Brian O’Shea’s retirement from political life has blown the battle for Waterford’s four Dáil seats wide open.
Combined with Martin Cullen’s absence from the ballot, it’s fair to say that the looming fight for votes across the city and county will be the most keenly fought in living memory.
Consider this: Martin Cullen won 11,438 first preferences back in 2007 and was elected with a quota (exceeding it by over 1500 votes, in fact), accruing 23.09 per cent of the valid poll.
Brian O’Shea claimed 5,610 ‘number ones’, thus accounting for 11.33 per cent of the valid poll in Waterford, which came to 49,528 votes.
So between them, Messrs Cullen and O’Shea pulled in just over 17,000 first preferences, or, in percentage terms, 34.43 per cent of the vote in Waterford.