Election buzz as new Dáil seat tipped for Mayo

The announcement on Wednesday that Mayo has been recommended for a change-up from a four-seater to a five-seater Dáil Constituency, and that county boundaries be reinstated so that up to 6,000 votes from areas of South Mayo are returned to the electoral area, has well and truly started the ball rolling on General Election campaigning around the county.

In its independent recommendations to the Oireachtas on electoral constituencies for the next Dáil, The Electoral Commission supports an increase of 14 TDs for the country, based on new Census 2022 population figures, rising from 160 to 174 Seats. In Mayo this means that come General Election 2024/25 (date yet to be announced ), a fifth TD should be elected to represent the county.

The proposed changes will open the door for Fianna Fail and Fine Gael to fight to win the extra seat in Mayo, while Sinn Fein, which in recent weeks has announced a number of fresh-faced candidates for the 2024 Mayo County Council elections, will also be seeking to land a transformative blow to local politics through securing a second seat for the party in Mayo.

The battle will be keenly felt by the four sitting TDs in Mayo, Minister of State Dara Calleary in Ballina (Fianna Fail ), Rose Conway Walsh in Belmullet (Sinn Fein ), Michael Ring in Westport (Fine Gael ) and Alan Dillon in Castlebar (Fine Gael ), all of whom are expected to run again in the newly expanded constituency and for whom vote strategy and decisions on what/how many running mate candidates to field, will be key.

Add into the mix former Mayo TD and now Seanad Leader, Lisa Chambers, who has yet to clarify her political intentions; Independents; other/new party/single-issue/candidates and unknowns; tactical area/candidate strategies for maximising votes - not to mention the newly reinstated grab-a-vote hotbed constituency zones in South Mayo that offer brand new people and area representation possibilities - and it is fair to say the political numbers game is officially on - beginning first of all with the upcoming 2024 Mayo County Council elections.


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