Election 2016 Count
Rolling news and analysis from the General Election 2016 count
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07:58Hello, and welcome to The Irish Times Election 2016 Count liveblog. I’m Hugh Linehan and I’ll be bringing you minute-by-minute coverage of everything that’s happening at the 40 constituency counts around the country as we find out who will be sitting in the 158 seats of the 32nd Dáil.
It’s going to be a long day, but we’re fully stocked with caffeine and snacks and raring to go. The Irish Times has correspondents in place at every counting centre, and they’ll be keeping us up to date on the tallies, the rumours and the reactions as events unfold. We’ll also be monitoring the tweets and posts of candidates and party activists to see which way the wind is blowing.
If you see or hear anything interesting that you think we should investigate or cover, you can contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @hlinehan.
Half an hour after the polling station closed last night The Irish Times published an exit poll showing the parties’ vote shares to be: Fine Gael 26.1 per cent; Labour 7.8 per cent; Fianna Fáil 22.9 per cent; Sinn Féin 14.9; AAA-PBP 3.6 per cent; Greens 3.5 per cent; Social Democrats 2.8 per cent; Renua 2.6 per cent; and Independents 16.1 per cent.
This morning RTE’s exit poll showed support for Fine Gael at 24.8 per cent,
Labour is at 7.1 per cent, Fianna Fáil at 21.1 per cent and Sinn Féin at 16 per cent.
RTE’s poll shows Independents are at 11 per cent; AAA-PBP at 4.7 per cent; Social Democrats at 3.7 per cent; Green Party at 3.6 per cent, the Independent Alliance at 3 per cent, Renua is at 2.4 per cent and Others at 2.6 per cent.
08:05Here’s Stephen Collins’s analysis of the Irish Times’s exit poll. He says that:
“The complexity of the single transferrable vote system makes it difficult to provide an accurate prediction of the number of seats which will be won by the various parties . At the last election Fine Gael got a seat bonus of 10 per cent. In the unlikely event of a similar seat bonus this time, it would end up with 56 seats. But a more likely seat bonus of 5 per cent would give the party 50 seats. The new Dáil has 158 seats, eight fewer than in the last one.
It is even more difficult to predict the number of seats the Labour Party will win if it takes just under 8 per cent of the vote. It is likely to be in the range of eight to 12.”
Harry McGee writes that:
“An inconclusive outcome does not even begin to describe what we are left with. The two biggest parties, for the first time, have failed to muster 50 per cent of popular support. And there is only a gap of 3.3 per cent among them,”
08:37The count begins in 25 minutes now. So we haven't seen a single ballot paper yet. But looking at these two exit polls, and comparing them with polls carried out over the course of the campaign, something's got to give. Either there was a late swing against Fine Gael (if the exit polls are correct). or the other polls need to look at their methodology. Could this be the opposite of last year's UK election, where support for the incumbent party (the Conservatives) was underestimated?
08:53"It is a massive fracturing of the electoral system, " Fine Gael's key strategist Mark Mortell tells Newstalk. "I hope we can get something together, otherwise we will be into another election very soon."
09:04Counting has now begun for the 2016 general election. Have a look at Michael O'Regan's indispensable armchair guide to the contests in all 40 constituencies.
09:18Our parliamentary correspondent, Michael O'Regan, says Jerry O'Sullivan of Radio Kerry is predicting (based on exit polls): 2 FG, 2 Healy-Raes, 1 FF
09:30Sarah Bardon is seeing some strange trends emerging in Dublin West: "Some giving number 1 to Chambers and 2 to Varadkar and nothing else."
09:32Peter Murtagh reports counting has begun in Mayo:
'Opening of ballot boxes begun on the dot of 9am. Checking of the first ballots actually began some minutes before when returning officer Fintan Murphy explained that envelopes of postal votes would be opened first and checked.
Inside Castlebar’s TF Royal Theater count center some 70 election officials then began emptying the contents of ballot boxes onto tables, two polling areas at a time. Each ballot paper is being opened now and placed in a pile for later sorting before actual counting begins.
Leaning over barrier rails watching intently are tally men and women, party and candidate enthusiasts who get a millisecond glance at each paper as it is opened and record the preference shown. In that way, early predictions – usually accurate – emerge from the tally.
Members of the public and other disinterested observers, are also present, as are a number of gardai.
Mr Murphy appealed for quiet during the count – both for his officials and the tally people, noting that the one thing that was impossible was for a person to count and talk at the same time.
He said he hoped for a first count before midnight.
Mayo is political base of the Taoiseach Enda Kenny and traditionally a strong Fine Gael constituency. In the 2011 general election it was a five seat constituency in which some 75,000 people voted giving a turnout of 74 per cent.
The constituency now is set to return four TDs to the incoming Dail. There are 16 candidates, including four outgoing TDs -- Mr Kenny, and Fine Gael colleagues Michael Ring and Michelle Mulhern, plus Dara Calleary of Fianna Fail, -- as well as candidates from Sinn Fein, he Anti-Austerity Alliance-People Before Profit, Renua, the Greey Party and a number of independents.'
Kathryn Hayes reports from Limerick:
'Proceedings got off to a sombre staff at the count centre in Limerick on Saturday when council officials, count staff tally people and members of the public stood to observe a minutes silence for the late Fianna Fáil Councillor Joe Crowley (53) who collapsed and died suddenly while canvassing for Willie O'Dea.
Hundreds of boxes were transported to the University Arena which is located on the grounds of UL overnight and are being opened one by one to allow the tally people to carry out their tallies.
A rough final tally is expected in the next few hours with the first official count result for the Limerick city expected late afternoon.
A total of 21 candidates have run for election in Limerick - ten in the Limerick city constituency where there are four seats to be filed, and eleven in the Limerick constituency, the rural part of the constituency, where there are three seats.
There will be huge focus in Limerick city on whether or not Labour Minister Jan O'Sullivan will retain her seat. Fine Gael's Kieran O'Donnell is a also expected to face a battle to hold onto his seat, but is hoping to benefit from transfers from Finance Minister MIchael Noonan.
Sinn Fein's Maurice Quinlivan is expected to take the first seat in the city for his party.
In the other Limerick constituency all eyes will be on Independent candidate Emmet O'Brien, who has been widely tipped to take the third seat, which Fine Gael's Tom Neville was hoping to win following the retirement of his father former FG deputy Dan Neville.'
09:45Ruadhan Mac Cormaic reports from Meath East: "FF's Thomas Byrne looking particularly strong on early, partial tallies".
09:47A lot of eyes will be focused on Dublin West. Sarah Bardon says very early tallies (10 per cent) show Labour leader Joan Burton on 18 per cent, neck and neck with Leo Varadkar. if that trend continues, she'll probably hold on.
09:54Radio Kerry reporting Labour tallies: Healy-Raes 34.5%, FG 19.1, FF 16.7, Lab & SF 6.6 each, Greens 1.1, AAA/PBP 1, Renua 0.9
09:56With 14 % of boxes in Dublin West open Burton is on 18%, Varadkar at 19%, Chambers 18% Coppinger at 13%, Donnelly at 11%.
10:00Adrian Kavanagh on RTE points out that those early figures from Dublin West are from areas one would expect to be strong for Burton, so it remains to be seen how she does in other parts of the constituency.
last 2 seats between P Donohoe/ Christy Burke/ Maureen O'Sullivan/ Garry Gannon. Looking bad for Labour's Joe Costello— Michael Brennan (@obraonain) February 27, 2016
10:11Mary Minihan: "Richard Boyd Barrett 'running away with it' in Monkstown Farm, Dun Laoghaire, say Fine Gael tallymen, 'as would be expected.'"
10:13Ruadhan Mac Cormaic: Partial Meath East tally suggests FF's Byrne to top poll, followed by 1 of the 2 FG cands. Final seat unclear - most likely btwn SF, FG
V early tally of votes in Tipperary (only a handful of boxes) shows FF 24pc, FG 20pc, Labour 5pc, SF 8pc, Greens 1pc and Others 41p.— Conor Kane (@Conorkane1974) February 27, 2016
10:21Tim O'Brien in Wexford: "Fianna Fáil tally says Mick Wallace not doing 'as well as expected'. But warns it's V. Early. Not all boxes opened."
10:23Elaine Edwards at the Meath West count in Trim says, with 54 of 117 boxes open. SF’s Toibin is on 27%, FF’s Cassells on 25%, junior FG minister Damien English on 20%
10:32Tallies from Louth indicate Sinn Fein will take two seats, with Gerry Adams bringing in running mate Imelda Munster. Fine Gael and Fianna Fail are predicted to take one seat each, with Fine Gael fighting it out with Labour's Ged Nash for the final seat.
