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Electoral boundaries review: How did your constituency fare?

New constituency boundaries for Ireland sees Dublin gain five extra seats, with one new constituency in Fingal, while new three-seat Wicklow-Wexford constituency also announced

The Electoral Commission has published its highly anticipated constituency review with the commission’s report recommending an increase of 14 TDs to 174 deputies in the next Dáil. Here how’s your constituency fared:

Carlow-Kilkenny – 5 seats

Despite the belief locally that it would be divided into two three-seaters, Carlow-Kilkenny remains a five-seater. However, 13 electoral divisions, with a population of 6,431 from the western part of Co Kilkenny, including Urlingford and Tullaroan, will be transferred to the newly formed Tipperary North constituency.

While the commission noted that submissions had called for the county of Carlow to form the basis of a new constituency with transfers from other counties, it decided the county’s population of 61,968 was insufficient to support a stand-alone constituency.


As it stands, four of the five TDs elected three years ago are originally from Co Kilkenny, with Fianna Fáil’s Jennifer Murnane O’Connor the exception.

Sinn Féin’s Kathleen Funchion, the party’s only candidate in the constituency, topped the poll in 2020 and it is expected they will run two candidates next time round.

Cavan-Monaghan – 5 seats

There’s little change in this five-seat constituency, which sees a small area of Co Meath which had been part of the constituency returning to Meath East. Its five TDs are divided between Sinn Féin (2), Fianna Fáil (2) and Fine Gael, and it’s hard to see any likely changes at the next election. Sinn Féin’s Matt Carthy will bring in running mate Pauline Tully, but three out of five is unlikely, especially with strong Fianna Fáil runners in Brendan Smith and Niamh Smyth, and the Fine Gael big beast Heather Humphreys around. Fine Gael ran Fianna Fáil close for the final seat – but not all that close. Aontú will put in a big push, but a seat seems a long way off.

Clare – 4 seats

No change in this four-seater.

Cork East – 4 seats

Remains a four-seater but sees significant change with the transfer of Mallow to Cork North-Central and five other electoral districts to Cork North-West. This poses a conundrum especially for Labour TD Seán Sherlock, who is based in the town and is now expected to move to North Central. Fine Gael needs a new candidate with David Stanton retiring but both it and Fianna Fáil, for which James O’Connor won a first-time seat in 2020, should retain seats here. Assuming Sherlock moves, Sinn Féin will push for two; Fianna Fáil is its most likely competitor.

Cork North-Central - 5 seats (+1)

Cork North-Central has been allocated an additional seat as the large suburb of Cork City, Ballincollig, with a population of 20,497, moves over from the Cork North-West constituency.

In addition, three electoral divisions in the Mallow area, with a population of 14,408, will transfer over from Cork-East. Parts of Cork North-Central will move to the Cork South-Central constituency and the river Lee is now the border between the two constituencies, with the exception of the electoral division of Ballincollig.

Sinn Féin’s only candidate in Cork North-Central, Thomas Gould, topped the poll in 2020 with 26.67 per cent of first preference votes and the party would be seen as favourite to gain a second come the next general election.

Fianna Fáil’s Pádraig O’Sullivan and Fine Gael’s Colm Burke should be relatively confident of retaining their seats, while Solidarity’s Mick Barry (who relied on Sinn Féin transfers in 2020) may be nervous, although the addition of a seat might prove to be a boon for his hopes of re-election. Independent Councillor Kenneth O’Flynn narrowly lost out to Barry last time, by a margin of less than 900 votes.

Cork North-West – 3 seats

The number of seats in Cork North-West remains at three. The big change is the move of more than 20,000 people in Ballincollig to the Cork North-Central constituency. Cork North-West gains some territory from Cork East – including the town of Buttevant – and a small part of Cork North-Central. When the Cork city suburb of Ballincollig first moved to Cork North-West almost 20 years ago, then Fianna Fáil TD Batt O’Keeffe changed constituency to stay with his base and managed to retain a seat.

