Galway West is a sprawling constituency, so frustratingly we always seem to be one of the last in with a first count. Still another tense fifteen minutes. But counts are carried on in public, so impressions emerge. Interesting impressions.
Eamon Ó Cuív – De Valera’s grandson and Fianna Fáil’s leading candidate here – appears to be topping the poll. I ask you to contemplate that solemnly. On the brighter side, he looks to be falling short of being elected on the first count as might normally be expected. Such is the tribal FF grip, Fianna Fáil not winning too well is about the best we can hope for in Galway West.
Surprisingly, but excitingly, Labour’s Derek Nolan is coming second. He actually seems to have increased on the first-preference vote of his popular predecessor, Michael D. Higgins.
His surplus should largely go to former-Labour independent Catherine Connolly, so the dream of two left-wing seats here looks like it may come true. The next big question then is whether Noel Grealish, former leader of the defunct right-wing PD party, will survive. And if he does, will it be at the expense of FF?
For once, I think I’d actually like to see a PD elected…