10:35Conor Pope reports that early tallies in Dublin Fingal put Fine Gael's James Reilly on just 7 per cent, suggesting he could be a big ministerial casualty. The usual health warnings apply, of course.
10:44Fiach Kelly at the RDS has been told by Sinn Fein's Dessie Ellis that he and Roisin Shortall will take the first two seats in Dublin North-West, with FG, FF and the second SF candidate competing for the third.
10:46Rachel Flaherty has the latest tallies from Tipperary. She says Mattie McGrath has taken the lead, just 1% ahead of Seamus Healy, followed by Tom Hayes and Alan Kelly. I'm presuming Lowryland remains to be explored.
10:53Indications from the Dublin Rathdown three-seater are that Labour minister Alex White will lose his seat, independent Shane Ross will top the poll, and Fine Gael's Alan Shatter and Josepha Madigan will also be elected.
11:06Ruadhán Mac Cormaic reports:
'The latest tally from the Meath East three-seater, based on 30 per cent of boxes, shows Thomas Byrne of Fianna Fáil clearly in front at 28 per cent, followed by Fine Gael's Regina Doherty (20 per cent) and Helen McEntee (16 per cent). Sinn Féin's Darren O'Rourke is on 14 per cent and could be in with a chance of the final seat. The sitting Labour TD, Dominic Hannigan, is at 7 per cent.
On those figures, Byrne looks likely to come close to a quota on the first count. "He's walking away with it," as one Fine Gael tallyman put it. McEntee or Doherty will take the second seat, with the battle for the final seat coming down to a contest between O'Rourke of Sinn Féin and the second FG candidate. '
Mark Hilliard reports:
'Ged Nash of Labour looks to be in a dogfight for the fifth Louth seat with Fine Gael's Peter Fitzpatrick, also a sitting TD.
With one third of the boxes counted in Louth, things are shaping up well for Sinn Fein who appear almost certain to claim two seats.
The party have captured an estimated 28 per cent of first preference votes, followed by Fine Gael on 19.8 per cent and Fianna Fail on 17.1 per cent.
Non-party votes are accounting for 10.5 per cent of votes, according to tallies, with Labour staggering on 9.8 per cent. '
Dan Griffin reports:
'In Galway East, the tallies show Independent Sean Canney on 21.64 per cent with 4,810 votes; Fine Gael candidates Paul Connaughton Jr on 15.59 per cent with 3,467 and Ciarán Cannon on 3,378. Fianna Fáil candidate Anne Rabbitte is on 14.8 per cent with 3,299 votes and Colm Keaveney is on 11.3 per cent with 2,512 votes. The tally is incomplete but observers here expect Canney, Connaughton and Rabbitte to take the three seats. This would see TDs Cannon and Keaveney losing out.'
This just in from Peter Murtagh in Castlebar:
'Early tallies in Castlebar, Co Mayo, suggest that the Taoiseach Enda Kenny is polling well in his own constituency heartland, as is Fianna Fail’s out-going TD for the county, Dara Calleary.
With ballot boxes for Castlebar, the county town, and Ballina in north Mayo, the only ones opened so far in the sprawling four-seat Mayo constituency, and with actual counting of votes yet to take place, tallymen and women watching the process of papers being opened, smoothed flat and stacked, giving them a chance to see first preferences, say that the Taoiseach is safe – whatever about the government he leads.
A Fianna Fail tot for Castlebar/Ballina shows Mr Kenny polling 2,362 first preference votes or 26 per cent of the boxes. In the 2011 election, the Taoiseach polled 2,708, or 30 per cent, by comparison.
Mr Calleary is polling 1,840 first preferences, or 21 per cent of the vote, compared to his 2011 showing of 1,434 first preferences or 16 per cent.
There is a reasonable showing too for Fine Gael’s Michelle Mulhern, who is Ballina-based. She is tallied at 1,451 first preferences, or 16 per cent; as against 2,217 first preferences for 2011, or 25 per cent of the vote in that election. To retain her seat in a reduced constituency, she will need to poll equally outside her personal heartland.
Westport-based Michael Ring is accorded the small vote of just 482 first preferences but then he will not be expecting many votes in Mr Kenny’s citidal of Castlebar. In the 2011 poll, Mr Ring took just 452 first preferences in the town and so is unlikely to be worried at this stage of the tally.
Mr Ring will be expecting to do best in Westport and the surrounding areas, particularly south and west of the town, as he usually does.
Fianna Fail’s Lisa Chambers, a Castlebar-based barrister and councillor, has polled 964 first preferences in the tally, or 11 per cent of the vote. Her chances of being in with a shout for the fourth seat will depend very much how she polls elsewhere in the county.
Of the other parties and independents, Sinn Fein in Castlebar/Ballina has taken 607 first preference votes, according to the Fianna Fail tally, or 7 per cent of the vote. While this is an improvement on their 2011 showing (159 first preferences and 2 per cent) it would seem improbable that the the party will take a Mayo seat – albiet on a small sample that is also just a tally.
Independents and others are said to be taking 14 per cent of the vote in the two towns, compared to 19 per cent in 2011.'
11:28I don't think anyone was predicting that Fianna Fail would have any chance of surpassing Fine Gael in the number of seats won, but remarkably Mark Mortell, FG's key strategist, has just acknowledged on RTE that it's a possibility, although he doesn't think it will happen.
11:32Kitty Holland reports Fine Gael tallies show people Before Profit's Gino Kenny taking the fourth seat in Dublin Mid-West. Sinn Fein's Eoin O'Broin is tipped to pass the quota on the first count.
Barry Roche reports:
'With 25 per cent of boxes tallied, Anti-Austerity Alliance candidate, Cllr Mick Barry looks set to take a seat in Cork North Central with Ministers of State, Kathleen Lynch of Labour and Dara Murphy fighting it out with Sinn Féin for the final seat.
According to the tallies, Fianna Fáil’s Billy Kelleher is on course to hold his seat while sitting Sinn Féin TD Jonathan O’Brien also on course to hold his seat with Barry set to finally make it to Dáil Éireann after a number of unsuccessful attempts.
Murphy is leading from the second placed Sinn Féin candidate, Cllr Thomas Gould with Lynch in third place in this trio but there is a heavy preponderance of boxes from the North East ward among the boxes opened which would favour Murphy.
Cllr Ted Tynan of the Workers Party is also polling respectably as is Fine Gael’s second candidate Julie O’Leary but party strategists are predicting a long night in Cork City Hall before the destination of the last seat is decided.
Cork North Central was over represented in the last Dáil so the Constituency Commission recommended the transfer of 17,307 voters in Bishopstown, Glasheen and Gilabbey from Cork South Central and the transfer of 5,048 from around Kilshannig in the county to Cork North West.
Some 53 per cent of the electorate now live in the county part of the constituency which is primarily rural but home to thousands of commuters who live in villages all the way from Dripsey in the west to Cloghroe, Tower, Blarney, Grenagh, Whitechurch and Watergrasshill and on to Glanmire in the east. Within the city boundary, the constituency contains numerous working class communities from Knocknaheeney across Gurranabraher, Farranree and Churchfield down into Blackpool and on to Ballyvolane and Mayfield with middle class voters more prevalent in Sunday’s Well and Montenotte.'
Gerry Moriarty reports from Letterkenny on tallies coming in from boxes at the northern end of the Donegal constituency - the picture will change considearbly later, I think:
'With more than a third of the Donegal boxes open tally people had outgoing Fianna Fáil TD Charlie McConalogue polling very strongly in his native Inishowen.
They reckoned that Mr McConalogue was standing on a vote of close to 9,000 after all the Inishowen boxes and some of the Letterkenny boxes were opened this morning.
With 83 of the 246 boxes opened it was estimated by Sinn Féin tally people that Mr McConalogue was on 8,786 votes followed by outgoing Sinn Féin TD Padraig Mac Lochlainn on 4,069.'
11:57Kevin Humphreys of Labour predicted he'd be in a six-way dogfight for the last three seats in Dublin Bay South when he joined me for a podcast this week. Looks as if he was absolutely right. Murphy of Fine Gael looks certain to be elected, but the other three seats will be fought out between O'Callaghan (FF), Andrews (SF), Creighton (Renua), O'Connell (FG), Ryan (Green) and Humphreys (Labour). Expect this one to run and run...