There was already something of an opening up of the constituency with former Fine Gael minister Michael Creed’s announcement that he will not contest the next election. It is not yet known who will run for Fine Gael or Sinn Féin for that matter. The two sitting TDs are Michael Moynihan and Aindrias Moynihan of Fianna Fáil. Ballincollig would not be seen as a heartland for either. Fianna Fáil will be studying the new map as it seeks to assess the impact of the loss of such a large population area on their incumbent TDs’ chances.

Cork South-Central – 5 seats (+1)

Cork South-Central has gained an extra seat, making it a five-seater in the next general election. The commission said areas which are south of the river Lee, which currently come under Cork North-Central, such as Bishopstown, should be transferred to Cork South-Central.

Sinn Féin’s Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire topped the poll in 2020, while a second candidate could secure an extra seat for the party in a constituency that has consistently returned two Fianna Fáil representatives.

Tánaiste Micheál Martin and Minister for Finance Michael McGrath would be seen as nailed-on to retain their seats, as well as Fine Gael’s Simon Coveney, the current Minister for Enterprise and Trade. However, there have been question marks over whether Martin will run again or may instead be eyeing up a job at the EU.

Cork South-West – 3 seats

No change for this three-seater, which is likely to see Social Democrats leader Holly Cairns in a dogfight to keep her seat.

Donegal – 5 seats

Donegal is one of seven constituencies remaining entirely unchanged.

Dublin – Recommended
Dáil constituencies

Dublin Bay North – 5 seats

The constituency will remain a five-seater and will gain the Balgriffin electoral division, with a population of 5,544, from West and transfer out of parts of Beaumont into Dublin North-West.

Dublin Bay South – 4 seats

The constituency, which the commission noted experienced “a relatively modest population growth”, remains a four-seater with parts of Kimmage moving to Dublin South-Central.

Dublin Central – 4 seats

The constituency, which is currently represented by Minister for Public Expenditure Paschal Donohoe, Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald, the Green Party’s Neasa Hourigan and the Social Democrats’ Garry Gannon, remains a four seater with no transfers in or out despite experiencing a population growth of 11.9 per cent. There will be pressure on McDonald to deliver a second seat for Sinn Féin, which looks a possibility despite her task being made more difficult by the decision of the commission to stay with the status quo ante.

Dublin South-Central – 4 seats

Dublin South-Central, currently the most left-wing constituency in the country with no Fianna Fáil or Fine Gael candidates elected in 2020, will remain a four-seater.

However, the commission has recommended the transfer of part of the Kimmage electoral division, currently in the Dublin Bay South constituency and with a population of 3,738, to Dublin South-Central.

Some of the electoral divisions west of the constituency will move to Dublin South-West and Dublin Mid-West.

Sinn Féin’s Aengus Ó Snodaigh secured 39.3 per cent of first preference votes in the last general election and the numbers suggest the party will win a second seat easily in the next election. Bríd Smith is retiring but Patrick Costello (GP) and Joan Collins (Ind) will still be under threat. Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil, Labour and the Social Democrats are all expected to field strong candidates in the hope of winning a seat here.

Dublin South-West – 5 seats

Remains a five-seater, with the addition of three areas of Dublin South-Central and the loss of Fettercairn in the west of the constituency to Dublin Mid-West. The changes won’t massively affect the constituency, which will be a prime target for a Sinn Féin gain at the expense of Paul Murphy of People Before Profit or Francis Noel Duffy of the Greens.

Dún Laoghaire – 4 seats

Stays as a four-seater, though it loses a couple of affluent areas in Foxrock, Leopardstown and Glencullen to Dublin Rathdown. The loss will be felt most keenly by Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil, though like many of his colleagues, Ossian Smyth of the Greens could be the most vulnerable to a Sinn Féin gain here.

Dublin-Rathdown – 4 seats (+1)

Salvation for the Ministers. Previously a three-seat constituency where the three incumbents – Fine Gael’s Neale Richmond and Josepha Madigan, and Green Catherine Martin – are all members of the Government parties and all Ministers to boot. This was due to be the group of death. It’ll still be tight, but the addition of an extra seat will ease the pressure. The addition of Foxrock, Leopardstown and Glencullen, all largely affluent suburbs, will be especially welcomed by the Fine Gael Ministers. While the constituency is hardly natural territory for Sinn Féin, the party will expect a seat in every constituency, including here. Previously a Fianna Fáil stronghold, those days are long gone.

