A number of senior party members who failed to be re-elected, including junior ministers Kevin Humphreys and Aodhán Ó Riordáin, are fighting for a nomination. Labour’s dismal performance in the general election means there will only be around three seats available to the party in the upper house.
Fianna Fáil has yet to choose its candidates but is expected to target constituencies in which it is lacking representation in the Dáil in a bid to further increase its number of TDs in the next general election.
Names likely to be selected include Paul McAuliffe in Dublin North West, Catherine Ardagh in Dublin South Central and councillor Kate Feeney. It is understood it is also planning to select representatives from constituencies where they would be hopeful of gaining a second Dáil seat. Wexford candidate Malcolm Byrne, Lorraine Clifford-Lee who ran in Dublin Fingal, John Connelly of Galway West and Eddie Fitzpatrick of Offaly would be among those chosen on this basis.
Fine Gael is expected to give former TDs James Bannon its nomination for the Seanad Election under the industrial and commercial panel. The Longford-Westmeath TD lost out to Labour’s Willie Penrose after a recount put just six votes between them.
Another name tipped for a nomination to the same panel is former Meath West TD Ray Butler.
Some 43 of the 60 members of the next Seanad are chosen by an electorate of around 1,200 made up of the incoming Dáil, the outgoing Seanad and councillors.
Fianna Fáil has most councillors after the 2014 local elections, which is likely to give it an advantage when it comes to the Seanad elections. These senators are elected to five panels representing vocational interests namely, culture and education, agriculture, labour, industry and commerce, and public administration.
Another 11 senators are nominated by the Taoiseach, while the final six are elected by university graduates — three each by the National University of Ireland and Trinity College Dublin.
Labour’s nominations are to be announced this afternoon after the postal votes of the party’s central council and parliamentary party are counted. Minister of State at the Department of Social Protection, Kevin Humphreys who lost his seat is in competition with fellow former TD Joanna Tuffy and Kildare South general election candidate Mark Wall for a nomination to the Seanad administration panel.
All party nominees will go forward to run in the Seanad elections next month.