Dan Griffin reports:
'With 85 per cent of the boxes tallied in Galway East it appears outgoing Fine Gael TDs Ciaran Cannon and Paul Connaughton Jr will have to fight it out for a single seat with transfers from Labour's Lorraine Higgins likely to make the difference.
Independent Sean Canney commands a strong lead with 19.4 per cent, or 7,108 votes, and seems assured of a seat. Fianna Fáil's Anne Rabbitte on 14.3 per cent will likely hold off outgoing TD Colm Keaveney on 12.1 per cent. Cannon has 15.6 per cent while Connaughton has 14.2 per cent.
The party breakdown is: FG 29.8 per cent; Lab 10.3 per cent; FF 26.4 per cent; SF 5.9 per cent and Others 27.5 per cent.'
12:07Sarah Bardon in Dublin West tells us 100 per cent tallies show Joan Burton is on 15.4 per cent, Jack Chambers is on 16.5 per cent, Ruth Coppinger is on 15.4 per cent, Paul Donnelly is at 14.4 per cent and Leo Varadkar is on 19.6 per cent.
This shows the Tanaiste and Ms Coppinger are neck in neck in the polls.
12:14Among the sitting TDs who definitely won't be returning to the Dail: Renua's Terence Flanagan (Dublin Bay North); Labour's Eric Byrne (Dublin South-Central) and independent Peter Mathews (Dublin Rathdown).
Fiona Gartland reports:
'Final tallies are not yet in for Kildare North, but indications are Social Democrat Catherine Murphy will top the poll, with 23 per cent of first preferences. Bernard Durkan (Fine Gael) has 15.6 per cent, James Lawless, Fianna Fail, 17.4 per cent, with his running mate Frank O’Rourke at 10.8 per cent.
Outgoing Labour party TD, Emmet Stagg, is looking vulnerable at 7.7 per cent.'
12:26Ruadhán Mac Cormaic reports:
'It's now almost certain that Labour's Dominic Hannigan will lose his seat in Meath East, where Thomas Byrne of Fianna Fáil is set to top the poll and return to the Dáil after a five-year absence.
The latest tally from the three-seater, based on 65 per cent of boxes, shows Byrne clearly in front at 28 per cent. Behind him, the two Fine Gael candidates - Regina Doherty and Helen McEntee - are neck-and-neck on 18 per cent.
Sinn Féin's Darren O'Rourke is on 14 per cent and could be in with a chance of the final seat. Hannigan is trailing at 6 per cent.
On those figures, Byrne looks likely to come close to a quota on the first count. "He's walking away with it," as one Fine Gael tallyman put it. McEntee or Doherty will take the second seat, with the battle for the final seat coming down to a contest between O'Rourke of Sinn Féin and the second FG candidate.'
Our political correspondent Fiach Kelly's view:
'The dance of the big two has already started. On RTÉ radio in the past while, Mark Mortell - one of Enda Kenny's key strategists - softened the Fine Gael position somewhat on a deal with Fianna Fáil.
Mortell effectively said the two parties may have to reconsider their pre-election positions that they would not countenance any sort of government arrangement.
Fianna Fáil people have their tails up, however, and are talking up their chances of actually wining more seats that Fine Gael. They argue that they will be more transfer friendly that Fine Gael but such claims should be taken with a pinch of salt.'
Fiach Kelly writes:
'Sinn Féin emerging as the largest Opposition party would be “hugely significant” and the party is better organised than ever before, Northern Ireland deputy first minister Martin McGuinness has said.
Speaking the Dublin city count centre at the RDS in Ballsbridge, Mr McGuinness said attention is now turning to how close Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael in terms of Dáil seats.
“People’s thoughts are now turning to how a government is going to be formed and I think given what is likely to develop today and tomorrow,” he said.
“It’s going to be very interesting to see how a government can be formed on the other side of this. Sinn Féin can only form a government if there is enough people of like mind to form a government. It is far too early to say. We don’t know what the results will bring.”
“Can Fine Gael form a government? Can Fianna Fáil form a government. Our position has been made clear that we are not interested in going int government with either of them.”
He said people Sinn Féin is now the biggest player on the left, and that other left wing TDs and parties needed to reflect on how best to achieve their goals.
A failure of the left to come together would leave Irish people “to the mercy of two right wing political parties”, he said.
When asked if Sinn Féin could become the largest Opposition party if Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael form a government, Mr McGuinness said: “If that did happen, if that did come to pass, then obviously Sinn Féin would be the largest opposition party and that would be hugely significant.
There is no point in getting speculation at this stage.
“The significance for us in Sinn Féin is that we are better organised in every one of Ireland’s 32 counties than we have ever been.
This has been a hugely successful election for Sinn Féin. We have increased our percentage vote. We are going to increase our number of seats.”'
It's over! June 28, 1922 - Feb. 27, 2016. The Civil War has finally ended with both sides having no idea what they disagreed about.— Des Bishop 毕瀚生 (@Desbishop) February 27, 2016
Conor Pope reports from Dublin Fingal:
'With 77 per cent of the ballot boxes tallied in Dublin Fingal, Minister for Children James Reilly looks like he is going to be in a real dog fight with Sinn Fein’s Louise O’Reilly to hold on to his seat.
Independent socialist Clare Daly and Fianna Fáil senator Darragh O’Brien are both polling very strongly in the five-seater with O’Brien looking likely to top the poll
With nearly 80 per cent of the tally now completed, O’Brien has 18 per cent of the first preferences while Daly has 16 per cent.
Fine Gael’s Alan Farrell is in third place at this relatively early stage with 12 per cent of the vote while Labour’s Brendan Ryan has won 10 per cent of the first preferences.
Sinn Fein’s Louise O’Reilly now has 9 per cent of the vote while Dr Reilly is currently on 8 per cent having narrowed the gap slightly in the last hour.
Both Lorraine Clifford Lee of Fianna Fail and Joe O’Brien of the Green Party are on 5 per cent, a percentage point ahead of Terry Kelleher with the AAA-PBP. Gerry Molloy of Renua is also on 4 per cent as is Daly’s running mate Barry Martin.
While none of the parties are willing to call it at this early stage, much of the gossip around the National Show Centre is that the minister is likely to be one of the biggest casualties of the election for Fine Gael.
“I can’t see how he can hang on to his seat at this stage,” one tally man told The Irish Times.'
Tim O’Brien reports:
'With 80 percent of the boxes tallied in
Wexford James Browne of Fianna Fail is expected to head the poll, but Fine Gael are expected to return two TDs, Michael D’Arcy and Paul Kehoe. Fianna Fail tallypeople say that party’s bid to take two seats is still on the cards with a strong performance by Malcolm Byrne, but it looks like the two parties will share just three seats between them. For the remaining two seats Labour’s Brendan Howlin is just 25 votes ahead of Independent Michael Wallace, with Wallace less than 1,000 votes ahead of Sinn Fein’s Johnny Mythen. Pollsters say an official result for the first count is not expected until late afternoon. With 80 percent of the boxes open is, according to tallies: James Browne… (FF) 8784 Michael D’Arcy (FG) 7247 Paul Kehoe (FG) (FG) 7195 Brendan Howlin (Lab) 6649 Michael Wallace (Ind) 6623 Johnny Mythen (SF) 5786 Malcolm Byrne (FF) 5710 Pollsters prediction is: FG2; FF1; Lab1; Ind 1.'
Dublin Rathdown could get interesting. Shane Ross will top the poll, FG's Josepha Madigan should take the second seat. It looks like Labour minister Alex White is gone and the big question is whether the Greens' Catherine Martin can unseat former minister for justice Alan Shatter.
13:48Ruadhán Mac Cormaic tells us Fine Gael have taken some encouragement from the final tallies in Meath East, which show they are still in with a chance of retaining their two seats.
With the completed tallies showing him at 26 per cent, it's almost certain that Thomas Byrne of Fianna Fáil will top the poll. Labour's Dominic Hannigan, who came first in the constituency in 2011, is polling at just 6 per cent and looks likely to lose out.
Little separates the two Fine Gael incumbents, with Helen McEntee at 18 per cent and her party colleague Regina Doherty just one percentage point behind on 17 per cent. That means Fine Gael is probably assured of one seat and could win two unless Sinn Féin's Darren O'Rourke, at 14 per cent according to the tallies, does well enough on transfers to overtake McEntee or Doherty.
13:54'The opinion polls nor the political commentariat didn’t catch the extent of the demise of the Government parties, or the upsurge in Fianna Fáil numbers, until very very late.' Read Harry McGee's analysis here.