Dublin Fingal West – 3 seats (new)

Previously part of the five-seat Dublin Fingal constituency the new three-seater includes the coastal towns of Balbriggan, Skerries and Rush, as well as areas in the west like Naul and Garristown. Santry is added from its current home in Dublin North-West. Dublin Airport is also unexpectedly included, with the transport hub and major employer being cut off from Swords, the nearest big town – which will now be in Dublin Fingal East. Sinn Féin’s Louise O’Reilly – based in the north of the county will likely be the poll topper at the next election though she may well be under pressure to bring in a running mate. Skerries-based Green Party Minister of State Joe O’Brien will miss out on the support of some who voted for him last time around in the south of the county and could have a battle on his hands. Fine Gael Senator Regina Doherty – who moved constituency from Meath East is set to chase a seat in Dublin Fingal West. Fianna Fáil Senator Lorraine Clifford Lee – based essentially on the border of the two new Fingal constituencies will face a decision on where she will seek to run. Her party colleague, Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien, has his powerbase in Malahide and will certainly run in Dublin Fingal East. Councillor Robert O’Donoghue has been tipped as the Labour candidate now that incumbent TD Duncan Smith will be running in the other Fingal constituency.

Dublin Fingal East – 3 seats (new)

Swords is the main population centre in the new constituency which also includes Malahide, Portmarnock, Donabate and Portrane. Among the sitting TDs are Fianna Fáil Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien and Fine Gael’s Alan Farrell – both drawing support from Malahide and Portmarnock. They are likely to be pleased with the outcome of the constituency review. Duncan Smith of Labour – the other TD in the area – has perhaps the greatest battle to retain his seat in the face of a challenge from an, as yet, unselected Sinn Féin candidate, though incumbency should help him. Sinn Féin has just one councillor in the area, Swords-based Ann Graves. She is surely the front-runner to be selected for Sinn Féin now that sitting TD, Louise O’Reilly will be in Dublin Fingal West. Likewise the Greens will be on the hunt for a candidate with sitting TD, Minister of State Joe O’Brien based in the north of the current Dublin Fingal constituency. Ian Carey, a Swords-based councillor is well-positioned to get the nod. Paul Mulville, a councillor based on the Donabate peninsula is the likely candidate for the Social Democrats.

Dublin North-West – 3 seats

Redrawn maps sees Dublin North-West lose Santry and parts of Finglas – just over 15,000 people – to the new Dublin Fingal West constituency and just under 2,300 more to Dublin West. Some 12,674 from Beaumont – which had been in Dublin Bay North – will make up for some of that population loss. Near to Social Democrats TD Róisín Shortall’s base in the east of the constituency, she will have reason to be pleased by this outcome. Sinn Féin’s Dessie Ellis is somewhat unassailable in his Finglas heartland and the only question now is whether he can bring in a running mate. Sitting Fianna Fáil TD Paul McAuliffe will be hoping he cannot. The chances of former Fine Gael TD Noel Rock – a victim of the last boundary review – returning to the fray are not increased by the latest redraw. Fine Gael will struggle in the constituency.

Dublin West - 5 seats (+1)

The constituency of Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has gained a seat and there will be pressure on him to deliver two seats for Fine Gael here (Senator Emer Currie is likely to be the candidate). An enlarged constituency will favour the other incumbents: Jack Chambers (FF); Paul Donnelly (SF) and Roderic O’Gorman (GP), although it will still be a battle for the Greens. Coming out of government they will face the same challenges in all constituencies they contest.

A population of about 2,284 has shifted from Dublin North West, mostly from the Ward and Abbotstown. The variance of TD per-population is well below the norm here, though, at minus 7.17 per cent.

Sinn Féin will seek a second seat and it’s likely that one of the smaller socialist parties ( Solidarity’s Ruth Coppinger is a likely candidate) will fancy their chances of taking a seat in a multicultural constituency which has seen big population increases in recent years.

