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21.05 10 Feb 2020


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Less than ten seats remain to be filled in the General Election as counting continues this evening.

There were some significant developments today as thoughts turn to the government formation of the 33rd Dáil.

Counting has been completed in 36 of 39 constituencies with Sinn Féin receiving 24.5% of first preference votes.

The final results in Wicklow, Cavan - Monaghan and Sligo - Leitrim have yet to be revealed.

The party is likely to increase its number of TDs by 14, but Fianna Fáil is still on track to secure the most seats.

No party is now likely to have more than 40 seats in the Dáil, which means there are now likely to be many weeks of negotiations ahead as the parties try to form a government.

There have been a number of key losses for both Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael.

Independent candidate and Minister for Children Katherine Zappone lost her seat in Dublin South-West this evening.

A big-name casualty in Clare was Fianna Fáil's Timmy Dooley who lost his seat, while his fellow party member Lisa Chambers, who was also embroiled in the 'votegate' controversy, also lost her seat in Mayo.

Several Fine Gael TDs were also among the casualties today, including Junior Minister Michael D'Arcy who lost his seat in Wexford and Kate O'Connell in Dublin Bay South.

Elsewhere, the outgoing Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe was elected after the ninth count in Dublin Central.

He has backed Leo Varadkar to lead Fine Gael as it deals with the fall out from the election.

It comes after Senator Paudie Coffey said it was time for the Taoiseach to step aside.

High-profile Independent candidates Verona Murphy and Danny Healy Rae were elected in Wexford and Kerry, respectively.

Ms Murphy told The Hard Shoulder that regardless of which parties form the government, she would be interested in speaking to them.

Meanwhile, Mr Healy Rae apologised for comments he made yesterday which included "to hell with the planet".

There were several new faces elected in the last two days, including Christopher O'Sullivan, who was elected for Fianna Fáil in Cork South-West and girlfriend Holly Cairns was also elected for the Social Democrats in the same constituency.

Main image: Ballot papers are counted at the RDS in Dublin during the General Election count. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire/PA Images

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