14:11I'm going to hand over the reins now to my colleague Eoin Burke-Kennedy, and head across the Irish Times newsroom to our audio studio, where I'll be presenting an election special podcast with some of my colleagues from The Irish Times political staff. That should be up on irishtimes.com and iTunes by half past three, so keep an eye out for it. Thanks for reading!
14:17My head's abuzz with the possibility of FF/FG coalition - the ramifications...I know, I know cart before the horse and all that and we've haven't even had the first count yet. Anyway I'll be here to shepherd you through the first counts. Dublin Rathdown is scheduled to declare in about 15 mins (2.30pm) with Shane Ross of the Independent Alliance expected to top the poll.
Mark Hilliard on the final Louth tally:
Fianna Fail’s Declan Breathnach has finished just behind Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams in the final first preference tallies of almost 99 per cent of votes.
With those figures landing just after 2pm, a first official count is not anticipated until about 5pm. It is a strong performance indicator for Breathnach, a Dundalk-based former school principal, who could not get over the line in 2011.
The tallies put Adams, who has led the charge of first preference votes throughout the day, on 15.6 per cent, with Breathnach on 13.6 per cent.
Imelda Munster remains on track to become the county’s first female TD with 13 per cent. She will take a second seat for Sinn Fein.
That leaves things tight at the bottom with transfers expected to play an important role in deciding who of Fine Gael’s Fergus O’Dowd (10.2 per cent), party colleague Peter Fitzpatrick (9.4 per cent) and Labour’s Ged Nash (7.3 per cent) takes a seat in the next Dail.
14:33Olivia Kelly reports:
Dublin Rathdown poll-topper in waiting Shane Ross has just hit the count centre predicting the Independent Alliance will get all four of its TDs re-elected with the addition of Kevin Boxer Moran and Sean Canney. A Fine Gael/Fianna Fail coalition would be a “great pity” he said. “It would be a very, very bad development. It would be a very conservative Government, it wouldn’t have a radical bone in its body If that happened. I think it would also work too well because they get on like a house on fire.”
14:36Carl O'Brien reports from Greystones, Co Wicklow:
Social Democrat TD Stephen Donnelly is maintaining his lead at the top of the poll in Wicklow with almost 22 per cent, based on tallies of two-thirds of the votes. Labour TD Anne Ferris looks to be in major trouble, polling just 4 per cent so far.
Tallies from 120 boxes across the five-seat constituency show Fine Gael TD and Minister for State Simon Harris in second place with 17 per cent. He is followed closely by Sinn Fein candidate John Brady (15 per cent), and Renua and former Fine Gael TD Billy Timmins (12 per cent).
Fianna Fail's Pat Casey is next (9 per cent), followed by Fine Gael candidate Andrew Doyle TD (8 per cent). Fianna Fail's Jennifer Cuffe, former Independent TD Joe Behan, Fine Gael's Avril Cronin and Labour TD Anne Ferris are on tied on about 4 per cent.
They are followed by the Green Party's Steven Matthews and Sharon Briggs of Anti-Austerity Alliance People Before Profit (both 2 per cent). These tallies indicate Mr Donnelly is set to top the poll following a major surge in his vote over 2011 when he narrowly won the final seat here.
Fine Gael, which won three seats in 2011, looks set to regain at least one seat with Simon Harris's polling well. Sinn Fein is confident of taking its first seat in the constituency since the 1920s.
There is likely to be a tight battle for final two seats between Fine Gael TD Andrew Doyle, Fianna Fail's Pat Casey and Renua's deputy leader Billy Timmins. Fianna Fail has traditionally held a seat here, but it was left without a TD when Former TD Dick Roche lost his seat in 2011 as the party's vote plummeted nationally.
Erin McGuire reports:
According to the final tally, without postal votes, Fianna Fail's Robert Troy is topping the poll in Longford-Westmeath. Troy could be elected on the first count.
Independent Kevin "Boxer" Moran is coming in second in the tally of first preference votes, followed by Fine Gael's Peter Burke and Sinn Fein's Paul Hogan.
Dan Griffin reports:
The first official count in Galway East is:
Total poll: 45617
Total valid poll: 45238
Seán Canney (IND):8447
Ciarán Cannon (FG): 7123
Paul Connaughton (FG): 6474
Michael Fahy (IND): 2358
Lorraine Higgins (LAB): 4531
Colm Keaveney (FF): 5436
Aengus Melia (DDI): 489
Mairead Ni Chroinin (GP): 769
Anne Rabbitte (FF): 6928
Annemarie Roche (SF): 2683
As expected Independent candidate Seán Canney has topped the poll in Galway East with 8,447 first preference votes. He was followed by outgoing Fine Gael TD Ciarán Cannaon who received 7,123 votes and will be hoping to see off party colleague Paul Connaughton for what will be the party's only seat in the constituency. A strong showing from Fianna Fáil newcomer Anne Rabbitte of 6,928 votes should see her through in later counts but as no candiates have reached the quota of 11,310 on the first count, no one has been elected yet. Aengus Melia of Direct Democracy Ireland and Green Party candidate Mairead Ni Chroinin have been eliminated.
Aine McMhaon reports:
The first count has gotten underway in Cavan Monaghan count centre where it looks like there's going to be two Fianna Fail seats, one Sinn Fein and one Fine Gael.
Based on the tallies the quota is set to be 11,882.
The final tallies show Minister for Arts and Heritage, and sitting Fine Gael TD Heather Humphreys leads the first preference tallies with 12,306 (21%).
Sitting Sinn Fein TD Caoimhghin O Caolain received 9,911 (17%) first preference votes while sitting Fianna Fail TD Brendan Smith has 8,739 (15%).
Sitting Fine Gael TD Joe O'Reilly has 6,565 first preference votes (11%) followed by Fianna Fail's Niamh Smyth who has 6,188 (11%).
Sinn Fein Senator Kathryn Reilly has 6,078 (10%) while former Fine Gael, now Independent TD Sean Conlan looks set to lose his seat with 1,634 (2.8%).
Lowry expected to top poll in tight contest:
Rachel Flaherty reports:
Michael Lowry looks set to keep his seat in Co Tipperary, according to the final first preference tally results.
However, it is likely to be a close battle between the other candidates as the results predict narrow margins of votes between six candidates.
The figures released just after 2.30pm showed the Independent TD Lowry had 13,036 votes (18 per cent) votes tallied. The projected quota based on the tally is 12,922.
Tally results suggest more than 40 per cent of the voters have supported Independents.
Mattie McGrath is just shy of the quota at 11,252 (15 per cent) and Seamus Healy at 10 per cent with 7, 735 votes.
It is a tight contest in the five seat constituency with six candidates tallying between 8-10 per cent of the vote.
Labour’s Alan Kelly had 7,475 (10 per cent) of the votes tallied, Fine Gael’s Tom Hayes was at 6063 (8 per cent), while his running mate Noel Coonan was on 6 per cent.
The three Fianna Fail candidates: Jackie Cahill, Michael Smith and Siobhan Ambrose polled at 7,318 (10 per cent), 6,609 (9 per cent), 10 per cent and 4,441 (6 per cent) respectively.
Seamus Morris of Sinn Fein polled at 8 per cent.
15:11Sarah Bardon reports:
Sinn Fein candidate Paul Donnelly insisted he is still in the race for the last seat in the four seater.
Mr Donnelly said Dublin West is a very competitive constituency and he was delighted to still be in the running.
He denied it was a poor result for Sinn Fein despite wide expectations the party would comfortable secure a seat.
Mr Donnelly also rejected concerns about leader Gerry Adams. He said: "Gerry Adams has topped the poll. Imelda Munster is going to come in behind him. If that is a disastrous leadership I don't know what a good one is. We have increased out vote again."
15:18Olivia Kelly reports:
First count has been completed in Dublin Rathdown, Independent Shane Ross has topped the poll with 10,202, leaving him just 73 votes short of the quota. He is likely to get in on the next count following the distribution of the votes Renua Ireland’s Alan Daveron who was eliminated after getting just 1,055 first preferences.
15:23Peter Murtagh reports:
Fine Gael and Fianna Fail tally analysts at the Castlebar count centre are now predicting that Mayo’s four seats will be slpit evenly between the two parties.
An air of quiet disappointment has settled on many of the Fine Gael party supporters gathered in the town’s TF Royal Theatre count centre, with some wondering whether Taoiseach Enda Kenny is the man to lead the party once the election dust has settled.