Dublin Mid-West – 5 seats (+1)

This is a mixed constituency with large rural areas, well-to-do suburbs and some of the biggest local authority estates in the capital. It has moved to the left in recent years with Sinn Féin (two) and People Before Profit (PBP) taking three of the four seats in 2020.

If Sinn Féin wishes to be a government party with a strong mandate, it needs to be in the hunt for a third seat, after an extra seat has been added. Its lead TD, Eoin Ó Broin, is one of the party’s star performers. The addition of two areas – Clondalkin-Monastery and Tallaght-Fettercairn – will certainly ease that task. However, with a sizeable middle-class vote, if Sinn Féin were to take a third it might be at the expense of Gino Kenny (PBP). Fine Gael should be safe and Fianna Fáil would have ambitions of regaining a seat in a constituency where it once held two.

Constituency Review 2023

Galway East – 4 seats (+1)

A decision by a previous review to reduce Galway East to three seats and transfer a massive 48 electoral areas to the new constituency of Galway-Roscommon caused consternation. This commission has repaired its hand somewhat. Some 32 electoral divisions return to Galway East, but 16 remain with Roscommon, including the large town of Ballinasloe. There were transfers expected from east of Galway City but they did not materialise. The increase in one seat is good news for the incumbents: Ciaran Cannon (FG); Anne Rabbitte (FF) and Seán Canney (Ind). Louis O’Hara of Sinn Féin came within a hair’s breadth of winning a seat last time around and should be a racing certainty in the next general election. There could be room for a new candidate based in the northeastern part of the constituency.

Galway West – 5 seats

There is no change to Galway West’s status as a five-seater. Almost 6,000 people from parts of Co Mayo that had been included in the constituency in the last election are on their way back to their home county for the next one. Sinn Féin will be seeking at least two seats with the party likely to give sitting TD Mairéad Farrell a running mate this time around. This could leave left-wing Independent TD Catherine Connolly vulnerable. Fianna Fáil’s Éamon Ó Cuív, Fine Gael Minister of State Hildegarde Naughton and Independent Noel Grealish are the other sitting TDs. While they may suffer to varying degrees from the loss of rural areas of Co Mayo, the three are unlikely to be too perturbed by the outcome of the review.

Kerry – 5 seats

Remains unchanged as a five-seater

Kildare North – 5 seats (+1)

The constituency will go from four to five seats, gaining parts of Kildare South. The commission noted that Kildare North was the second fastest growing constituency nationally according to Census 2022 data, rising by 12.8 per cent since 2016.

Social Democrats TD Catherine Murphy topped the poll in 2020 and despite stepping down as co-leader of the party, she said she plans to stand in the next general election.

Sinn Féin will likely run a second candidate with Réada Cronin, who secured 17 per cent of first preference votes three years ago. Fianna Fáil are expected to do likewise, with Frank O’Rourke narrowly losing out last time. His running mate, James Lawless, secured the third seat in the constituency, followed by Fine Gael’s Bernard Durkan. While Durkan has not yet said publicly whether he intends to run in the next general election, the long-standing TD will turn 79 next March.

Kildare South – 4 seats

Kildare South remains a four-seater with a number of transfers, including Carragh, Donore and Ladytown to Kildare North, Portarlington-South, Ballybrittas, Kilmullen and Jamestown to the new Laois constituency and Portarlington-North to the new Offaly constituency.

Limerick City – 4 seats

Little change again here, with the constituency remaining as a four-seater, while three Co Tipperary electoral districts, previously part of the Limerick constituency, return to Tipperary, to the new three seater in the north of the county. The suggested addition or part of Co Clare to make this a five-seater did not materialise in the face of vocal local opposition in the areas concerned. Fianna Fáil vote getter Willie O’Dea will retain his seat if he runs again, and Sinn Féin’s Maurice Quinlivan is safe. In a five-seater, he might have been expected to bring in a running mate; that is a bigger ask now. Kieran O’Donnell should hold the Fine Gael seat. That leaves the Green Party’s Brian Leddin holding the third government seat. Like many of his Green colleagues, he will be under pressure.

Limerick County – 3 seats

There is no change to this three-seat constituency.

