Quick facts:

  • 5-seater
  • Sitting TDs: John Paul Phelan (FG), Pat Deering (FG), Ann Phelan (LAB), John McGuinness(FF), Bobby Aylward (FF)
  • Ministerial representation: Minister of State Ann Phelan
  • Population: 145,659
  • 2011 poll topper: John Paul Phelan, Fine Gael
  • 2015 by-election poll topper: Bobby Aylward, Fianna Fáil
  • Most likely loser: Ann Phelan, Labour
  • One to watch: Ann Phelan, Labour

Fianna Fáil will be determined to retain the seat that Bobby Aylward won in the May 2015 by-election and thus add a seat to that won by John McGuinness in 2011. The party are running the same three candidates as 2011 but will need better than the 49% transfer that came from the Carlow end of the constituency that year.

Although they will say otherwise publicly, Fine Gael will be happy to settle for their two remaining TDs retaining their seats and if they do then the final seat is between Sinn Féin, Labour and Renua.

The by-election suggests that Ann Phelan won’t hold the Labour seat which would leave Sinn Féin’s Kathleen Funchion in prime position to win that party’s first seat in the constituency since the foundation of the State given that she achieved the exact equivalent of a quota last May.

Renua did well on their first outing but seem unlikely to get ahead of Sinn Féin.

*Anti-Austerity Alliance - People Before Profit (AAA-PBP) will contest the election as one parliamentary group.

Possible result is 2 FF (+1), 2 FG (-1) 1 SF (+1), LAB 0 (-1).

Ivan's take: Yates is calling the result as 2 Fine Gael, 2 Fianna Fáil and 1 Sinn Féin.