I think Healy will do better than that. One advantage he has is that nobody really dislikes him, in contrast to candidates like Mattie and Kelly (And Lowry, obviously, but it won't be an issue for him). He ought to be relatively transfer friendly, which would be to his advantage in case of a closely fought contest for the final two seats.Rumours in Tipp have been flying for well over a year now that one reason for Lowry's support of the govt on almost all issues as if he was a party to the confidence-and-supply agreement himself is that he intends on retiring next time around but has secured his son Michael Jr (currently a non-party Cllr) a place on the Fine Gael ticket in exchange for his support. Certainly seems to be the working assumption of many of his Council colleagues I've spoken to.
In any event a Lowry will be elected, whether the Daddy as an Indo or Junior as an Indo/FG. The personal vote is just too substantial and combined with a possible run under the FG banner, could only help Lowry or Lowry eile top the poll once more.
Kelly's seat is now essentially safe as most of his strongest vote which fled to Offaly in 2016 has now been drawn back into the constituency. 10k+ potential voters and he's the closest local candidate (I also understand he maintained canvassing and campaigning in this area even after it had been drawn out in the hopes it would be returned).
Mattie is one of the Dail's most loveable rogues and it's fair to say his constituency operation is probably the most assiduous in the entire county. While Mattie is still in the race it'll be extremely difficult for FF to pick up a second seat here. He played a blinder by refusing to participate as an Independent within government as it kept his persona as Contrarian-in-Chief alive and well.
The farming vote in Tipp is still one of the most substantial in the entire country and that is in large part what makes Jackie Cahill home and hosed. Although he's been one of the more low profile of the FF newcomers since 2016 I think its fair to say his roots in the constituency (fostered in large part due to his ties with the dairy industry) will see him continue as a TD for many years to come. I'd say he'll be more a target for his FF running mate than any of the other TDs next time, but should hang on nonetheless. Expect FF to try for a more balanced ticket but as above, it's difficult to see them swinging a second here unless Mattie retires soon.
Seamus Healy faces a difficulty in this constituency not unlike Maureen O'Sullivan in Dublin Central although obviously the demographics of the two areas couldn't be more different. Because they both get the proponderance of their votes from large but relatively sectioned off areas (Clonmel and East Wall) they struggle to attract preferences beyond their own localities so when the border of the constituency spreads away from their natural heartland (North Tipp and Drumcondra) they're left as small fishes in continually growing ponds. Fair to say a lot of Healy's backers thought he'd perform better in 2016 than he did. If Sinn Fein decides to run a South Tipp based candidate it could seriously endanger Healy's seat especially as he's one of the lower profile TDs of this parliament (in a constituency full of loud-mouths).
If Sinn Fein failed to win a seat here last year it's difficult to see where they'll gain one next time. Particularly with allegations of bullying flying it's very unlikely that Seamie Morris will be their candidate again. As stated above a Clonmel-based strategy might be opportune as it's more likely they'll take out Healy than Kelly at this stage.
I've touched on FG above but it's my understanding that neither of the two former TDs will be running again. In that case perhaps it's time for Michael Murphy to step up although he may well face a contest in a selection convention from last year's sweeper Marie Murphy who feels as though she's served her penance by fighting an unwinnable battle and now will be looking to regain a seat for FG. Again without the former TDs in the race and in the absence of knowing if Lowry Junior will abscond to FG it's impossible to predict whether they'll win back a seat or not.
Prediction for future GE:
1. Lowry (Sr/Jr, Ind/FG)
2. McGrath (Ind)
3. Kelly (Lab)
4. Cahill (FF)
with the 5th seat a struggle for Healy to hold on, hounded by SF, FG and the second FF candidate. I'd err on the side of Healy losing at the moment and FG taking a seat.
I like Fitzgerald, a competent man and pleasant and sane and intelligent. Gave up voting parties a long time ago.Tipps FG race hotting up - Currently sekking nomination are Michael Murphy, Mick Fitzgerald, Tom Hayes, Two Cashel Women I never heard of, Mary Hanna Hourigan and Teresa Ahernes son
I'm told by a local (Nenagh direction) that Kelly is likely toast at the next election, despite being courted by FG (rumour being he had almost accepted). Any truth in that?I like Fitzgerald, a competent man and pleasant and sane and intelligent. Gave up voting parties a long time ago.