Laois – 3 seats (new)

Formerly lumped in with Offaly as part of a five-seater, Laois will branch out on its own to become a separate three-seat constituency. This is helped with the return of some 10,500 people in and around Portarlington who voted in Kildare South last time around. There are currently three Laois based TDs – Sinn Féin’s Brian Stanley, Charlie Flanagan of Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil Minister of State Seán Fleming. They’re surely all relatively pleased with the outcome, though Mr Stanley could face some difficulty getting a running mate over the line at the next election presuming both of the other incumbents seek re-election.

Longford-Westmeath – 5 seats (+1)

The return of almost 9,500 Westmeath people from the Meath West constituency means an extra seat can be added and all of Longford and Westmeath will be contained in the same constituency. With twice the population of Longford the change will likely benefit candidates from Westmeath. Just one sitting TD – Fianna Fáil’s Joe Flaherty – is from Longford. His party colleague Robert Troy is Westmeath-based.

A good vote strategy could perhaps see Longford-based Fine Gael Senator Micheál Carrigy returned along with party colleague Minister of State Peter Burke but it would be a tough ask. Sinn Féin’s Sorca Clarke will almost certainly have a running mate and the party will very much be on the hunt for two seats. But is there also an opportunity for former Independent TD Kevin ”Boxer” Moran. He lost his seat in 2020 but has told local media outlets that he intends to run again.

Louth – 5 seats

There is no change to the number of seats in Louth – it stays at five – but it loses some 11,500 voters from parts of Co Meath like Julianstown and Laytown that were included in the constituency in the last general election. Bettystown, meanwhile, has been split between Louth and Meath constituencies. The arrangement ensures that much of Drogheda’s southern outskirts in Co Meath remain in the one Dáil electoral area in Louth. Given Sinn Féin’s poll numbers in recent times TDs Ruairi Ó Murchú and Imelda Munster remain in a strong position to keep their seats and the party may even seek a third. Independent Peter Fitzpatrick should be relatively unaffected by the loss of the voters in eastern Meath as he is based at the opposite end of the county. Drogheda-based sitting TDs Fergus O’Dowd of Fine Gael and Labour’s Ged Nash will have lost voters from the Meath parts of the constituency that supported them last time around but will take heart that a chunk of the town’s hinterland will remain in the Louth constituency.

Mayo – 5 seats (+1)

This was one of the surprises of the review. Electoral districts around Ballinrobe including Shrule, Cong and the Neale in the south of the county had previously been transferred to Galway West as part of earlier reviews. The reversion of these territories to Mayo will be welcomed by the likes of Michael Ring, who has ran a long-running campaign to have the constituency align with the county boundaries.

So now Mayo has returned to a five-seater, which spells good news for the four incumbents, should they run. Along with Westport-based Ring, the other Fine Gael TD is Alan Dillon from Ballintubber. Fianna Fáil’s Dara Calleary is based in Ballina, while Sinn Féin’s Rose Conway-Walsh lives in Belmullet.

So how will the extra seat come into play? It could provide a way back for Senator Lisa Chambers of Fianna Fáil, who lost out to Conway-Walsh in 2020. However, she has already committed to running for Europe so there is a question mark as to her returning to contest a general election. Chambers has previously been talked about as a possible leadership contender in Fianna Fáil but that would necessitate a return to the Dáil for her to be included in any conversation. Sinn Féin could certainly have a shot at a second seat, though, based on current numbers.

Meath East – 4 seats (+1)

The return of almost 15,700 people living in parts of Meath hived off in previous constituency reviews means it gains a TD to become a four-seater. The local Fianna Fáil organisation sought the return of these areas in its submission to the commission’s review so Minister of State Thomas Byrne should be reasonably happy. The expanded voter base will not be unwelcome to Minister for Justice Helen McEntee either who previously shared the constituency with former TD Regina Doherty who is now to seek election over the border in Dublin Fingal West. If Fine Gael do have two on the ticket Cllr Sharon Tolan is a likely contender given that much of her homebase, Bettystown, is now back in Meath East – albeit part of the town remains in Louth which has caused some dissatisfaction there. Sinn Féin’s current popularity in the polls means sitting TD Darren O’Rourke is in a strong position to keep his seat. The addition of a TD to Meath East could see him bring in a running mate.

