Following the recent discussion on Fine Gael's chances next time out, I thought it was tiem to open a thread on the possibility of FF gains in the next election.
Turning to Dublin firstly, I think that with Dublin North becoming a 5-seater, FF will make a strong bid for 3 seats. Michael Kennedy and Dara O'Brien pulled off a huge surprise last time out when they two out of four, and a strong third candidate here could make it 3 out of 5. Would Jim Glennon be persuaded to make a comeback, I wonder?
Elsewhere in the big smoke, if Mary Harney retires, I think that Luke Moriarty could make a bold bid for her seat. He polled an impressive 3,700 odd first preferences last time out.
Brian Lenihan will be under pressure to bring in a second FF in Dublin West, especially if he becomes Tanaiste, while Seamus Brennan and Tom Kitt will be under similiar pressure to bring in Maria Corrigan. She went very close last time out and will be in the hunt again.
I think that FF will hold their existing seats in Leinster, though with Louth becoming a 5-seater, Dermot Ahern will be under pressure to bring in a third FF seat here. In Munster, there will be some interesting contests to follow. Rumour has it that John Brasill has been canvassing North Kerry/WEst Limerick with Gerry Collins. Brasill has been mentioned as a second FF Candidate for some time now and his chance could come here. I think he will give McEllistrim a run for his money. In South Kerry, Tom Sheahan will be under pressure to hold on with the constituency reduced to two.