Fianna Fail face election thumping

EMMETT Stagg and Martin Heydon are still expected to be the first candidates home in County Kildare when the General Election votes are counted.

EMMETT Stagg and Martin Heydon are still expected to be the first candidates home in County Kildare when the General Election votes are counted.

Veteran Labour TD Emmet Stagg is odds on to win the first Kildare North seat at odds of 1/16 while Martin Heydon is a stronger favourite still to top the poll in Kildare South (1/33).

Analyst and election pundit Noel Whelan is predicting that the presence of Newbridge-based candidates Paddy Kennedy (Independent) and Jason Turner (Sinn Fein) could potentially pose problems for Fianna Fail’s Sean Power.

Deputy Power’s support base is around Newbridge where both Kennedy and turner are also best known.

If, as can almost be taken for granted, Jack Wall (Labour) – odds of 1/25 - romps home in Kildare South, then the third seat will be a dogfight between TDs O Fearghail and Power, both of whom are rated at 4/6 each to win a seat in the three seat constituency.

In the 2007 election both Deputies Power and O Fearghail exceeded the quota and were elected on the first count but the pendulum of public opinion has since swung against their party in no uncertain terms.

According to bookmakers Paddy Power the odds against Cllr Kennedy taking a seat have been reduced and his price has been cut to 11/4 – but he still remains an outsider.

So does Clifford Reid (Ind) at 12/1, Jason Turner (20/1) and Vivian Cummins (Green) at 40/1.

Emmet Stagg is set to be followed into the Dail by Bernard Durkan (no surprise there) who is available at odds of 1/6.

Interestingly the bookmakers believe Catherine Murphy has a much better chance of taking a seat (1/6) than Aine Brady (4/9). Cllr Brady’s dilemma is another reflection of the decline in support for Fianna Fail because in ‘07, at the height of the economic boom, she polled 11,245 first preference votes, 3,400 more than the next candidate.

Even so the bookie figures mean that Deputy Brady ought to be safe because Kildare North is a four seat constituency. However this scenario could be altered if John McGinley (Labour) does even better than expected because he is next on the list at 5/6.

Anthony Lawlor is rated at odds of 6/4 and Fine Gael election strategy dictates that he cannot actively canvass in towns north of Clane – at least not since the election was called.

Aine Brady’s running mate Michael Fitzpatrick is available at odds of 11/4 followed by Eric Doyle Higgins, an independent (16/1) and Sinn Fein’s Martin Kelly (20/1).

Green representative Shane Fitzgerald is priced at 33/1 as is independent Bart Murphy while another independent Michael Beirne, the last candidate to declare an interest in running, is available at 50/1.