Follow the money Part 1 (Dublin)

... and they're off

The stalls have yet to open in the race for the 2011 General Election but the first of the betting odds are already out and it will be an interesting alternative to opinion polls in the coming weeks to compare the shifting fortunes of the parties.

The eleven Dublin constituencies, including Dun Laoghaire, would return a very strong Labour led government with Fine Gael as the minority party if that was their choice.  Eamon Gilmore would lead the way at the head of a group of 14 Labour TD’s from the capital while Richard Bruton would doubtless polish off those leadership ambitions in charge of a group of 12 Fine Gael deputies.

Left wing rainbows

The main opposition block would be a left wing rainbow of Sinn Féin with four seats, the United Left Alliance with three and two progressive independents in the shape of Maureen O’Sullivan and Finian McGrath.  Fianna Fail would come next on seven seats with both Lenihan brothers making the cut on early betting forecasts though Mary Hanafin is the only one chalked up to get anything other than the final seat.

Where Shane Ross would sit in all of this is open to any manner of guesswork.

The possible realignment along left and right wing lines is fascinating in this snapshot.  The coalition of the old guard Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil would have 19 seats, the Left rainbow a much stronger hand with 23 and once more Deputy Ross would be somewhere in the middle.

We will take a look at other parts of the country over the weekend.

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