Wexford is not my area so someone else can probably give a better prediction then this. The biggest problem for Colm O’Gorman taking a seat in Wexford will be the lack of a political organisation in Wexford for the PD’s not since 1989 have they contested a Dail seat when William Willoughby gained 1.1% of the vote. Indeed in the last local election they only ran one candidate. In Enniscorthy with Sean Quirke gaining 639 votes and not getting elected. So this is far from PD territory. However in the last election Liam Twomey won on an independent ticket so this constituency is far from locked up by the main parties.
Liam Twomey won on the independent ticket but then joined Fine Gael. This is supposed to annoyed some people as they voted for him as an independent and not the Fine Gael candidates Michael D’Arcy and Avril Doyle. This may result that some of his votes will be up for grabs. However his platform was on Health issues. So to secure these votes the PD’s need to perform in the Health department.
The other TD’s in the constituency would be Labour’s Brendan Howlin, Fianna Fail’s John Browne and Tony Dempsey and Fine Gaels Chief Whip Paul Kehoe. Tony Dempsey won the last seat beating by 78 votes Fine Gael’s Michael D’Arcy. Tony Dempsey was the former Wexford Hurling manager and is not running in this election. He was considered a quiet backbencher and this may hit Fianna Fail in the election especially if Fianna Fail take a hit nationwide.
Liam Twomey may increase his vote as he is Fine Gael’s health spokesman and in an Fine Gael victory may well become a minister. Some of that might come from the Fine Gael vote in the constituency reducing the first preference Paul Kehoe vote.
I think there is definitely going to be one or two seat up for grabs in this constituency. Colm O’ Gorman’s reputation in this constituency is going to be huge. He has massive respect in the country and may even attach much of the anti-PD vote due to this. Another advantage he has is that he is from the North of the constituency. In the town of Gorey which has seen a high migration of people from Dublin. Who would not have the same historical voting patterns as “native” Wexford voters. This should give him a very solid base. Also only Michael D’Arcy is in the North of the constituency so he will get a good lot of the regional vote.
Sinn Fein are also targeting Wexford as a seat with John Dwyer. Who is also based in the South of the county. I would guess that the addition of Colm to the ticket will be a major dent in their hopes. As even though he will be a member of the PD’s he will get a large portion of the vote from the people who are sick of the political status quo.
My prediction would be that he will certainly be in the final running. While Brendan Howlin Liam Twomey and John Browne are safe. I think the other 2 seats are open. I would say that unless the Progressive Democrats don’t mess up seriously he will take a seat. Indeed if Mary Harney makes inroads into the A&E and Michael McDowell on crime. Colm will probably top the poll.