Sinn Féin’s chances of taking an EU Parliament seat in the Midlands-North-West constituency have been described as “bombproof”.
SF is running Monaghan county councillor Matt Carty and he is increasingly being seen as a possible contender for one of the four seats in the sprawling constituency.
If the party can replicate the 20 per cent it is on in both the recent Sunday Times and Sunday Independent polls, it will have the quota needed to take a seat.
John Mulholland Bookmakers is offering 1/20 for the Ulsterman to take a seat and 4/5 that he tops the poll. Mischievously, in a statement outlining its odds on the various EU candidates for MNW, said Cllr Carty’s chances were “now seen as bombproof for a seat”.
In the latest polls, independents are between 23 and 26 per cent, which is comfortably over the quota. However the figures also show only one Independent can be elected in the constituency. Mr Mulholland considers the final to be between Independents Marian Harkin (1/2) and Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan (13/8). The constituency has a tradition of electing independents with MEP Harkin seeking a second term and Dana Rosemary Scallon having served a term in Brussels previously.
The remaining two seats in the constituency will go to Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil, with both parties having enough to reach the quota for a seat, according to the recent polls. Of the two FG candidates, Máiréad McGuinness is seen as the more likely to keep the seat. However, opinion is divided as to whether FF’s incumbent MEP Pat ‘The Cope’ Gallagher or Sen Thomas Byrne will be the winner.