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Newstalk

08.26 26 May 2019


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Counting is underway again in the local elections after a break overnight.

While the first European ballots will also be totted up today.

Already we have more than 200 councillors elected - with second and third counts bound to put more over the line in the next few hours.

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The national trend shows a good day for The Green Party.

Fianna Fáil will remain the largest party in local government and has had a good revival in parts of Dublin.

Fine Gael will be disappointed in its turnout in the capital, but also is not set to lose a massive amount of seats.

Sinn Féin though is facing losses across the country - particularly in Dublin - where its vote has almost halved compared to 2014.

It is 12% down on the 2014 local elections in Dublin - with a 9% fall in support in Cork.

Sinn Féin candidates are set to lose seats on most councils.

The results are sparking questions about Mary Lou McDonald's leadership of the party.

Sinn Féin did poorly in the 2018 presidential election - with Liadh Ní Riada polling at just 6% - and in Ms McDonald's second electoral test they have also underachieved.

But the party will be hopeful of keeping at least two European seats - with a fight in Dublin for Lynn Boylan to hold on.

In the European elections, we will get the first proper sense of tallies to see if the exit poll is accurate and holds out.

There is going to be tight fights for the final seats in all three wards.

Dublin

Counting began in the Dublin European elections at 9.00am.

A full tally is expected once the staff begin counting the votes from Dublin City, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown, Fingal and South Dublin.

But partial tallies and exit polls all predict the extraordinary success of The Greens Ciaran Cuffe who could take 23% of the first preference votes.

He comfortably leads Fine Gael's Frances Fitzgerald who is on 14% - her running mate Mark Durkan is on 5%.

The Independents4Change TD, Clare Daly, is on 12% as is Fianna Fail's Barry Andrews.

Outgoing MEP Sinn Féin's Lynn Boylan is fighting for her seat on 10%.

Social Democrats Gary Gannon is on 6% and Labour's Alex White on 5%.

This constituency will have four seats if/when Brexit happens.

With Ciaran Cuffe certain to get the first seat, transfers will be crucial to guarantee the others.

Ireland South

In Ireland South, Fine Gael MEP Sean Kelly looks set to top the poll.

But it seems there will be a tight race for the rest of the seats.

It is a constituency that stretches from Bray down Tramore - and from Killarney up to the Burren.

Some 23 candidates are looking to fill the five seats.

The exit poll showed sitting Fine Gael MEP Sean Kelly looks likely to be elected first on 16% of first preference votes.

Then it is Sinn Féin's Liadh Ni Riada and Fianna Féil's Billy Kelleher - both on 13%.

The Green Party will be hoping Grace O'Sullivan - who is on 12% - can get over the line with a bit of help from transfers.

It could be a bit of a dogfight for the last seat.

Independent Mick Wallace on 10%, Fianna Fail's Malcolm Byrne on 9% and Deirdre Clune of Fine Gael on 9% are all in with a shot.

There is a margin of error of 4% and transfers could completely change the outcome.

It could be a number of days before we know who will have done enough to be elected to the European Parliament.

Reporting by Sean Defoe with Shane Beatty in Dublin and Stephen Murphy in Cork


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Alex White Barry Andrews Billy Kelleher Ciaran Cuffe Clare Daly Couting Dublin European Parliament Elections Frances Fitzgerald Gary Gannon Ireland South Lynn Boylan Mark Durkan Sean Kelly

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