AS many as 15 senior and junior ministers face the prospect of losing their seats in the forthcoming general election.
Of the cabinet, the two Green ministers, Eamon Ryan and John Gormley, look very vulnerable in Dublin South and Dublin South-East respectively, while culture minister Mary Hanafin faces a battle with junior minister Barry Andrews to hold what is virtually certain to be the one FF seat in Dun Laoghaire.
Health minister Mary Harney is believed to be unlikely to contest the general election, while community, equality and Gaeltacht affairs minister Pat Carey faces a serious struggle in Dublin North West, where Fianna Fáil could lose both its seats.
The cull of junior ministers could be even greater. Dick Roche will be under huge pressure in Wicklow, as will Peter Power in Limerick, where Willie O'Dea may be the only FF TD returned. In Kildare North, Áine Brady, who was elected only in 2007, faces an uphill battle, while in Tipperary North Martin Mansergh will be in a contest with his colleague Mattie McGrath to take what is certain to be just one Fianna Fáil seat.
The same holds true for Conor Lenihan in Dublin South West, where his constituency colleague, Charlie O'Connor, may hold the edge, assuming there is a FF seat there at all. Also in Dublin, Seán Haughey may lose out to independent Finian McGrath in North Central as Labour is tipped to gain a seat.
With Dun Laoghaire reverting to four seats, Green minister Ciaran Cuffe will need a minor miracle to take a seat in a constituency where the Gilmore factor will play a huge role and where People Before Profit's Richard Boyd Barrett is likely to poll well.
Cuffe's Green colleague, Mary White, is facing an enormous challenge to hold her seat in Carlow-Kilkenny. Two of the top-rated junior ministers, Dara Calleary and Billy Kelleher, are also up against it in Mayo and Cork North Central, two constituencies where Fianna Fáil is likely to only take one seat, but both may hang on.
Perhaps more worrying for Fianna Fáil than the number of ministers at risk is the fact that many of the young deputies touted as the future of the party are in trouble. They include Calleary, Kelleher, Andrews, Thomas Byrne in Meath East, Timmy Dooley in Clare, Margaret Conlon in Cavan-Monaghan, Darragh O'Brien in Dublin North and Michael McGrath in Cork South Central.
Get off to a profitable sports betting start today at sportsbetting.co.uk