Ivan's making his final predictions for the big winners and losers in the election
I’ve added up the sum of the parts and I’m calling it – Fine Gael is to be the largest party after the election, but with just 51 seats.
It’s a bad result for the party, but it’s not a disastrous result – they had 76 seats after the last election, and have lost a few to retirement and Renua.
The real winners of this election are Fianna Fáil. I’m predicting 39 seats, which from starting at 20 in the last Dáil is an exceptional showing and I think they’ll be very pleased. Micheál Martin has had a successful leadership touring campaign and the party has had momentum throughout.
The other big winner here is Sinn Féin. They’re going to make a real big hit in the border constituencies and I predict they’ll go from 14 seats in the last Dáíl to 29 this time. That’s even higher than what they’re predicting themselves.
Labour are the single biggest losers. It’s decimation for the Labour party, with some polls putting them as low as 4%. I think they’ll get single figures – high single figures. The difficulty for them is you need 16% as a floor to get elected in any constituency, and more in a three-seater. I predict seven seats, including some high-profile losses.
Ministers Alex White and Jan O’Sullivan are in danger, and I predict Joan Burton will become the third Tánaiste in a row to feel the vengeance of the voters against the Government.
Beyond the big four, I’m calling a total figure of 32 for the rest.
I am saying that the Green Party can win two – that will involve an upset but I think their leader, Eamon Ryan can sneak into the last seat in Dublin South West and, in a big shock, their deputy leader Catherine Martin has a chance to win in the three-seater in Dublin Rathdown.
I think the Social Democrats will do well and knock on the door, but will ultimately only return their three co-leaders, Roisín Shortall, Catherine Murphy and Stephen Donnelly.
The AAA-PBP will take six – or finish more or less around where they were after the last election.
The independent alliance of Shane Ross, Finian McGrath and others will take six.
Then you have the rest of the non-aligned independent independents. I predict Michael Lowry will take over 16,000 votes – the highest of all TDs elected.
I predict Michael Healy-Rae will make it, but can’t make the same prediction for Danny Healy-Rae.
Some independents that I think won’t make it are Thomas Pringle in Donegal and Mattie McGrath in Tipperary.