A final tally based on all boxes having been opened, as well as postal ballots, suggests that Kenny and Westport-based former Minister of State Michael Ring will be re-elected comfortably.
Fianna Fail will see the re-election of outgoing TD Dara Calleary who seems set to be joined in the Dail by Castlebar-based barrister and local councillor Lisa Chambers.
The prediction is based on tallies by both parties showing Kenny winning 13,300 forst preference votes, or 20.7 per cent of the ballot. Ring is running him a close second with 11,274 first preferences or 17.5 per cent of the ballot. Calleary is getting 9,417 first preferences (14.6 per cent) with Chambers getting 8,261 (12.8 per cent).
The third Fine Gael candidate, outgoing TD Michelle Mulherin, has 7,843 first preferences (12.2 per cent), according to the tallies. It is felt here that Kenny’s surplus is unlikely to push Mulherin ahead of Chambers and that the Fianna Fail woman is more likely to collect the lion’s share of independent Jerry Cowley’s Mulranny and Achill vote, tallied at 3,437 or 5.3 per cent.
On top of that, they say that Sinn Fein’s Rose Conway-Walsh, tallied with 6,397 first preferences (9.9 per cent) will see a greater share of her second preferences going to Chambers than Mulherin. Other independents are taking collectively insufficient first preferences for any of them to secure election. Returning officer, Fintan Murphy, began the first count about an hour ago and a first result is expected around tea-time.
15:30Conor Pope reports:
The likely poll topper for Fianna Fail in Dublin Fingal Darragh O’Brien has said he can see no reason why Michael Martin should not be Taoiseach when a new government is formed.
He was speaking after being greeted by jubilant supporters as he arrived in the National Show Centre where the count is continuing.
“I’m delighted. This has been a long way back for us,” he said. “This is a massive honour and one I do not take for granted. We have done our level best to show we are a party that has been grown from our community. I am kind of overwhelmed by it,” he admitted.
When asked by The Irish Times if the result was an indication the electorate had forgiven Fianna Fail for its role in the economic crash under its watch, he said it had “spent a long time rebuilding trust” and suggested there was “more work to be done".
On the likelihood of Mr Martin becoming Taoiseach Mr O’Brien said: “Of course he should. He certainly deserves it.”
While the first count had not yet been completed, he 99 per cent of the ballot boxes tallied in Dublin Fingal Mr O’Brien looks certain too top the poll with an 18 per cent share of first preferences.
Minister for Children James Reilly looks like he is going to be in a real dog fight with Sinn Fein’s Louise O’Reilly to hold on to his seat although the gap between them has narrowed since this morning.
Independent socialist Clare Daly and Fianna Fáil senator Darragh O’Brien polled very strongly in the five-seater with O’Brien looking set to top the poll when the first count is declared at around 3.30pm.
With a fraction under 100 per cent of the tally completed, O’Brien has 18 per cent of the first preferences compared to Daly’s 16 per cent.
Fine Gael’s Alan Farrell is in third place with 12 per cent of the vote while Labour’s Brendan Ryan has won 10 per cent of the first preferences.
Sinn Fein’s Louise O’Reilly has 9 per cent and Dr Reilly is currently on 8 per cent having narrowed the gap since this morning when two percentage points separated the pair.
That could prove to be decisive as the count progresses with Reilly likely to attract more transfers at least from the established parties. Some tallymen, however, are saying that the independents will transfer to O’Reilly.
The mood of optimism among the Sinn Fein supporters in the National Show Centre has diminished although both they and Fine Gael supporters concede that the last seat is far too close to call.
Lorraine Clifford Lee of Fianna Fail looks like finishing the count on 6 per cent while Joe O’Brien of the Green Party is on 5 per cent, 2 per cent ahead of Terry Kelleher of the AAA-PBP. Gerry Molloy of Renua is also on 3 per cent as while Daly’s running mate Barry Martin is on 4 per cent.
15:35Breaking: Shane Ross has just been elected in Dublin Rathdown
Howlin appears to rule Labour out of next government:
Speaking on RTE Radio, Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin admits Labour is now on a rebuilding mission. He also appears to be ruling party out of next government.
Anne Lucey reports:
Michael Healy-Rae has just taken a lift in an open top double decker bus to Killarney town centre from the Killarney count centre, a sports and leisure centre on the N22 Killarney by-pass.
He is wearing a tie with two stickers Vote No 1 Michael and Vote No 1 Danny Healy-Rae. The first count is not yet properly underway and asked if this was a celebratory tour in advance, Michael Healy-Rae has responded:
"NO! But I'm starved with the hunger and I have to get something to ate!"
15:46Update from Dun Laoghaire: Mary Minihan reports:
With all boxes of votes tallied in Dun Laoghaire, Fine Gael looked set to take two seats with 36.1 per cent of the vote. Mary Mitchell-O’Connor had 18.16 per cent and Fine Gael running mate Maria Bailey 17.98. Richard Boyd-Barrett of People Before Profit-Anti-Austerity Alliance (PBP-AAA) also appeared set for a seat on 16.53 per cent.
With Seán Barrett of Fine Gael seeking another term as Ceann Comhairle and therefore automatically returned to the Dail, the constituency is effectively a three-seater.
There was disappointment for Fianna Fáil, with the party trailing on 18.76 per cent and the vote split between former minister Mary Hanafin (10.94 per cent) and running mate Cormac Devlin (7.82 per cent).
Labour’s Carrie Smyth has polled poorly at 8.64 per cent, according to tallies.
The Green Party candidate Ossian Smyth secured 5.93 per cent; Independent Carol Hunt 5.31; Sinn Fein’s Shane O’Brien 5.25; Renua’s Frank Cronin 3.08 and Direct Democracy Ireland’s Richard Whitehead 0.4.
Fianna Fáil tallymen in the Dún Laoghaire count centre described their party performance as “disappointing” and say it did not reflect what they were hearing on the canvass.
Arriving at the count centre in Loughlinstown earlier, Mr Boyd-Barrett had predicted a “seismic shift” across the country and the “end of Civil War politics”. Dún Laoghaire has traditionally been a bastion for Fine Gael and the party left the Dail holding two of the four seats in the constituency.
15:47Labour wipeout: The party is expected to get between 6 and 9 seats.
15:51Colm Keena reports:
The consensus at the Carlow-Kilkenny count is that the constituency will return all three Fianna Fail candidates, one Sinn Fein, and one Fine Gael. The final tally at the five-seat constituency shows John McGuinness (FF) at 15.1 per cent, Bobby Aylward (FF) at 13.8 per cent, Kathleen Funchion (SF) at 12.4 per cent, Jennifer Murnane-O’Connor (FF) at 11.7 per cent, and John Paul Phelan (FG) at 11.1 per cent. The sixth ranking candidate in the tally result is Pat Deering (FG), at 8.9 per cent.
Senator Pat O’Neill of Fine Gael is predicting three Fianna Fail seats, one Sinn Fein, and one Fine Gael. The expectation is that Labour TD Ann Phelan will lose her seat as will Deering. Deering and Murnane-O'Connor are from Carlow, which usually returns one TD for the constituency. Aylward said that during the campaign he decided that people were tired with austerity and were looking for a change. He predicted a great result for Fianna Fail and did not rule out it going into Government with Fine Gael. The result of the first count is expected at around 4pm.
15:53FG's Frances FitzGerald and Sinn Fein's Eoin O'Broin have been elected following first count in Dublin Mid West
15:55Dublin South Central:
Marie O'Halloran reports:
Sinn Fein’s Aengus O Snodaigh is set to top the poll in Dublin South Central and will be joined in the four –seat constituency by three women,.
Independent TD Joan Collins is set to be elected in second place, retaining her seat followed by Fine Gael’s Catherine Byrne who also retains her seat.
The fourth seat will be a battle between People Before Profit Councillor Brid Smith and Fianna Fail’s Catherine Ardagh and will depend on transfers.
Mr O Snodaigh said it was “a relief that the election is over. We’ve heard what the people have to say.”
15:57Dublin West: A tale of two doctors
It is expected Minister for Health Leo Varadkar will top the poll followed by Fianna Fail's Jack Chambers. The final two seats are between Tanaiste Joan Burton, Sinn Fein candidate Paul Donnelly and Anti-Austerity Alliance TD Ruth Coppinger. Mr Chambers said this was an extraordinary day for Fianna Fail, who he claims have a very good chance of winning this election. He said it was crucial there was not a second election just because politics did not like the result.
