A sideways glance at Election 2020 (15 days to go)


Takeaway 1:

Peter Casey’s hopes of winning a seat in Donegal could be over before a vote is even cast.

A new Ipsos MRBI Opinion Poll in Donegal for TG4 shows the controversial businessman at 2%, way off the pace for one of the five seats up for grabs.

Sinn Féin’s Pearse Doherty is predicted to win an impressive 27% of first-preference votes. Fine Gael’s Joe McHugh is polling strongly in second place at 17%.

Sinn Féin’s Pearse Doherty
Sinn Féin’s Pearse Doherty

Pádraig MacLochlainn, also of Sinn Féin could regain the seat he lost in the 2016 General Election from Mr Doherty’s surplus.

Fianna Fáil could win two seats in the five-seater via Pat ‘The Cope’ Gallagher and Charlie McConalogue.

The last seat looks like a battle of transfers between one of the Fianna Fáil candidates and current Independent TD Thomas Pringle.

Takeaway 2:

Micheál Martin took the high road when asked whether Leo Varadkar’s admission during the Virgin Media leaders debate that he took drugs in the past, affects his ability to be a leader now. The Fianna Fáil leader said: “I’m not going to go down that road, That is a matter he dealt with last night.

As far as I am concerned there are wider issues now in society and I am not going to juxtapose the two to be fair.

However, when smoke started billowing from a building behind him, he could not resist saying: “Is that Leo?”

Takeaway 3:

There’s another cloud hanging over the current election – the possibility that no coalition will be formed and we are made to go through the whole thing once more later in the year.

Social Democrats’ co-leader Roisin Shortall said she doesn’t believe a coalition of left-leaning parties will be possible as the numbers aren’t there, though she added that she hopes such a coalition will be possible in the near future as failing to do so would leave the country mired in civil war politics forever.

Well Said:

“I was in college in the 70s – the main drug of choice was alcohol at that point and certainly I participated in that recreation to a significant extent” – Roisin Shortall, speaking to The Pat Kenny Show on Newstalk, scandalises absolutely nobody when asked what drugs she has tried in the past.

Good Day/Bad Day:

Good Day:

Outgoing Minister for Sport Shane Ross, who landed a plum appointee, one Niall Quinn, as new interim deputy chief executive of the troubled Football Association of Ireland. Mr Ross described the appointment as “great news” and wished Mr Quinn all the best.

How his new role tallies with Mr Quinn, a storied striker for the national team in his playing days, consistently saying he would never take up an executive position with the FAI remains to be seen.

Bad Day:

The Taoiseach, who was struck down by a stomach bug on the trail forcing him to abandon a planned walkabout at the Santry Omni Park in Dublin.

Leo Varadkar with local candidate Emer Currie with members of a ukelele class. Picture: Gareth Chaney/Collins
Leo Varadkar with local candidate Emer Currie with members of a ukelele class. Picture: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Leo Varadkar did manage an appearance at his party’s online safety launch a short time later, but looked “quite unwell” according to those in attendance.

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