Since 2011, Labour’s main vote winner, Róisín Shortall has left, ultimately finding a home with the newly-formed Social Democrats, and taking with her a seat she is unlikely to lose in 2016.
With Sinn Féin’s long-time TD in the area, Dessie Ellis, also firmly in control of regaining a seat due to his strong base in Finglas and local frustration with a decade of austerity by the main political parties, just one position remains up for grabs.
Labour’s John Lyons currently holds the third seat in the constituency, but is facing a genuine fight with new Fine Gael candidate Noel Rock, Fianna Fáil’s Paul McAuliffe, and — potentially — Sinn Féin’s second candidate Cathleen Carney Boud.
Mr Rock has received significant financial backing from party headquarters, and is widely seen as having a better chance of gaining a seat than 2011 candidates Bill Tormey and Gerry Breen, whose poor working relationship saw them fail to finish in the top three.
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His public image of turning down local council expenses is also likely to win votes.
Mr Lyons may face a further battle to retain his position from Fianna Fáil’s one-time PD candidate Mr McAuliffe, who is likely to sweep up traditional Fianna Fáil support previously provided to Pat Carey.
However, Mr McAuliffe’s strong base in Finglas East does not spread out to the rest of the constituency.
With Dublin North West receiving roughly 4,500 extra votes from Dublin Central due to boundary changes, it is expected that Mr Lyons and Mr Rock will both be targeting the new area — formerly a strong stomping ground for Dublin Central TDs Joe Costello (Labour) and Paschal Donohoe (Fine Gael) to get over the line.