Meath West - 3 seats

A chunk of Westmeath with a population of almost 9,500 which was included in the Meath West constituency in the last election will be returning to Longford-Westmeath due to the redraw. The constituency will therefore remain a three-seater. The sitting TDs are Johnny Guirke of Sinn Féin, Peadar Tóibín of Aontú and Fine Gael’s Damien English. Guirke and Tóibín will probably fancy their chances while the third seat could well be a scrap between English and Fianna Fáil Senator Shane Cassells.

Offaly – 3 seats (new)

Offaly opens up somewhat as it is transformed into a three-seater with just two of the sitting TDs Fianna Fáil’s Barry Cowen and Independent Carol Nolan – a former Sinn Féin TD – based in the constituency. Cowen should be comfortably re-elected and Nolan also has a strong chance of returning to the Dáil. Sinn Féin have not selected a candidate yet and with no councillors in the county there is no obvious contender. It has selected two candidates to run in Tullamore in the local elections – Aoife Masterson and Theresa Bracken, so they could be names to watch out for if they win seats in the county council next year. Sinn Féin is likely to pick up a seat in Offaly. Fine Gael has no seat in the constituency and is expected to struggle to win one with an as yet unknown candidate. Green Party Junior Minister Pippa Hackett is based in the county but is not seen as likely to take a seat having failed to be elected in the wider Laois-Offaly constituency in 2020.

Roscommon-Galway – 3 seats

Roscommon has always been a bit of a vagrant. It has been hitched with Longford, Galway and Leitrim in the past. In no case did it prove ideal and in nearly all cases it proved to be controversial and challenging. The difficulty for the county is despite population growth it has a sufficiently high population for two seats but not quite enough for three.

Since 2016, it has been part of an amalgam constituency Roscommon-Galway taking in large parts of East Galway (a whopping 48 electoral districts). Anomalously, some of North Roscommon around Boyle was hived off to ensure that Sligo-Leitrim remained a four-seater.

Roscommon has seen a decent population growth since 2016. It has allowed the commission to move 32 electoral divisions back to Galway East (including Dunmore, Caltra, Mountbellew, Glenamaddy, Ballymacward, Kilconnell and Aughrim). However, 16 districts around Ballinasloe have remained in Roscommon-Galway.

Sensibly, the districts in North Roscommon around Boyle have been brought back into the constituency.

So what does that mean? Claire Kerrane of Sinn Féin will be safe. That’s a certainty. Independent Michael Fitzmaurice lives in Glynsk so his home village will now be in Galway East but it’s unlikely he will shift constituency. He should also be safe. Denis Naughten’s retirement will open up an opportunity for Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil to seek the third seat, but don’t rule out the possibility of another independent candidate emerging. The addition of Boyle should help Strokestown-based Senator Eugene Murphy in his efforts to regain the seat he lost in 2020.

Sligo-Leitrim – 4 seats

This constituency was named Sligo-Leitrim but it should have been named Sligo-Leitrim-Roscommon-Donegal, as bits of all four counties were used to make it into a four-seater. In the past the constituency has had to borrow from west Cavan to make up the numbers.

That made it an outlier with seemingly more unhappiness about the 9,300 population from Bundoran and Ballyshannon being included, rather than the 8,500 around Boyle. It was expected that Donegal would see those nine electoral districts in the south of the county returned to it, making it into two three-seaters. But that did not happen. Instead south Donegal remains in this constituency but the north Roscommon districts have shifted to the Roscommon-Galway constituency.

That leaves Fine Gael TD Frankie Feighan, a Roscommon native, in an odd position with the loss of the northern part of his home county. Still, he tweeted that he will remain in Sligo-Leitrim, despite losing a lot of votes around his former home base.

Elsewhere the status quo will prevail. The only uncertainties are around Marian Harkin deciding if she will stand again, and Marc MacSharry running as an Independent or returning to the Fianna Fáil fold. Could Sinn Féin take a second? It will be a long shot although incumbent Martin Kenny will poll strongly.

