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New TG4 Election Poll shows Fine Gael holding on in Galway West


New TG4 Election Poll shows Fine Gael holding on in Galway West

Sinn Féin set go gain as Labour struggle to hold seat

A new opinion poll for TG4 shows that Fine Gael may well succeed in holding on to two seats in the extended, crowded and keenly contested 5 seat Galway West constituency, for decades a Fianna Fáil stronghold.   Sinn Féin has a good chance of winning a seat at the expense of Labour with the final seat looking set to be a cliff-hanger, as often before.

Full details of the TG4 Ipsos MRBI opinion poll on Galway West voters’ intentions, commissioned for the channel’s Vóta 2016 programme, were broadcast this evening on TG4 at 7pm.    The details are as follows:


Galway West Constituency Party Support (Number 1 Preference Vote)

Fine Gael 30%
Fianna Fáil 21%
Sinn Féin 11%
Lucht Oibre 6%
Páirtithe Eile 11%
Neamhspleáigh 21%


Galway West Individual Candidate Support   (Number 1 Preference Vote)

Éamon Ó Cuív (FF) 13%
Seán Kyne (FG) 13%
John O’Mahony (FG) 11%
Trevor Ó Clochartaigh (SF) 11%
Catherine Connolly (Ind) 8%
Noel Grealish (Ind) 7%
Hildegarde Naughton (FG) 6%
Derek Nolan (Lab) 6%
Niall Ó Tuathail (SD) 6%
Mary Hoade (FF) 4%
John Connolly (FF) 4%
Fidelma Healy Eames (Ind) 3%
Nicola Daveron (RN) 2%
Mike Cubbard (Ind) 2%
Seamus Sheridan (GP) 2%
Tommy Holohan (A/P) 2%


(There are four other candidates standing in this constituency. In this opinion poll, they had a cumulative 1% share of the vote).

Commentary: The Galway West constituency is always hotly contested.  Last time less than 3,000 votes separated the leading seven candidates.   Since then, the constituency boundaries have been extended and it now also includes a portion of south Mayo.  With 20 names on the ballot, the competition for seats in next Friday’s election will be even more intense.  As ever, transfers will be vital as will the order in which various candidates are eliminated as the counts progress.

The first two seats seem destined for Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil. Seán Kyne of Fine Gael shares the lead with 13% of first reference votes, approaching a quota and he is almost certain to be returned to Dáil Éireann in 2016.  Also on 13% is Éamon Ó Cuív, nearly guaranteeing the veteran Fianna Fáil stalwart and former Minister another Dáil term, with the help of transfers from one of his Fianna Fáil running mates if needed.

While the FG share of the vote (30%) falls short of two quotas, a second seat for FG is likely here.  John O’Mahony, on 11%, is the FG candidate next in line and is best positioned to take a second FG seat.  While he is a Mayo man whose Dáil career to date has been as a deputy in his native county, he is well known in Galway too and widely respected as the football manager who steered that county to two All-Ireland Senior titles.   He is also bringing some of his Mayo vote with him from that portion of the county that has now been added to the Galway West constituency.  He will have transfers from the party’s other representative, Hildegard Naughton to bolster his chances.  Additionally and if he needs them, he would likely benefit from transfers from Derek Nolan, if the Labour candidate and outgoing TD is eliminated.

Sinn Féin’s Trevor Ó Clochartaigh looks set to build on his 2011 performance and will be in strong contention to take a seat at his second attempt. With 11% of first-preferences, this is a real possibility for him although transfers will be needed to reach the quota and Sinn Féin has traditionally struggled to attract significant transfers. It will be close.

Independents Catherine Connolly (on 8%) and Noel Grealish (on 7%), together with Derek Nolan of Labour (on 6%) and Niall Ó Tuathail of the Social Democrats (on 6%) will likely battle it out for the final seat. Independents and smaller parties are always transfer-friendly, while Nolan may benefit from some Fine Gael transfers – the last seat is impossible to call at this stage.

Note to Editors:   In addition their voting intentions, this poll asked Galway voters about the importance they attached to a supplied list of national issues. Details of their responses will also be revealed on tonight’s Vóta 2016 programme.
Máire T Ní Mhadaoin is available for interview on the findings of this Galway West opinion poll.
Contact: Linda Ní Ghríofa 091 505228


(Survey Methodology:  This survey was conducted among a sample of 515 adults aged 18 upwards in the Galway West Constituency on behalf of TG4 by Ipsos MRBI. Interviewing took place on the 18th and 19th of February. In all respects, the survey was conducted within the guidelines laid down AIMRO and by ESOMAR.   475 interviews were conducted via CATI (Computer Aided Telephone Interviewing). Respondents were selected from a database of both landline and mobile numbers created via Random Digit Dialling. The remaining 40 interviews were conducted face-to-face at four sampling points in the Ballinrobe area (Mayo county) the new portion of the Galway West Constituency).