McDonald says Sinn Féin’s 335 local election candidates can each win a seat

Mcdonald Says Sinn Féin’s 335 Local Election Candidates Can Each Win A Seat
Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald launched the party’s manifesto in Monaghan on Friday. Photo: PA Images
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Cate McCurry, PA

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald has said she believes her party’s 335 local election candidates can each claim a seat in next month’s elections.

Ms McDonald said the party is “really stretching” itself in running so many candidates, but said the size of the team reflects the party’s ambitions.


Sinn Féin are running many more candidates than most of the other parties in the local elections.

Launching the party’s manifesto in Monaghan on Friday, Ms McDonald said the local and European elections are the first step in getting “this disastrous government out of office”.

Mary Lou McDonald launched the party’s local election manifesto in Monaghan on Friday (Cate McCurry/PA)


“The local election, the European election, doesn’t change the government, people know that. But it can be, and I believe that it must be, the first step in the change that is long overdue,” she told party delegates.

“People need new leadership, leadership with the right priorities and ideas to meet the big challenges head on and to grasp the big opportunities

“We’re running 335 candidates across the state. This is the most that we’ve ever stood by a very, very large margin.

“We’re contesting in every LEA [local electoral area] across the State. Our youngest candidate is 18 and our most mature candidate, I have to be careful of my language here, is 78 and we have every age in between.


“We have people from every background in Irish life.

“I think the size of the team that we’re running reflects the ambition that we have, not just for these elections, but for our country.”

She added: “We’re running 335 candidates, each of those candidates can win. That’s the truth of it.


“I believe that every single one of them has a real chance of being elected. I want every single one of them to be elected.

“I do not possess a crystal ball so I cannot give you a definitive figure, but I can tell you the candidates we have selected, we have selected to win.

“It’s been a big challenge, it is a big challenge for the party because we’re really stretching ourselves here.”


While support for Sinn Féin continues to decline ahead of next month’s elections, according to recent polls, the party is confident it can build on its 2020 general election success.

Irish election poll tracker: Sharp drop in Sinn Fé...
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“Some 46 per cent of our candidates are women, I’m happy to say. We’re not quite at 50 per cent yet but we’re getting there,” Ms McDonald added.

“I’m very conscious going around the country that there is a sense now in many, many communities that they’re not listened to, that they’ve been left behind, that politics represents just more of the same old same.

“That’s a bad thing. I think that’s a really unhealthy thing for our politics and our democracy.”

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