A strong showing by Fianna Fáil at the polls has set the party up to take two Dáil seats in the next general election.
That’s according to Deputy Timmy Dooley TD, who said the Green Party could be kingmakers in the formation of the next government.
Tallied votes indicate Fianna Fáil are poised to capture 38% of the vote in Clare’s local elections and the party’s spokesman on Communications, Climate Change and Environment, says the signs are encouraging ahead of the next general election.
“You always have to be ready for a general election but you don’t know what the outcome is going to be. In the face of it we’d see ourselves as being strong contenders for two out of four seats, the next time,” Deputy Dooley said.
Asked if a general election was less likely this year given the projected outcomes of the local and European elections, Deputy Dooley said, “Not necessarily. I think what the two bigger parties now realize is that there are two middle blocks there and there is very little between us. I don’t think that is going to change, whether we go now or later. What’s obviously in play now is a coalition with the Green Party, whoever is the biggest party and whoever is in a position to do that.”
Speaking at the county centre in Treacy’s West County Hotel in Ennis, Deputy Dooley also praised the strong showings of first time candidates Mark Nestor (Ennis), Cillian Murphy (Kilrush) – potentially two of the biggest stories of the local elections in Clare.
The party faces a real battle to retain three seats in the Killaloe electoral area with sitting candidates Tony O’Brien, Alan O’Callaghan and Pat Hayes all in contention.
“East Clare is tight. It always was. We had three out of six and then the area reduced to three out of five. Trying to retain three out of five is difficult. The odds are against us,” he said.