Former Dragon's Den star Peter Casey's hope to win a seat in Donegal appears to be over before its properly begun.
A new Ipsos/MRBI Opinion Poll in Donegal forshows the controversial businessman way off the pace for one of the five seats up for grabs at just 2%.
Sinn Féin’s Pearse Doherty likely to receive a quota and a half, with an impressive 27% of first-preference votes. Fine Gael’s candidate, Education Minister Joe McHugh is polling strongly in second place, at 17% of first preference votes.
Sinn Féin Senator Pádraig MacLochlainn appears on course to regain the seat he lost in the 2016 General Election from Pearse Doherty’s surplus.
Fianna Fáil could win two seats in the five-seater constituency with Pat 'The Cope' Gallagher and Charlie McConalogue.
The last seat looks like a battle of transfers between one of the Fianna Fáil candidates and Independent current TD Thomas Pringle.
When Charlie McConalogue’s vote is combined with Pat ‘the Cope’ Gallagher’s vote, the Fianna Fáil total is 22% in Donegal, suggesting there are possibly two seats for Fianna Fáil. Charlie McConalogue is 5% short of the quota, at 12%, and Pat ‘The Cope’ Gallagher is at 10%.
As the smaller parties and Independents are eliminated, outgoing Independent TD Thomas Pringle could benefit, although he may have quite a bit of ground to make up if he is to overtake either the second Sinn Féin or second Fianna Fáil candidate.
In 2016, Fianna Fáil took two seats and Fine Gael one seat. Sinn Féin’s Pearse Doherty was also elected, but the party missed out on a second seat, when Sinn Féin’s Padraig MacLochlainn was narrowly defeated by Independent Thomas Pringle.
Similarly, for Fine Gael, two TDs in Donegal turned into one TD when Donegal changed from two three-seater constituencies to one five-seater for the 2016 election.
The full breakdown of the candidates is as follows:
- Pearse Doherty (SF) 27%
- Joe McHugh (FG) 17%
- Charlie McConalogue (FF) 12%
- Pádraig Mac Lochlainn (SF) 12%
- Pat 'The Cope' Gallagher (FF) 10%
- Thomas Pringle (Ind) 6%
- John O'Donnell (Ind) 4%
- Michael White (GP) 4%
- Mary T Sweeney (AU) 3%
- Martin Harley (FG) 3%
- Peter Casey (Ind) 2%
- Niall McConnell (Ind) 1%