Martin gets tumultuous reception by supporters:
From Barry Roche, Cork City Hall
Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin has been given a tumultuous reception by party supporters when he arrived at Cork City Hall where both his own Cork South Central and Cork North Central constituencies are being counted.
There were loud cheers and applause when Mr Martin flanked by his wife, Mary and children, Micheal Aodh (21) and Aoibhe (19) arrived into the main auditorium where the votes are being counted.
Mr Martin smiled broadly as he was hugged and embraced by women while men stuck out to their hands to shake his hand and congratulate him on his campaign which looks like seeing Fianna Fail substantially increase its number of TDs from the 21 it had at the dissolution of the last Dail.
But Mr Martin took time out to pause and sign an autograph book for young Oisin Sheehan from Donoughmore in Cork North Central. “Oisin – Best Wishes Always – Micheal Martin,” signed the Fianna Fail leader before going off to do a live interview with RTE. Both Mr Martin and running mate, Michael McGrath are on course to take the first two seats in Cork South Central according to tallies with Simon Coveney set to take the third seat for Fine Gael and running mate, Jerry Buttimer battling with Sinn Fein’s Donnchadh O Laoghaire for the last seat.
Laois first count:
Seán Fleming FF- 13,626, Charlie Flanagan FG- 8,370, Thomasina Connell FG- 4,233, Brian Stanley SF- 8,242, John Whelan Labour- 2,856, Sinead Moore Greens- 1,541
Quota was 9,718
Donnelly to top poll in Wicklow
Carl O'Brien in Greystones
Social Democrat TD Stephen Donnelly is set to be elected on the first count in Wicklow, based on a full tally of votes.
Labour TD Anne Ferris is on course to lose her seat, polling just under 4 per cent. Tallies from all 180 boxes in the five-seat constituency indicate that Sinn Fein councillor John Brady is on course to become the party's first TD in the constituency in almost 100 years with 16 per cent of the vote. Fine Gael TD and Minister for State Simon Harris is in second place with just under 16 per cent. Fianna Fail's Pat Casey is next, followed by Fine Gael TD Andrew Doyle (both 9 per cent) and Renua TD Billy Timmins (both 8 per cent).
Fianna Fail's Jennifer Cuffe, former Independent TD Joe Behan and Labour TD Anne Ferris are on about 4 per cent, followed by Fine Gael's Avril Cronin on 3 per cent. There is likely to be a battle for final two seats between Fine Gael TD Andrew Doyle, Fianna Fail's Pat Casey and Renua's deputy leader Billy Timmins.
Fianna Fail has traditionally held a seat here, but it was left without a TD when Former TD Dick Roche lost his seat in 2011 as the party's vote plummeted nationally. Tallies indicate Mr Donnelly has benefitted from a major surge in his vote over 2011, when he narrowly won the final seat here.
Fine Gael, which won three seats in 2011, looks set to regain at least one seat with Simon Harris's polling well.
Other tallies show he Green Party's Steven Matthews and Sharon Briggs of Anti-Austerity Alliance People Before Profit lagging behind the main parties (both 2 per cent).
Galway East update:
Sinn Féin's Annemarie Roche has been eliminated on the third count in Galway East. No candidate has reached the quota yet. Roche's votes are now being distributed but they're going in no clear direction. There will probably be another couple of counts before a candidate is deemed elected. The fourth count should see the elimination of Labour Senator Lorraine Higgins.
16:21Ground zero for Fine Gael: Dun Laoghaire - first count coming:
Limerick City update from Kathryn Hayes:
Adjudication on the doubtful votes cast in the Limerick City Consituency is to commence at 4.30pm. The Returning officer has invited candidates and their agents to inspect the doubtful votes in the UL area a where a first count result is still awaited in both Limerick constituencies. Some 47,195 votes were cast in the four seat Limerick city constituency, according to the final tally results.
16:44Dun Laoghaire update from Mary Minihan:
In Dun Laoghaire, Mary Mitchell O’Connor of Fine Gael has secured 10, 817 first-preference votes.
Her running mate Maria Bailey has 10,489.
Richard Boyd-Barrett of People Before Profit-Anti-Austerity Alliance (PBP-AAA) polled 9,775 first-preferences.
With Seán Barrett of Fine Gael seeking another term as Ceann Comhairle and therefore automatically returned to the Dail, the constituency is effectively a three-seater.
There was disappointment for Fianna Fáil, with the party trailing vote split between former minister Mary Hanafin (6,478 first-prferences) and running mate Cllr Cormac Devlin (4,665).
Labour’s Carrie Smyth has polled poorly in the former constituency of ex-Labour leader and ex-tanaiste Eamon Gilmore’s constituency with 5,192 votes.
The electorate was 92,248 and the total poll 59,639. There were 401 spoiled votes so the total valid poll is 59,238. The quota is 14,810.
The Green Party candidate Ossian Smyth secured 3,478.
Carol Hunt, running under the Independent Alliance umbrella got 3,152. Sinn Fein’s Shane O’Brien polled 3,167, Renua’s Frank Cronin 1,812 and Direct Democracy Ireland’s Raymond Whitehead 213.
Mr Cronin and Mr Whitehead will now be eliminated.
OK, political scientist Michael Marsh has just released his seat predictions:
Fine Gael - 47; Fianna Fail - 44; Sinn Fein - 21; Labour - 8; AAA-PBP -5; Independent Alliance - 6; Social Democrats -6; Green Party - 3; Greens - 3; Renua - 2; Independents/Others - 16
Harry McGee reports:
Lucinda Creighton has said Renua Ireland will continue in existence irrespective of whether or not the party succeeds in winning any Dáil seat.
Ms Creighton who founded the party said she was very proud of what Renua had achieved and described the election as a “first step” for the party.
The tallies indicate that Ms Creighton represents Renua’s only hope of winning a seat. She is locked in a battle with other candidates for the last slot in the four-seat Dublin Bay South costituency.
As she arrived in Dublin Count Centre in the RDS, Ms Creighton said she very proud of the campaign Renua had run.
“We have left no stone unturned,” she said.
She added: It’s been a fantastic campaign. I have really enjoyed it. It has been tough and it has been gruelling.”
In relation to the danger of her losing her seat she said she was very philosophical about these things and it would have been easier for her to run as an Independent..
Dublin Rathdown update from Olivia Kelly:
The distribution of eliminated Independent Peter Mathews’ 2,241 votes hasn’t been enough to bring anyone across the line on the third count, but with a sizeable chunk – 345 votes – going to Fine Gael’s Josepha Madigan bringing her to 7,180, she looks set to be the next elected in Dublin Rathdown. However it won’t happen on the next count which will see the distribution of eliminated Sinn Fein candidate Sorcha Nic Cormaic’s 3076 votes – not enough to bring anyone over the 10,275 quota.
Willie O'Dea on the prospect of a grand coalition:
As to whether he'd serve in FG/FF adminstration, FF's Willie O'Dea says it's a hypothetical question at this stage but says he would be extremely nervous about leaving SF as the biggest opposition party.
17:03Carlow Kilkenny first count from Colm Keena:
John McGuinness of Fianna Fail got 10,528 first preference votes in Carlow Kilkenny, not far short of the 11,669 quota.
Returning officer Marie Garahy announced the details of the first count at about 4.40 pm.
Bobby Aylward of Fianna Fail got 9,366 first preference votes with Jennifer Murnane-O’Connor (FF) getting 8,373. Kathleen Funchion of Sinn Fein came next, with 8,700, and is being predicted to get a seat.
John Paul Phelan (FG) got 7,568 first preferences while party colleagues Pat Deering and David Fitzgerald got 6,562 and 5,017 respectively. Outgoing TD Ann Phelan, Labour, got 4,391 first preferences. Malcolm Noonan (Green) got 2,621 and Patrick McKee (Renua) got 2,483. Conor MacLiam (SP) got 1,120 and Paddy Manning (Ind) got 1,078. Keith Gilligan (Ind) got 456 and Noel Walsh (Innd) got 164. The latter two candidates have been eliminated. It is expected that Fianna Fail will get three of the five seats in the constituency.
17:04Cork South West update from Louise Roseingrave:
A smiling FG's Jim Daly has arrived at the count centre in Clonakilty. He admits things have not gone well for Fine Gael countrywide but remains hopeful of a second seat in Cork South West for the party. Tallies have placed him as a sure thing, while his running mate, sitting TD Noel Harrington looks to be in trouble. "We are still hopeful," Deputy Daly said. First count results expected within the hour.
Meath West update from Elaine Edwards:
A first count is expected shortly in Meath West, with Fianna Fáil's Shane Cassells expected to top the poll.
