‘The left sweep the board to take 4 out of 5 seats’
There were no constituency boundary changes here since 2007.
In the People’s Republic of Dublin South-Central the left virtually swept the board, taking four of the five seats. Labour took pole position with 35 per cent of the votes, its second best performance in the country, and two of its three candidates were elected. The main surprise was that Henry Upton, nephew and son of the two previous Labour incumbents, was the one to lose out, being outpolled by former TD Eric Byrne and by the new TD, though veteran councillor, Michael Conaghan. Byrne, who had missed out on a seat by 5 votes in 1992 and by 69 votes in 2007, headed the poll this time.
Sinn Fein’s Aengus Ó Snodaigh was comfortably re-elected to a third term, and the other left-wing seat was taken by Joan Collins of People before Profit, part of the United Left Alliance. She virtually trebled her 2007 vote, and while her TV cameo berating Bertie Ahern outside Leinster House no doubt helped her profile, she was probably on course for a seat anyway.
The Fine Gael vote rose by 9 per cent, but this was enough only to retain the seat it already held through Catherine Byrne (the only former professional footballer in the Dáil), with neither of her running mates coming close.
Most striking, perhaps, was the failure of Fianna Fail, represented now just by Michael Mulcahy following the retirement of Seán Ardagh, to win a seat in this former stronghold. With Seán Lemass leading its team, the party won 55 per cent of the votes here in 1951; now, it could not win even 10 per cent.