Naughten (IND), Frank Feighan (FG)

Roscommon-Galway is a new constituency, replacing Roscommon/South Leitrim which has been split across a number of constituencies.

Ivan argued "Roscommon is the Iowa of Ireland, insofar as it was the only constituency that voted no the Marriage Equality referendum.

"There is always one issue in the Roscommon constituency, and that is the hospital - the state of the hospital and the commitment to keep it".

He pointed out that Fine Gael 'solemnly swore' that they would not downgrade the hospital's A&E department - but it ended up being downgraded, despite the constituency TD Denis Naughten voting against the party (he has since gone Independent).

Roscommon-Galway

Roscommon-Galway is a new three-seat constituency, replacing Roscommon/South Leitrim which has been split across a number of constituencies.

Two sitting TDs are running for re-election - Michael Fitzmaurice and Denis Naughten, both Independent.

There are nine candidates running for election in total.

"There was a by-election held in this constituency on 10th October 2014", Ivan explained. "The victor on that occasion, although he didn't top the poll, was a brand new independent. This is Ming Flanagan country... Ming went to Europe, and his protegee was a guy called Michael Fitzmaurice. 

"That by-election was run in the old constituency... He's a resident of East Galway, and all of his area is the biggest beneficiary of the thousands of votes that have been switched - so he will top the poll," Ivan predicted.

Ivan thinks Denis Naughten will also get re-elected, saying he is a "very hard working" TD who is one of the credible independents.

For the third seat, Ivan explained "if you were to draw up the twenty must win constituencies for Fianna Fáil, you'd put Roscommon in the top five".

However he observed that his Fianna Fáil friends predict the party's candidate Eugene Murphy does "not have the mojo to win".

Therefore the feeling is that Fine Gael's candidate Maura Hopkins could be the winner by default, despite being a newcomer and her lack of success in the recent by-election.

However, there is a wild card in the form of Shane Curran, who has not yet been added to the Fianna Fáil ticket.

"Fianna Fáil cannot win the seat without him," Ivan suggested. "I'm saying I will reserve my position, but I'm thinking Fianna Fáil have messed up this constituency".

Predicted outcome

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.

1. Michael Fitzmaurice (IND)

2. Denis Naughten (IND)

3. Maura Hopkins (FG) / Shane Curran (FF)

You can listen to Ivan Yates' prediction on Newstalk.com's Roscommon-Galway constituency page.

Live from @ElectionNT