Cassells was not present in the count centre at Trim GAA club throughout the day. Sitting TDs Peadar Tóibín of Sinn Féin and Damien English of Fine Gael both mingled with supporters as counting continued.
Tóibín may also exceed the quota on the first count.
17:07Our rugby live blog is fired up and running...for those who need a break from elections
17:14Dun Laoghaire - count 2
At the end of the second count in Dun Laoghaire, Mary Mitchell O’Connor of Fine Gael has 11,088 votes. Her running mate Maria Bailey has 10,882. Richard Boyd-Barrett of People Before Profit-Anti-Austerity Alliance (PBP-AAA) has now polled 10,008. With Seán Barrett of Fine Gael seeking another term as Ceann Comhairle and therefore automatically returned to the Dail, the constituency is effectively a three-seater.
There was disappointment for Fianna Fáil, with the party trailing vote split between former minister Mary Hanafin (on 6,709 after the second count) and running mate Cllr Cormac Devlin (4,877). Labour’s Carrie Smyth has polled poorly in the former constituency of ex-Labour leader and ex-tanaiste Eamon Gilmore’s constituency with 5,296 after count two.
The electorate was 92,248 and the total poll 59,639. There were 401 spoiled votes so the total valid poll is 59,238. The quota is 14,810. The Green Party candidate Ossian Smyth has 3,677 votes now. Carol Hunt, running under the Independent Alliance umbrella got 3,410. Sinn Fein’s Shane O’Brien polled 3,209 and will now be excluded. Renua’s Frank Cronin and Direct Democracy Ireland’s Raymond Whitehead were eliminated after the first count.
Dan Griffin reports:
Outgoing Fine Gael TD Paul Connaughton has conceded he will lose his seat in Galway East. Mr Connaughton said the redrawing of the constituency boundary had a very substantial effect on his vote, which was more than 2,000 lower than in 2011. The Mountbellew-based candidate, whose father Paul Snr was also a TD, said he was "disappointed to lose my seat but that's politics". He added that he was now finished with politics at least for the short term and said he would more than likely not contest another general election if one were to be called in the near future.
Longford Westmeath update:
Outgoing Fianna Fail TD Robert Troy, who topped the initial tally with over 11,500 first preference votes, has arrived at the count centre in Keenagh, Co Longford, after attending a wedding earlier in the day.
Troy said he was "delighted with the tally figures" and Fianna Fail is seeing good results not just in this constituency, but "right across the country".
"It appears that I will be declared elected on the first count, but after that every seat is still to play for," he said.
"The people have given their verdict on this Government that they weren't happy with the policy decisions this Government were taking and the direction they were bringing the country. And that's evident in the results right across the country today."
Martin expects to FF to win over 40 seats
From Barry Roche, Cork City Hall
Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin said he expects the party to win 40 plus seats with the party then set to nominate him for Taoiseach but he refused to be drawn on whom he would do business with afterwards but insisted that he would always put the country first.
Speaking at Cork City Hall where he was attending the Cork South Central count, Mr Martin was questioned as to whether he would be willing to go into coalition with Fine Gael if it meant saving the electorate from another election in the event of a hung Dail.
“The country will always be first as far as Micheal Martin is concerned and we proved that in 2009 when we took decisions that were electorally and politically costly but in terms of the country were the right thing to do so obviously he country comes first in all our deliberations in this regard.”
Earlier Mr Martin had appeared to rule out any question of Fianna Fail going into government with either Fine Gael or Sinn Fein even when pressed and it was pointed out to him that the only possible stable combination would be a Fine Gael/Fianna Fail coalition.
“We don’t want to go into government with Fine Gael or with Sinn Fein- let’s wait until we know the final destination of seats because I think a lot of centre ground people are going to be elected as well – a lot of them are sensible and I think we can’t ignore our responsibility.
“To- say that its down to two parties is to ignore the reality of how people have voted and we will have a certain number of seats that will allow us to do certain things and allow us take certain positions but it’s by no means the dominant position.”
We have to listen to what the people have said and they haven’t voted in the traditional parties in the numbers that they used- I want to take time out to reflect on that as well,” said Mr Martin who was speaking just before the first count was announced in his Cork South Central constituency.
17:31Poll result 'a rude awakening' for political establishment:
Anti-Austerity Alliance Ruth Coppinger said the results across the country were a 'rude awakening" for the political establishment. She said voters had sent a clear signal. "We need a new party to replace Labour." Ms Coppinger said the vote of Tanaiste Joan Burton has fallen significantly from 28 per cent, describing it as "some fall from grace in reality".
Meath West update from Elaine Edwards:
Fianna Fáil has gained a seat in Meath West with Shane Cassells elected on the first count shortly after 5pm on Saturday.
Cassells, a long-serving councillor and former mayor of Navan, exceeded the quota of 9,652 by nearly a thousand votes, giving him 10,585 first preferences.
Sitting Sinn Fein TD Peadar Toibin was just shy of the quota with 9,442 votes.
The returning officer has excluded the two candidates with the lowest number of votes - Tracey McElhinney of Labour and independent candidate John Malone.
A second count will now proceed.
17:42High-profile casualty: Minister for Communications Alex White just eleminated in Dublin Rathdown
Kildare South update:
Kildare South’s second count is now in. Following the elimination of Suzzane McEneaney, Green Party, and Mary Kennedy of Renua their combined votes have been redistributed. Declan Crowe Ind got 466, bringing him to 2,609.
Some 227 were transferred to Mark Wall Lab, bringing him to 4,504 and 197 went to poll-topper Martin Heydon FG, lifting him to 8,048. Patricia Ryan SF received an additional 192, bringing her to 4,459, Fiona McLoughlin-Healy FG got 166 bringing her to 3,416 and 114 votes were transferred to Sean Ó Fearghaíl FF, bringing him to 6,583. His running mate, Fiona O’Loughlin, received an additional167, increasing her vote to 7,073. Crowe has been eliminated and his votes, 2,609, will be distributed. We could see an election at the next count.
17:59Dun Laoghaire - count 3
At the end of the third count in Dun Laoghaire, Richard Boyd-Barrett of People Before Profit-Anti-Austerity Alliance (PBP-AAA) has taken the lead with Sinn Fein transfers bringing his vote to 12,215.
Mary Mitchell O’Connor of Fine Gael now has 11,130 votes and her running mate Maria Bailey has 10,934.
With Seán Barrett of Fine Gael seeking another term as Ceann Comhairle and therefore automatically returned to the Dail, the constituency is effectively a three-seater.
There was disappointment for Fianna Fáil, with the party trailing vote split between former minister Mary Hanafin (on 6,792 after the third count) and running mate Cllr Cormac Devlin (5,055).
18:08Ruadhán Mac Cormaic reports:
Fianna Fáil Senator Thomas Byrne has been elected on the first count in Meath East, retaking the seat he lost in the 2011 general election.
Mr Byrne was comfortably ahead of the other candidates, his 10,818 votes exceeding the quota by 470 on the first count. Trailing him were the Fine Gael incumbents Helen McEntee, who received 7,556 votes, and Regina Doherty on 6,830.
Fine Gael are well-positioned to take the second of the three seats in the constituency and could win the third unless Sinn Féin's Darren O'Rourke, who was in fourth place with 5,780 first preferences, pushes ahead with the help of transfers from independents and smaller parties.
Dominic Hannigan of the Labour Party, who topped the poll in 2011, received just 2,270 votes and is almost certain to lose his seat.
"It's a very positive day. I'm delighted," Mr Byrne said as supporters cheered in the background.
18:13Dail M for Moynihan:
Darragh Murphy reports
It’s a case of Dial M for Moynihan in Cork North West, with two unrelated Fianna Fáil TDs of the same surname coming first and third on the first count.
Newcomer Aindrias Moynihan (FF) is in first place, with sitting FG TD Áine Collins, in fourth, set to lose her seat.
Aindrias drew the highest number of first-preference, with 8,924 - pipping sitting Fine Gael TD Michael Creed, who could yet overtake him when transfers are taken into account.
Creed, scion of a family dynasty that has supplied TDs to this constituency since 1965, garnered 8,869 first-preference votes.
This performance was mainly on the strength of late ballots from Macroom and suburban Ballincollig, the latter something of a cuckoo in the nest in this rural, conservative constituency.
In third is Fianna Fáil’s incumbent Michael Moynihan (no relation to Aindrias Moynihan), who won 7,332 votes. His stronghold in Kanturk and Charleville, on the northern extremity of this sprawling constituency.
