South Dublin County Council could be facing a quandary in the aftermath of tomorrow's elections: how to elect a mayor?
Most predictions from those across the area – with 40 seats up for grabs, an increase of 14 – point to Sinn Féin and Fine Gael emerging as the largest parties on a fractured council.
Local government changes have seen the introduction of an entirely new ward, the six-seater of Templeogue-Terenure, as well as boundary changes within the existing local electoral areas.
Lucan will increase from five seats to eight; Clondalkin goes up from six to eight; Tallaght South gets an increase of one to six; Tallaght Central stays at six seats; while Rathfarnham goes from four to six.
The outgoing council, which was arguably the most left-wing council in the State, was controlled by an alliance of Sinn Féin, Labour and left-leaning Independents, but forming a ruling council could prove trickier this time out.
Working-class areas In a story likely to be repeated across the State, Sinn Féin is expected to be the big winner, particularly in the more working-class districts of Tallaght South and Tallaght Central.
Sinn Féin currently has three seats on the council, but those across all parties say it will come back with about nine seats. It has two candidates standing in Clondalkin, as wells as two in each of the Tallaght local electoral areas, and one each in the remaining three wards.
Fine Gael won eight seats the last time, and is tipped to slightly increase its presence on the council to nine or 10.
While Labour faces a tough day at the hands of the electorate nationally, if opinion polls are proved correct, it is expected it will hold at least one seat in each of the six wards.
Labour's Lucan hopes Local Labour figures are hoping tight vote management in Lucan could help re-elect its two councillors in the ward, Eamon Tuffy and Caitríona Jones.
Martina Genockey, a Labour candidate in Tallaght South, provided something of a rallying point in the party recently when a video of her being chased and shouted at by political opponents as she canvassed was uploaded to the internet.
Fianna Fáil figures are also predicting they will take six seats, with a possibility of two in Rathfarnham if sitting councillor John Lahart can bring in running mate Emma Murphy.
Charlie O’Connor, the popular former Fianna Fáil TD, is also hoping to make a political comeback by taking a seat in Tallaght Central.
Fine Gael will be hoping for a strong showing in Lucan, where it should build on the one council seat held by William Lavelle, who works for recently appointed Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald. It should put in a strong showing in Rathfarnham as well, a ward that includes middle-class areas such as Ballyboden.
The party has Olympic medallist Kenneth Egan standing in Clondalkin.
Independents, such as Dermot Richardson in Tallaght South, as well as others like the Anti-Austerity Alliance, are also tipped for seats, particularly People Before Profit in Clondalkin.