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03-02-2019 2:10pmRegistered Users Posts: 67 ✭✭Join Date:Posts: 63
Any early predictions for the local elections in 2019? Here are the rough numbers as they stand now:
Fianna Fail 260
Fine Gael 230
Sinn Fein 140
PBP 11 /&/ Solidarity 11
Soc Dem 7
Registered Users Posts: 1,194 ✭✭✭Join Date:Posts: 1185
Fianna Fail 275
Fine Gael 295
Sinn Fein 120
Soc Dem 13
I really don't think there'll be much difference following the next election, with no party making huge gains. The biggest factor affected the election will be the redrawing of boundaries into smaller districts, which will provide a comfortable bounce for FF/FG in May. This is bad news for Independents, who I predict could lose 70 seats due to retirements and boundary changes.
The boundary changes are a mixed bag for SF, though seat losses should be mostly accounted for by gains in the smaller areas. However, they'll lose seats because of a large number of retirements in seats that they need to be winning if they want to remain a serious political force.
Probably a controversial take here regarding Labour gaining up to 25 seats, but I do think it's quite probable they'll end up in the upper 60s. Their candidates seem to be far better prepared than in 2014, and the party should be a lot more transfer friendly this time. Candidates are younger, fresher, and the party isn't limping from one austerity scandal to the next any more. The party is running fewer candidates, which should help their transfer strategy. If Labour can hammer home a message of better public services, the party is probably set to make some modest gains - though it'll be a long time before the party returns to its previous footing of 80 - 90 councillors.
There is a similar story for Greens and SocDems as there is for Labour. A message of better public services will mean the parties can pick up extra seats. All the left parties have been strengthened their footings in the wake of the referendum to repeal the eighth, as well as the presidential campaign to an extent. They've picked up activists, candidates, and have been canvassing heavily in both campaigns and since. I suspect the parties can bring in a number of new councillors in middle class suburban areas, particularly in Dublin and to an extent in Cork.
I don't see such a strong result for Solidarity - PBP, despite their campaigning in the referendum. The message of water charges and LPT just won't wash with the electorate this time I suspect. A raft of resignations and retirements really mean that the parties don't have any sort of momentum at the moment, and opinion polls at 0% really aren't helping. They'll hold a number of seats, perhaps getting a number of new faces, but many of their incumbents will lose out.
I predict Aontú on 8 seats as there will be a few more Independent nailing their colours to its mast. Many of them will be able to hold their own, and I suspect there will be one or two new faces for the party elected.
For Renua, I can't see their councillors losing their seats and they may be able to pull in a few more in certain pockets around the country, with some of their reps or GE candidates being elected if they have the right national profile.0