Tipperary North – 3 seats (new)

Tipperary is one of the five-seaters that have been split in two, reviving the division of the county in place until the 2016 general election. There are two strong independents here – Michael Lowry and Mattie McGrath. Lowry’s old base is in the north and he will be the dominant figure here, with a mighty scrap between Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, Sinn Féin and Labour for the remaining two seats. Fianna Fáil TD Jackie Cahill is based in the middle of the county in Holycross – an advantage in the old five-seater, but not in the new three-seater where he is at the very southern edge of the northern half of the county. With Martin Browne running in the south, Sinn Féin will need a candidate in the north, an area which has had its organisational problems. Former Labour leader Alan Kelly, based at the north end of the county has a fighting chance of retaining his seat – if he stands, that is, and doesn’t go to the European Parliament.

Tipperary South – 3 seats (new)

With Michael Lowry likely to return to the north, many of his votes will be available to other candidates. Mattie McGrath is based in the south and will fancy his chances of pulling many of them in, but Fine Gael – which has no seat at all in the county – will hope that some of the Lowry votes will return to their former home in that party. Its candidate, Senator Garret Ahern, is well-placed, but it’s a very long time since those Lowry votes were Fine Gael votes. Fianna Fáil needs a candidate that can take votes in the largest town, Clonmel. Martin Browne – a late and perhaps unlikely candidate the last time – will almost certainly hold the Sinn Féin seat, assuming he runs.

Waterford – 4 seats

Remains unchanged as a four-seater

Wicklow – 4 seats (-1)

This change has not gone down well in Co Wicklow with Sinn Féin TD John Brady describing it as a “hatchet job”. Some 35,000 votes in the rural south of the county, including the districts around Rathdrum, Tinahely and Arklow have migrated into a new constituency Wicklow-Wexford. What remains of Wicklow is the west of the county, including Blessington and Dunlavin, Wicklow town, the sparsely populated mountain regions, as well as the big population centres to the north including Bray and Greystones, the two towns where the five sitting TDs are all based.

It is difficult to see any of them moving to the new constituency even though Brady took some 4,000 votes from that region in the 2020 election. Of the four others, it looks like Stephen Matthews of the Greens is most vulnerable with Jennifer Whitmore (Social Democrats), Simon Harris (Fine Gael) and Stephen Donnelly (Fianna Fáil) all looking more solid.

Wexford – 4 seats (-1)

Wow. Few saw that coming. People knew there were changes afoot in Wexford but most saw it being split into two constituencies. What has happened is sub-optimum for the incumbents as, like Wicklow, all five TDs live in the rump of the constituency that has been left.

The truncated constituency runs from Enniscorthy South and, as of now, it is hard to see any of the five incumbents fancying their chances in the new amalgam between Wexford and Wicklow. Fianna Fáil’s James Browne and Labour’s Brendan Howlin (if he stands) will stay put. So will Verona Murphy who is based in the south of the county. Depending on how Sinn Féin approach candidate selection, Johnny Mythen may move and Fine Gael’s Paul Kehoe will certainly consider it but his political inclination will be to stay put. However, if somebody does not shift, there will have to be a loser.

Wicklow-Wexford – 3 seats (new)

This will prove to be the most controversial decision of the commission but is one that was widely predicted. The new constituency takes in more population from Wexford (some 50,000 people) with 35,000 coming from Wicklow. It is predominantly rural but it includes towns such as Gorey, Courtown, Kilmuckridge, Bunclody, Arklow, Tinahely and Rathdrum.

The extraordinary thing about it is that there is not a single TD living in the constituency at present, with Senator Malcolm Byrne the only Oireachtas member based there. Another Fianna Fáil Senator Pat Casey lives in Glendalough but he would have relied on this area of Wicklow for votes, so he has a big decision to make. It’s unlikely that any of the five sitting TDs in Wicklow will move south as they each have their strongest support bases in the north of the county.

You would expect Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and Sinn Féin to be in prime position to take seats. Fine Gael’s Paul Kehoe is based in Enniscorthy as is Sinn Féin’s Johnny Mythen. It’s hard to see them being inclined to move north. On a county-by-county basis, it’s more likely that two of the TDs will be Wexford-based.