With the various commentary about the future of the Greens and how they might deal with it. Once the government goes to the country whenever that it, I was wondering are FF’s 2nd candidate TDs in fact the Green Party’s own constituency mudguards?
It is frequently noted that the smaller party in government with FF ends up as it’s mudguard taking most of its flak and ultimately paying the price at the polls. But is that really the case for the Greens?
Let’s go through each of the Green TDs and consider more closely the local situation for them
Cuffe is most likely gone because too much (might only be 500/800 1st preferences but it would be enough) of his vote will drift over to Richard Boyd Barrett while he will not get the same transfers from Lab and FG next time. Plus the constituency has gone from a 5 to a 4 seater. So it’s not so much an uphill challenge as it is vertical with some overhang. Verdict: barring miracles a loss here
Gogarty is given some space by the fact that the only FF had the votes last time to challenge for a 2nd seat and that wouldn’t be the case next time. With Harney likely to go FG will gain her seat and SF (who did better than even they expected with Joanne Spain given the ructions over her late adoptioj as the SF candidate) would be the main threat to Gogarty but it is unclear if they will repeat given the underperformance of SF across Dublin in 2009. Verdict: A probably hold.
Sargent is still personally popular and again it is FF that is in poll position to take the first loss here not the GP (that would be a seat loss to the Socialist Party), and neither Lab nor FG appear to have high profile 2nd candidates in the field as yet. Verdict: A probable hold.
Mary White – FF will certainly drop one and FG will get their 2nd here but it is Labour’s weakness (divided across the two counties and with internal division aside from that which were papered over for years by Seamus Pattinson’s holding of the seat) that could let Mary White back in on FF transfers. Verdict: A possible hold.
Eamon Ryan – with FF possibly going into the next election with not outgoing TD standing if Tom Kitt makes good on his threat/promise and the possibility (though don’t write off FG just yet) that Alex White will be a TD already. It is possible that Eamon Ryan could hold on, getting the last seat ahead of the 3rd FG candidate on foot of FF transfers from their eliminated 2nd candidate. Verdict: A probable hold.
John Gormley – FG and Labour will be gunning for a 2nd seat, most likely at Gormley’s expense with Labour best placed to take it on paper and geography if cllr Kevin Humphreys is the 2nd candidate. But DSE is a strange place and many that voted for McDowell last time might give Gormley a vote with a view that he has been firm and placed a sticky wicket (I think that’s a game played down there) passably well. FF might decide to rope in Eoin Ryan to secure their seat if it looks under threat at the expense of Chris Andrews. Verdict: A possible hold.
So were the opposition to (on the QT mind) not beat up on the Greens locally too much they could still come back with a few TDs and a party able to rebuild.