Yates' Prediction: Colm Keaveney will lose his seat in Galway East

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

Deputy Colm Keaveney (FF) will lose his seat in Galway East next month - according to Newstalk Breakfast presenter Ivan Yates.

Sitting TDs: Colm Keaveney (FF) Michael Kitt (FF), Ciaran Cannon (FG), Paul Connaughton (FG)

Voters will return Cllr Anne Rabbitte (FF) in order to maintain a Fianna Fáil presence in the three-seat constituency.

Fine Gael's Paul Connaughton and Independent Cllr Sean Canney will also be successful.

The forecast came as part of Newstalk's 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.

Galway East

There are eight candidates running for election in Galway East.

Galway East historically hosted four seats, but lost a chunk of its territory from the north-eastern corner when constituency boundaries were redrawn. The region lost 20,000 votes to the new Roscommon-Galway constituency.

Of the four sitting TDs, one of them, Michael Kitt (FF) is retiring - the other three are all running for re-election.

Deputy Kitt's constituency colleague Colm Keaveney (FF) is bidding for a seat, as are Fine Gael's two TDs Ciaran Cannon and Paul Connaughton.

Predicted outcome

Fine Gael is predicting no Fianna Fáil seat in this constituency, but Yates disagrees.

The pundit is calling the result as one seat for Fine Gael, one for Fianna Fáil and one Independent.

He says Paul Connaughton (FG) could top the poll. Despite the damage the redrawing of the constituency boundaries has done to him, he has consolidated his base since his first success in 2011 and he will take a seat. 

Independent Cllr Sean Canney in Tuam will take the second seat, from Fianna Fáil's Colm Keaveney, TD.

The fight for the third seat will be between Deputy Ciaran Cannon (FG) and Cllr Anne Rabbitte (FF).

Yates believes newcomer Rabbitte will take that seat, maintaining the party's historic presence in a constituency where Michael Kitt long held a seat. However, he explains that prediction could change in coming weeks as it will be a close fight.

Keaveney's loss

Colm Keaveney, who was the former chairman of the Labour Party, defected to Fianna Fail in June of 2013. 

Keaveney had lost the Labour whip after voting against the government over cuts to respite care grants the previous winter.

The Galway-East TD is being given a frontbench position around special needs embracing education, health, employment and mental health.

Ivan Yates says Keaveney's vote will be seriously eroded in Tuam and that Fianna Fáilers will not vote for him. He will poll in single digits.

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