Election time

Tomorrow voters in the 26 counties go to the polls in order to decide the seats for the next Dáil Éireann.

The story of this election will yet again be about the rise of Sinn Féin and the attempts of the establishment parties to curtail that rise.

I have followed the campaign with much interest.

The campaign started with Bertiegate II, then we had the Rumble in Ranelagh, the Menopausal Paris Hilton and finally today we had the Blue-Shirts screaming about "the shinners are coming".

I have no doubt that we will do well in this election, I reckon in the region of 9-12 seats.

At the moment the established view is about 10 seats, double what we have now. That also leads to the possibility of us holding the balance of power in the next Dáil.

Where 5 of those 10 seats will come from is quite straight forward. We will keep the 5 that we have in the form of Arthur Morgan in Louth, Martin Ferris in Kerry North, Sean Crowe in Dublin South West, Aengus Ó Snodaigh in Dublin South Central and Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin in Cavan/Monaghan.

I would be very surprised if Mary Lou McDonald was not elected in Dublin Central, Pearse Doherty in Donegal South West and Dessie Ellis in Dublin North West.

I think Pádraig Mac Lochlainn has an excellent chance in Donegal North East. I also think that Larry O'Toole has a great chance of a seat in Dublin North East.

I believe that David Cullinane will push hard in Waterford, as will John Dwyer in Wexford however this may prove just one election too soon.

I think both Seán Mac Manus and Joe Reilly have been unlucky with boundary changes since the last election. Had their constituencies not been changed both would have been elected this time. As it is I believe it may be too much of an ask this time out.

Look out for strong showings from Jonathan O Brien in Cork North Central, Joanne Spain in Dublin Mid West, Daithí Doolan in Dublin South East, Felix Gallagher in Dublin West, Brian Stanley in Laois/Offaly and Martin Kenny in Roscommon/South Leitrim.

They will all be potential gains at the next election.

For the other constituencies this is about laying down markers for the local elections in 2009. This is about building up support in those areas where we have never had support before.

Tomorrow will make for an interesting day

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