Constituency profile: Dublin Bay North

Stretching from parts of Drumcondra to Howth, it will be a testing and expensive campaign for all candidates, especially since the two former constituencies of Dublin North-East and Dublin North-Central merged to form this new giant five-seater.
Constituency profile: Dublin Bay North

Overcrowding in Beaumont Hospital’s A&E, criminal activity and burglaries, fixing the economy and jobs for young adults are among some of the top concerns for this mammoth constituency.

Richard Bruton, despite the ignominy of not winning the local Fine Gael selection convention, should have little trouble retaining his seat. Naoise Ó Muirí, who polled almost 5,000 first preferences alongside Bruton in the last general election, might be best placed for a second Fine Gael seat.

The same battle will be played out in Fianna Fáil where Deirdre Heney is fighting to win a seat, rather than her running mate Sean Haughey, son of former Taoiseach Charlies Haughey.

Transfers will play an essential part for winners in the constituency, especially with two dozen candidates.

Independents Tommy Broughan and Finian McGrath, both seasoned TDs, probably stand the best chances of getting the fourth or fifth seat. It’s unclear how Mr Broughan’s previous votes from Labour supporters will stay with him or whether they will move over to Aodhán Ó Ríordáin.

The latter’s national profile, support of minorities and efforts to highlight drug problems may help his voter appeal. Labour previously won three of the six seats between the former two constituencies. However, the party’s support has plummeted since.

Mr Ó Ríordáin’s chances are helped by outgoing party TD Sean Kenny’s decision not to seek re-election.

Rebel politics and ex-party members seem to be the candidates du jour. Former Fianna Fáil senator Averil Power, former Labour councillor Cian O’Callaghan and former Fine Gael TD Terence Flanagan, as well as Mr Broughan, have all re-branded themselves.

While Sinn Féin is running two first-time candidates, councillors Micheál MacDonncha and Denise Mitchell will at least win one seat.

Another candidate to watch is Anti-Austerity Alliance councillor John Lyons.

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