Fianna Fáil will hold its Galway West election selection convention in January and six candidates will compete for a place on the party ticket.
The convention will take place on Friday January 7 and it is understood that the Minister for Social Protection Éamon Ó Cuív, Galway West TD Frank Fahey, and councillors Mary Hoade, Michael J Crowe, Ollie Crowe, and Peter Keane will be contesting.
There is much speculation on whether Fianna Fáil will run two or three candidates in Election 2011.
The party faces an electorate determined to punish it for its reckless and incompetent handling of the economy over the past decade and its poll showings of 13/17 per cent reveal it has only enough support to win one seat in Galway West - the quota in a five seater being 16.67 per cent.
Dep Frank Fahey admitted to the Galway Advertiser recently that he feels his seat is gone and that the contituency will return Éamon Ó Cuív is the only Fianna Fáiler TD in the New Year.
As such there are those in the party who argue that it should only run two candidates in a ‘What we have we must try to hold’ strategy and that running three would split the vote.
Conversely others feel the party should run with three - some believing that as FF has always done so, it should continue the tradition, regardless of its unpopularity. Wiser heads argue that running three could soak up all possible Fianna Fáil votes and that with a decent transfer between them, the third candidate could help the second into the last seat.
Despite his own fears for how he will perform at the 2011 election, Dep Fahey this week stated he has no plans to stand down and will be fighting to defend his seat next year.
“I share the frustrations and anger we all feel about the current economic situation,” he said, “but I am determined to work on behalf of the people of Galway to get this country back on track. It has been an honour to serve Galway West for the past 29 years and my constituents can be certain I will work hard as I have always done.”