Turnout expected to be low for four Dáil byelections

Fianna Fáil tipped to win at least two seats as voters go to polls in Cork, Dublin and Wexford

Voters go to the polls today in four Dáil byelections which will be keenly watched to gauge the relative strengths of parties and Independents ahead of next year’s general election.

Polling stations are open in Dublin Fingal, Dublin Mid-West, Cork North-Central and Wexford between 7am and 10pm but turnout is expected to be low in all four constituencies.

The effect on the Dáil arithmetic, barring a number of upsets, is unlikely to be significant. The byelections are being held to fill the vacancies created by the election of a Fine Gael TD, a Fianna Fáil TD and two Independents4Change TDs to the European Parliament.

Fine Gael hopes to win one of the byelections, with Emer Higgins in Dublin Mid-West hoping to keep Frances Fitzgerald's old seat for the party.

Fianna Fáil is tipped to win at least two seats. If that were to happen, and Fine Gael failed to win even one, the fact that Fianna Fáil would have its Dáil strength increased by one means that the Government would still have the numbers to survive a confidence vote in the Dáil if Fianna Fáil abstains under the principles of the confidence-and-supply agreement.