Can Sheridan and Marley take a seat each in Central?

Sheamus Sheridan.

Sheamus Sheridan.

Can the Green's Sheamus Sheridan and Sinn Féin's Anna Marley take the last two seats in Galway City Central, capitalising on the collapse of Padraig Conneely's vote and the modest performance of Nicola Deacy?

Fine Gael's Cllr Conneely was seen as a certainty to be among the first three councillors elected to city central; while Ms Deacy was considered the new young candidate who would take the ward by storm. Mr Sheridan and Ms Marley meanwhile were viewed as also-rans.

Come last night and the announcement of the first count in Galway City West and a very different picture emerged. Cllr Conneely only polled 542 and Ms Deacy 503, Ms Marley also scored 503 and Mr Sheridan was not far behind on 479 - meaning all these candidates were largely grouped together and would be fighting for the final two seats.

So how is it likely to work out? Come the fourth count, Cllr Conneely was 585, Ms Deacy 550, Ms Marley on 554, and Mr Sheridan on 529. Ms Marley is 35 behind Cllr Conneely and 4 ahead of Ms Deacy. Mr Sheridan is 56 behind Cllr Conneely and 21 behind Ms Deacy. The challenge now is for Ms Marley and Mr Sheridan to overhaul the FF/FG candidates to take the seat - and in a very tight race like this, transfers will play a key part.

Last night Fine Gael were admitting that the party has lost Cllr Conneely's seat in GCC, while Fianna Fáil is pinning it's hopes on a good transfer from Independent Cormac Ó Corcoráin to boost Ms Deacy. However Mr Ó Corcoráin's vote could split all over and not give FF the boost it needs. There is also no guarantee that Ollie Crowe will have enough of a surplus to boost Ms Deacy.

The transfers from Labour's Colette Connolly will be fascinating as given she is from Shantalla many should go to Ms Deacy. However, given Cllr Connolly's strong Left-wing stance, Ms Marley and Mr Sheridan can hope to pick up from them as well.

The votes of the Anti-Austerity Alliance's Sean Byrne and now being distributed and should favour Ms Marley and Mr Sheridan. If Cllr Billy Cameron is elected with a decent surplus, his transfers are also likely to favour Ms Marley and Ms Sheridan.

It is also very difficult to see where Mr Conneely is going to get his transfers from as he will get precious few from Cllr Cameron and Cllr Fahy may not have enough of a surplus to save him.

At this juncture, the odds seem to favour Ms Marley and Ms Sheridan to take the final two seats in Galway City Central



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