General Election 2020: The candidates in Longford / Westmeath
Fifteen candidates have officially declared their intention to contest the general election for the 33rd Dáil on Saturday, February 8 in the four seat Longford / Westmeath constituency.
Outgoing Labour Deputy Willie Penrose, who has been a TD since 1992, isn’t seeking re-election and many political observers predict the battle to fill the seat he vacates will be a Longford head-to-head between Fine Gael’s Cllr Micheál Carrigy, the current County Council Cathaoirleach, and Fianna Fáil’s Cllr Joe Flaherty.
Eighteen candidates went to post in the 2016 general election in Longford / Westmeath with the four seats on offer all being filled by Westmeath-based candidates - Robert Troy (Fianna Fáil, 11,653 1st preferences), Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran (Independent Alliance, 7,586), Peter Burke (Fine Gael, 5,681) and Willie Penrose (Labour, 4,817).
Fine Gael’s James Bannon went into the election as a sitting Longford-based TD but the 4,639 first preference votes he garnered - sixth highest of the 18 candidates - and subsequent transfers weren’t enough to help him retain his seat.
It left Longford as the ONLY county in the country without a sitting TD in the 32nd Dáil.
Interestingly, three Longford candidates found themselves lying in 6th Bannon (4,639), 7th Connie Gerety Quinn (FF, 3,943) and 8th James Morgan (IA, 3,329) in the poll after the first count four years ago.
That’s a cumulative first preference vote of 11,911 or 861 votes above the quota which stood at 11,050 in 2016, clearly demonstrating that there is a Longford seat up for grabs.
89,241 were entitled to vote in the constituency four years ago and there was a 62.55% turnout with 55,816 people having their say.
There will be ten male and five female candidates on the ballot paper. 40% of the candidates (6 out of 15) are Longford based.
Longford / Westmeath general election 2020 candidates
In alphabetical order:
BURKE, Peter (Fine Gael) of Clonmore, Mullingar, Co Westmeath, a public representative
CARRIGY, Micheál (Fine Gael) of Ballinalee Post Office, Ballinalee, Co Longford; Postmaster & Public Representative
CLARKE, Sorca (Sinn Féin) of 65 Ardleigh Vale, Mullingar, Co Westmeath; Carer & Accountant
FLAHERTY, Joe (Fianna Fáil) of 7 The Willows, Clonbalt Woods, Longford, Co Longford, Managing Director
HEAVIN, Louise (Green Party) of 42 Beechpark, Athlone, Co Westmeath, Architect & County Councillor
JACKSON, Donal (Independent) of 5 Retreat Mews, Retreat Road, Athlone, Co Westmeath; Company Director
KAVANAGH, Anna (Independent) of Corracorkey, Edgeworthstown, Co Longford, Retired Teacher
KILBRIDE, Frank (Independent) of Aughakilmore, Ballinalee, Co Longford, Businessman
MANGAN, Alan 'Budda' (Labour) of Adamstown, Castletown Geoghegan, Co Westmeath, HSE Community Alcohol & Drug Services Employee
McFADDEN, Gabrielle (Fine Gael) of Newtownflood, Crannagh, Athlone, Co Westmeath, Full-Time Public Representative
MORAN, Kevin ‘Boxer’ (Independent) of Cornamagh, Athlone, Co Westmeath, Public Representative
PARKER, Dom (Solidarity) of 68 Auburn Heights, Athlone, Co Westmeath, Unemployed
REYNOLDS, James (The National Party) of Laughill, Coolarty, Edgeworthstown, Co Longford, Farmer
SMYTH, Barbara (People Before Profit) of 3 Railway Court, Newtownforbes, Co Longford, Community Worker
TROY, Robert (Fianna Fáil) of Main Street, Ballynacargy, Mullingar, Co Westmeath, Public Representative