The Sinn Féin surge looks set to claim a major scalp in Kerry in the form of Independent TD Danny Healy-Rae, according to the latest/Ipsos MRBI poll.
Sinn Féin’s Pa Daly looks set to pass the quota with 20% of first-preference votes and to keep the seat that retiring party stalwart Martin Ferris has held since 2002, capitalising on the wave of support that Sinn Féin is enjoying nationwide.
As expected, Independent TD Michael Healy Rae is in joint first position with a first-preference vote of 20%.
However, his brother Danny is polling at just 4%, putting his chances of keeping his seat in doubt.
Fine Gael’s Brendan Griffin, the junior sports minister, looks assured of a seat with 17% of first-preference votes.
Following on from Mr Griffin, the fourth-placed candidate, Norma Foley of Fianna Fáil, is someway behind on 10% but she is crucially ahead of her running mate, sitting TD John Brassil, who is on 9%.
- The full state of the candidates is as follows:
- Michael Healy-Rae (Ind) 20%
- Pa Daly (SF) 20%
- Brendan Griffin (FG) 17%
- Norma Foley (FF) 10%
- John Brassil (FF) 9%
- Cleo Murphy (GP) 9%
- Mike Kennelly (FG) 6%
- Norma Moriarty (FF) 4%
- Danny Healy-Rae (Ind) 4%
- Sonny Foran (Aontú) 2%
- Ted Cronin (Ind) 1%
- John Bowler (IFP) 0%
- Sean O’Leary (Ind) 0%
The survey was conducted among a sample of 538 adults in the Kerry constituency on behalf ofby Ipsos MRBI. Interviewing took place on February 1-2 with a margin of error of 4%.
In terms of party support, the poll has thrown up a fascinating result in that Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil, and the combined Healy Rae support are all tied at 23%.
Both main parties will be feeling considerably happier about that than the Healy- Raes about this poll, with Fianna Fáil up from 16% and Fine Gael up from 21%.
Support for the Healy Raes is down sharply from 38%.
According to the poll, Sinn Féin looks set to increase its support to 20%, beating the quota in the process, while the Green Party looks to have gained substantially from 2016 to put itself in the running for the last seat.
The election in 2016 saw both Michael and Danny Healy-Rae elected, along with Martin Ferris of Sinn Féin, Mr Griffin and Mr Brassil.
Mr Ferris has decided not to contest this election, as has the Labour Party in Kerry, meaning it will be the first time since the 1930s when there has not been a Labour Party candidate in the county.
Fianna Fáil exceed a quota in terms of their combined support, and will win at least one seat, according to the poll.