GE2020: Counting of votes underway

A number of government ministers look set to lose their seats, as Sinn Féin candidates are surgi...
Jack Quann
Jack Quann

09.50 9 Feb 2020

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GE2020: Counting of votes unde...

GE2020: Counting of votes underway

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

09.50 9 Feb 2020

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A number of government ministers look set to lose their seats, as Sinn Féin candidates are surging across the country.

With tallies nearly complete Mary Lou McDonald's party is set to make serious gains.

There is going to be a number of ministerial casualties in this election if the tallies bear out when votes are counted.


Independents Shane Ross and Katherine Zappone both look set to lose their seats in Dublin Rathdown and Dublin South-West.

Regina Doherty is also likely to be edged out in Meath East.

While junior ministers also likely to lose out: Andrew Doyle in Wicklow, one of Paul Kehoe or Michael D'Arcy in Wexford, and Damien English in Meath West too.


  • It looks as though Sinn Féin is going to gain some 15 seats in this election
  • Shane Ross is in trouble in Dublin Rathdown, as is Independent Katherine Zappone in Dublin South-West
  • Fine Gael's Regina Doherty looks likely to miss out in Meath East
  • Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald is on 36% in Dublin Central - nearly three-times Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe's vote on 13%
  • Catherine Murphy of the Social Democrats leading in Kildare North with 20.7%
  • Cavan Monaghan: Matt Carthy of Sinn Féin is on course to top the poll with the party set for two of five seats
  • Dublin North-West: Sinn Féin's Dessie Ellis has almost half the votes on 44%
  • Social Democrats Roisin Shortall looks like she is set to take the second seat, on 19%
  • Dublin Bay-North: (99% of boxes tallied) Sinn Fein's Denise Mitchell in the lead on 33%
  • Fine Gael's Richard Bruton second on 16% - Labour's Aodhán Ó Ríordáin on 11%

Counting of votes Ballot papers in the Phibblestown Community Centre in Dublin West, featuring Paul Donnelly of Sinn Féin and Leo Varadkar of Fine Gael | Image: Eamonn Farrell/

Ciaran Cannon in is also vulnerable in Galway East.

Sinn Féin is going to top the poll in a number of constituencies - and a number of candidates who lost their council seats just seven months ago look set to enter the Dáil.

Mairead Farrell in Galway West, Johnny Mythen in Wexford and Sorca Clarke in Longford-Westmeath among them.

Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil looking like they are going to be battling for the final seat in a lot of areas as the Sinn Féin wave takes over.

Counting of votes Counting of votes underway in Dublin's RDS | Image: Joshua Teoh

An exit poll on Friday predicted a three-way tie between Fine Gael, Sinn Féin and Fianna Fáil.

The Ipsos-MRBI poll for RTÉ, TG4, The Irish Times and UCD showed the most fractured political landscape in recent memory.

It is 22% all around with the three largest parties in the country all tied.

The exit poll of more than 5,300 people shows Fine Gael, Sinn Féin and Fianna Fáil all on 22% support.

The survey put The Green Party on 7.9%, Labour on 4.6%, the Social Democrats on 3.4%, Solidarity-People Before Profit on 2.8% and Independents and others with 14.5% of the vote.

It could lead to the most fractured Dáil in recent memory.

Counting of votes Image: Ipsos-MRBI

Fundamentally, this poll paints a picture of Irish politics realigned.

Politics here has been dominated by the big two, as Fianna Fail and Fine Gael took turns to lead every single Irish government.

Now their support combined has dropped to just over 40% of voters - and Sinn Féin can lay claim to being a big hitter south of the border for the first time.

Sinn Féin supporters celebrate at the count centre in Dublin's RDS | Image: Joshua Teoh

The party will regret not running more candidates, and on these numbers will take in the region of 30 seats.

No party is expected to reach the 80-seat threshold to enable it to govern on its own, and a coalition administration of some complexion is almost inevitable.

It was the first time in more than a century that an election had taken place on Saturday, which made turnout harder to assess as the voting pattern was different to a weekday.

With reporting by Sean Defoe and IRN

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Counting Counting Of Votes Exit Poll Fianna Fáil Fine Gael GE2020 Ipsos MRBI Sinn Fein

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