Charles J Haughey may have been born in Castlebar, but the west of Ireland will get it’s first proper taoiseach when Enda Kenny assumes the position after February 25.
According to the Galway Advertiser opinion poll on Galway West, the constituency looks set to play its part by returning two TDs in the shape of Cllr Brian Walsh and Sen Fidelma Healy Eames. The last time Galway West returned two FG TDs was in 1982 which was also the last time Fine Gael won a general election.
In a five seat constituency, the quota is 16.67 per cent. Our poll shows Fine Gael on 31 per cent of the vote, which is in and around the 30/33 per cent needed to take two seats.
The party is running four candidates. Brian Walsh tops the poll on 14.88 per cent and goes on to be elected on the eighth count. Sen Fidelma Healy Eames receives 11.22 per cent and is elected to the last seat without having reached the quota.
Connemara councillor Sean Kyne receives only 1.46 per cent, despite his perfromance in the Sunday Independent poll, while city councillor Hildegarde Naughton received only 2.93 per cent, despite the recent hype that she would be a serious challenger for a seat.
Nonetheless these two candidates transfers are important. Cllr Kyne’s and Cllr Naughton’s go mostly to Cllr Walsh. Sen Healy Eames receives smaller levels of support from her running mates but it is enough, along with transfers from other candidates, to win her the last seat on 13.9 per cent.
The breakdown of the votes on a regional basis show FG is polling very well in Galway city, averaging out at 36 per cent, while commanding 33 per cent support in Oranmore. Connemara though is a disappointment for the party where it receives 13 per cent - a dismal showing considering its 38 per cent support nationally and its mid thirties showing in the rest of Galway West.
Nonetheless the party has little to complain about given that it has superseded its old enemy Fianna Fáil as the largest party in the constituency