While overall Galway West mosly mirrrors the national average in terms of it’s support for the various political parties, it’s various local authority regions manage to somewhat buck those very same trends.
This is according to the Galway Advertiser poll for Galway West, which was conducted at 40 difference centres throughout the constituency last Thursday and Friday.
The overall poll shows Fianna Fáil on 19 per cent, Fine Gael on 31, Labour on 12, Sinn Féin on six, Greens on three, and Independents on 28. This will ensure two seats for FG and one for FF and Labour. The Independents will get one seat, with an outside chance of two. Regionally the voting intentions raise many interesting issues for politcal watchers to chew over.
Connemara: Despite looking certain to take two seats in Galway West FG only manages 13 per cent here, 23 points below its national standing and 18 below its Galway West average. The candidate who will benefit most is, unsurprisingly, Fianna Fáil’s Éamon Ó Cuív who secures 22 per cent of the vote. Labour can take heart from the 12 per cent it will receive in Connemara, but Independents and Sinn Féin will be happiest at 34 per cent and 11 per cent respectively, which augurs well for them in future local elections. Despite being down to one per cent support in the national polls, the Greens Niall Ó Brolcháin manages eight per cent support here.
Oranmore/Headford: Welcome to Grealish/Healy Eames country. Labour, Sinn Féin, and the Greens are swept aside, while Fianna Fáil notches up only 16 per cent, as opposed to the massive 73 per cent enjoyed by Fine Gael (33 per cent ) and the Independents (40 per cent ). No surprises for guessing that Carnmore’s Independent TD Noel Grealish and Maree FG senator Fidelma Healy Eames are the main beneficiaries here.
Galway City West: The national trends are bucked considerably within this mostly affluent area, which still puts some faith in Fianna Fáil, giving it 24 per cent support. The Independents too almost double their national standing here with 24 per cent. Given that this is Catherine Connolly’s area it can be assumed that most of that vote will go to her.
Fine Gael has always been a big noise in this part of the city and that support endures at 32 per cent. Labour are somewhat below their national average at 14 per cent, but party candidate Derek Nolan will take any support that comes his way. Despite being based in this part of Galway city, the Green’s Niall Ó Brolcháin has slumped to just two per cent. Perhaps he should consider moving to Connemara.
Galway City Centre: Fianna Fáil bucks the national trend here as well with 23 per cent support. The result is puzzling given the party’s dramstic loss of support nationally. However it may be somewhat explained by the fact that Michael J Crowe is originally from here and the role played by the Crowe brothers’ disciplined electoral machine, known as Oliver’s Army.
Labour records 14 per cent here. Again Cllr Nolan will be happy to take what he can, but it will still be disappointing given this is Michael D Higgins’ base. The Independents are around their national average at 13 per cent, but the big winners are Fine Gael at 40 per cent, showing why Cllr Brian Walsh is set to top the poll.
Galway City East: Despite this being the stomping ground of Cllr Derek Nolan, who topped the poll here in 2009, Labour remains below its national average at 15 per cent. The party may find this disappointing, but could conclude it remains just enough to keep its Galway West seat.
Fianna Fáil is on it’s national average here at 15 per cent, but will be disappointed that an area associated with Frank Fahey and the Crowe brothers is returning the lowest level of support in the city.
The Independents poll well at 25 per cent and much of this will probably be divided between Grealish and Connolly.
Fine Gael records an impressive 36 per cent and most of that will go to Cllr Walsh as this is his electoral and native area. Some will also go to Sen Healy Eames given the proximity of Oranmore to Galway City East