Election 2020 has been called for February 8th. It’s a winter election, and called to preempt what would have been a likely government defeat in a confidence motion on minister for health, Simon Harris. The Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, hardly wanted to do his ‘Let’s take our case to the country!’ speech in the aftermath of a debate on health, which might have also set the agenda for the first few days of the campaign. They hope to concentrate on Brexit, which seems unlikely as it hasn’t been a partisan issue here, and most people are ‘over it’. Their slogan, ‘A future to Look Forward to’, also seems odd for a government party. Polls have tightened, and the Fine Gael lead Varadkar brought them when he took over is all but gone. I suspect it won’t be an easy campaign for Fine Gael, with every other party attacking it, and the issues of housing, homelessness, and hospital waiting lists coming up again and again. Already the incident on the Grand Canal and the reaction to it might have an impact. This, I think, could see Fine Gael falling behind Fianna Fáil. I assume that Sinn Féin’s local election results suggest the party’s support has dipped, but maybe not uniformly. Local factors will matter, such as Gerry Adams standing down in Louth. The Green vote is up, but not by as much as people seem to think, So unless the campaign really goes its way, it won’t be the case that having the Green label will be enough to get a candidate elected.
Anyway, I’ve looked at each constituency, even though all candidates aren’t declared, and new entrants or late dropouts will change things considerably in some constituencies….so Marian Harkan’s entry to the Sligo-Leitrim race will have changed the result there. That will happen in other places.
There are also lots of 50/50 calls at the last seat. In many cases when we have the first preference vote, there are 50/50 calls on the final seats. Which means many of these will be wrong, but hopefully the errors are random-ish, and the top-line figure will be close to accurate. The overall prediction has Fianna Fáil on top with 58 seats
Here are my
hostages to fortune early predictions for each constituency:
|constituency name||seats||Fianna Fáil||Fine Gael||Sinn Féin||Labour||Greens||Radical-left groups||SocDems||Independents|
|Dublin Bay North||5||1||1||1||1||1|
|Dublin Bay South||4||1||1||1||1|
|Sligo – Leitrim||4||2||1||1|