THERE are two constituencies in County Kildare with just one thing in common. All of the TDs from both, who were elected in 2007, are going forward for election again.
The constituencies are distinctly different entities in overall terms – the south is predominantly rural and Kildare North is typically suburban. And there are little differences.
Kildare North is much populous and a total of 76,773 people will be entitled to vote on February 25. This compares with the 71,311 strong electorate in 2007.
Kildare South is geographically larger (about one-and-a-half times as big) but has a much smaller amount of voters – 57,879, which is an increase (1,209 voters) over the ‘07 electorate of 56,670.
Most of the largest towns in the county are in Kildare North – Naas, Leixlip, Celbridge, Maynooth, Kilcock. But is also home to rural villages like Moyvalley, Timahoe, Johnstownbrige and Prosperous. The main population centres in Kildare South are Newbridge followed by Kildare town and Athy.
Caragh, a village which is a natural neighbour of Naas, is in Kildare South as is Ballymore Eustace which is just 7 miles from Naas.
In West Kildare, Allenwood people cast their votes in Kildare South (which means that Deputy Michael Fitzpatrick cannot vote for himself). The neighbouring villages of Allen and Kilmeague are also in Kildare South but Robertstown voters will elected TDs to represent Kildare North.
County Kildare was represented by a single constituency up to 1992 when it was a five-seater and when Emmet Stagg topped the poll. It became two constituencies for the first time following the General election in 1997.