GE16: Recounts continue as day three of counting draws to a close

Eight seats remain to be filled nationally as the count enters its fourth day...

Newstalk, GE16, General Election, Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, government, coalition

Katherine Zappone. Image:

Counts, recounts and re-checks are continuing tonight to elect the remaining TDs to the 32nd Dáil.

Independent candidate Katherine Zappone has been confirmed elected in Dublin South West constituency after a long battle that lasted three days.

She won the fourth seat after several rechecks of votes after an initial 153 vote difference between her and Fine Gael candidate Anne-Marie Dermody.

The counting has also finished in Wexford where the last two seats have gone to Fine Gael candidates.

Micheal D'Arcy and Paul Kehoe took the 4th and 5th seats on the 14th count after a day of re-checks.

It leaves just eight seats to be filled nationally.

It is now thought that the recount in the 'group of death' Dublin Bay North constituency is unlikely to be completed tonight.

Count staff are going through votes from all candidates - and it is understood that process will take several hours to complete.

Senator Averil Power asked for the recount, when it emerged that she was just 67 votes shy of the next candidate, Tommy Broughan.

As the recount continues, the gap between the two candidates is reported to have narrowed:

Longford Westmeath, Dublin South Central and Dublin Bay North also still have to be settled.

In Dublin South Central, Fianna Fáil candidate Catherine Ardagh is considering a court petition to secure a full recount from the start.

Ardagh was yesterday only 35 votes behind Brid Smith from the AAA/PBP.

Counting there has been adjourned for the night.

Meanwhile, Fianna Fáil candidate Connie Gerety-Quinn has been eliminated in the 12th count in Longford-Westmeath.

It followed a recheck which was ordered by Ms Gerety Quinn last night.

Five candidates now remain in the race for three seats, with the 13th count underway.

Independent Alliance candidate Kevin Boxer Moran looks set to be elected to the second seat, and Fine Gael's Peter Burke to the third.

However, it is a battle for the fourth seat between outgoing Fine Gael TD James Bannon, outgoing Labour TD Willie Penrose, and Sinn Féin's Paul Hogan.

Fianna Fáil's Robert Troy was elected on the first count on Saturday.

Dublin Bay North

Only one of five seats has been filled in Dublin Bay North, with Richard Bruton deemed elected.

Fianna Fail’s Sean Haughey is expected to take the 2nd seat.

After that are Sinn Fein’s Denise Mitchell and Labour’s Aodhan O’Riordain and Independent Finian McGrath.

However, just 103 votes separate the bottom three.

Averil Power says she asked for the recount for the sake of accuracy

"Of the 74,000 votes cast in Dublin Bay North just 67 separate myself and Tommy Broughan on the thirteenth count.

"It's been a long and extraordinarily complicated count, there were 20 candidates on the ballot paper, there were also 700 spoiled votes, so I think everybody is concerned, including the returning officer, at this stage that we get this right," Ms Power said.

Independent Tommy Broughan says he doesn’t expect the gap to reduce much

"I think 67 votes in quite a large margin actually in our system," he said.

"I've been in recounts before where the a margin was something like 19, with Judge McCartin back in 1992 and only four votes changed over the course of a recount.

"Obviously the margin between myself and John is 25, if I survived this count that possibly could be deleted and I could be neck and neck or ahead of him.

"It's kind of a critical juncture in this count," he added.

Mr Broughan says it's a draining experience - and he didn't expect the count to take this long.

"Early reports we had on Saturday (were that) I wouldn't be here on Saturday evening," he said. "But when my heartland areas, the areas that have always supported me, came in (that's) the reason I'm still here at this stage."

32nd Dáil

There are just eight seats still to be filled overall, with 150 deputies now elected.

The breakdown of the 32nd Dail so far has seen Fine Gael secure 49 seats.

There's 43 for Fianna Fáil and 22 for Sinn Féin.

Labour has six seats, the Anti Austerity Alliance / People Before Profit group have five while, the Independent Alliance have four seats.

16 Independent deputies have been elected, the Social Democrats have three seats, and the Green Party has two.

Labour's deputy leader Alan Kelly - is one of six Labour TDs elected - to the 32nd Dail.

Deputy Kelly says the process of rebuilding the party will start immediately:

"It's gonna be a big project and I'm certainly gonna step up to the plate to make sure that I play my part in that. Because the Labour party is a party that is going to have a huge influence in this country in the future.

It is going to grow. We are going to start with the local elections, or the European elections, or whatever election comes next and I guarantee that the Labour party will be coming back as a force in this country and I intend to be part of that."

You can find a full list of elected candidates here.