SINCE the formation of this constituency in 1923, Fianna Fáil have never failed to have at least one of their candidates elected to Dáil Éireann at a General Election.
There is a very real prospect that that incredible record could be set to come to an end in Friday’s election as party support both locally and nationally has slipped to an all-time low.
Based on The Dundalk Democrat’s opinion poll of 228 people, the party’s two candidates Cllr Declan Breathnach and Senator James Carroll are currently outside the top four.
While both are within striking distance of Labour’s Ged Nash, there is a very real possibility that they could be set to miss out on a place in the Dáil.
While Fianna Fáil’s ability of managing votes has won them wide acclaim in the past, the recent turf war between the two candidates means it has largely become a free for all with both Breathnach and Carroll looking out purely for number one.
Of course, neither candidate can be written off. Fianna Fáil have a unique ability to pull off surprises at the poll while it can be safely assumed that a quantity of the 36pc of people who remain undecided will plump to vote for the party.
The one consolation for the party is that Ceann Comhairle Seamus Kirk is being automatically returned but the prospect of at least one of their candidates not being elected would be a massive blow in a constituency that has for generations been a Fianna Fáil stronghold.
Outgoing Minister Dermot Ahern has already said that it would be a “disaster” were the party not to take at least one seat.
Based on our opinion poll that “disaster” could very well happen. The one thing that must be said, however, is that Fianna Fáil should never be written off and, if anything, this poll is likely to mobilise the party and its support heading into the crucial final few days.