No candidate has yet been elected, although three – independents Shirley Griffin and Jerry O’Sullivan, and Michael O’Donnell of the Communist Party of Ireland – have been eliminated.
18:18Peter Murtagh reports from Castlebar:
“We are where we. The people have spoken and we have to listen,” said former junior minister and Mayo TD seeking re-election, Michael Ring, as he arrived at the Castlebar count centre ahead of Taoiseach Enda Kenny and the announcement of the first count result.
Mobbed by well-wishers and media and speaking through the cheers of Fine Gael supporters, Mr Ring said: “You’d have to be a magician to know what’s going to happen becuase the nunbers game is not adding up for anybody at the moment.”
After full results, he said there would have to be talks. “I don’t think the people want another election,” he said. “I hope not; I hope a government can be formed.”
He said Mayo was a “great achievement” for Fine Gael as the party was fighting for three of the four seats available.
Recognising it was “not our day”, he expresed sorrow at those of his colleagues who had failed to be re-elected. “I am very disappointed nationally.”
Asked if Mr Kenny should remain as party leader he said: “As long as Enda Kenny is Taoiseach, he’ll have my full support.”
On the prospects of talks with Fianna Fail and going into government with them, he said: “The leaders of all the political parties will have to look at each other and we’ll have to see what’s going to happen. We’ll certainly have to have talks with ourselves within Fine Gael and decisions will be made after that.”
Mark Hilliard reports
Gerry Adams has said Sinn Fein will wait for votes to be counted and “assess the lay of the land” before considering any form of coalition.
On arrival at the Louth count centre on Saturday evening, where Adams appears to have topped the polls ahead of the first official count, he was asked whether he would rule out coalition with Fianna Fail.
“Well that’s our party position. We have to wait until all of the votes are counted and all of the TDs are elected and then we’ll see the lay of the land in terms of the right to change TDs and others from the alternative position,” he said.
“And we’ll see whether there is at this time the opportunity to elect a progressive government.”
Pressed on the possibility of a deal he said it was a decision arrived at by the Ard Fheis, one he was bound by and “happened to agree with it”.
“If we do have a proposition to go into government we will go to our Adh Fheis and they will make that decision.”
He said it was only a matter of time before a progressive government is elected, he said.
Meanwhile, Adams said their campaign staff and candidates were instructed to “stay on election footing” given the potential for a return to the polls.
“We advised our people to get down the posters and hide them away because they could be back again very, very soon.”
18:42Could Fianna Fáil overtake FG as the largest party?
Harry McGee reports:
Fianna Fáil is within a hair’s breadth of edging out Fine Gael as the biggest party, according to senior party strategists.
The party has increased its own estimates of seat gains since Saturday morning to above 40.
A senior strategist, speaking on a background basis, said it now puts the range of possible seats for the party at between 38 and 45 but believes the party will get a seat bounce from being more transfer friendly from eliminated Independent candidates.
An analysis by the Irish Times of all 40 constituencies suggests that Fianna Fail could win over 42 seats putting them within two to three seats of Fine Gael, which looks like it will win between 43 and 47 seats.
With a seat bounce, the party could win a second seat “against the grain” in constituencies such as Clare and Galway West. However, in many constituencies the battle with other parties, Fine Gael in particular, will come down to the final seat, with only dozens of votes separating the last two candidates.
After the near wipeout of 2011 in the capital, Fianna Fáil is now poised to win six seats in Dublin. The only discordant note for the party is Mary Hanafin will not win a seat in Dun Laoghaire.
Kildare South update from Fiona Gartland:
The third count at Kildare South sees Marti Heydon (FG) edging ever closer to election. The redistribution of votes from eliminated candidate, Declan Crowe, saw Heydon receive 249, bringing him to 8,297. Fiona O’Loughlin, FF, got 300 transfers, Sean O’Fearghail, FF, got 308 and Mark Wall, Labour, got 260, bringing the three candidates to 7,373, 6,891 and 4,764 respectively. Patricia Ryan, SF, got 835 transfers, putting her at 5,294 and ahead of Wall for the first time. Fiona McLoughlin-Healy received 138 additional votes, bringing her total to 3,554. She has been eliminated.
Bertie Ahern suggests SF would have won more seats without Adams:
Mark Hilliard reports:
Responding to a comment by Bertie Ahern that Sinn Fein could have gained more seats without Adams as leader, the Sinn Fein president dismissed it as “self-serving Fianna Fail-ism”.
“So I don’t pay any heed to that,” he said.
“Fianna Fail have had a good election. But remember what happened is that in the last election people were so angry that they gave, some of them anyway, their votes to Fine Gael. And Fine Gael did [in power] what Fianna Fail did and people got disenchanted with them and now they are going back to Fianna Fail. “One thing is for certain: they will become disenchanted with Fianna Fail again.”
Cork North West update:
Cormac Manning of the Green Party, a student, has been eliminated on the second count, after polling a very respectable 1,501 votes, including transfers. Out of a 13-strong field, he was the sole Ballincollig-based candidate.
Due to the large field, no sitting TD is likely to be elected until the third, or possibly fourth count. The quota is 11,740.
So far it’s a case of Dial M for Moynihan in Cork North West, with two unrelated Fianna Fáil TDs of the same surname coming first and third on the first count.
Newcomer Aindrias Moynihan drew the highest number of first-preference votes with 8,924 - pipping sitting Fine Gael TD Michael Creed.
Creed, however, has overtaken surprise Fianna Fail frontrunner Aindrias in the race for the first seat on the second count. The Fine Gael man gained 155 in transfers from the three independent and left-wing candidates eliminated in the first count, to the 80 that transferred to Aindrias Moynihan. Creed now leads the Fianna Fail newcomer by 20 votes.
19:04Conor Pope reports from Dublin Fingal
Fianna Fail’s Darragh O’Brien has topped the poll in Dublin Fingal and been elected on the first count.
Speaking this evening the new TD said he could see no reason why Michael Martin could not be Taoiseach when a new government is formed.
“I’m delighted. This has been a long way back for us,” he said. “This is a massive honour and one I do not take for granted. We have done our level best to show we are a party that has been grown from our community. I am kind of overwhelmed by it,” he admitted.
When asked by The Irish Times if the result was an indication the electorate had forgiven Fianna Fail for its role in the economic crash under its watch he said it had “spent a long time rebuilding trust” and suggested there was “more work to be done. But that’s our job”.
On the likelihood of Mr Martin becoming Taoiseach Mr O’Brien said: “Of course he should. He certainly deserves it.”
Minister for Children James Reilly looks like he is going to be in a real dog fight with Sinn Fein’s Louise O’Reilly to hold on to his seat with the first count putting him in sixth position behind the Sinn Fein candidate in the five-seat constituency.
Mr O’Brien finished the first count on with 10,826 first preferences which was 761 votes over the quota of 10,065.
Clare Daly running under the Independents 4 Change banner was in second place with 9480 first preferences. Fine Gael’s Alan Farrell was in third place with 7,514 while Labour’s Brendan Ryan was in fourth with 6,009 votes.
The big story of the evening is likely to be the fight for the last seat between the outgoing Minister for Children James Reily and Sinn Fein’s Louise O’Reilly. Dr Reilly finished the first count with 4,666 first preferences while Ms O’Reilly was ahead on 5,228.
Fianna Fail’s second candidate Lorraine Clifford Lee was in seventh place with 3,359 first preferences while Joe O’Brien of the Green Party had 2,783 first preferences. Ms Daly’s running mate Barry Martin finished with 2,42 first preferences and Gerry Molloy of Renua had 2091 first preferences and Terry Kelleherr of the AAA-PBP was close behind with 2,067 first preferences.
The order in which the candidates are eliminated will be crucial in determining whether O’Reilly or Reilly take the last seat with votes from Ms Clifford Lee and Dr Molloy likely to benefit Dr Reilly and the votes from Mr Martin and Mr Kelleher likely to go in larger numbers to Ms O’Reilly.
Donnelly elected on first count in Wicklow
Carl O'Brien reports
Social Democrat TD Stephen Donnelly has been elected on the first count in Wicklow, based on a full tally of votes. Mr Donnelly topped the poll with 14,348 first preference votes, or 21 per cent of the vote, a major increase on 2011 when he scraped the final seat by fewer than 60 votes.
Sinn Fein councillor John Brady is set to become the party's first TD in the constituency in almost 100 years after polling in second place with 11,151 votes. He is just over 300 votes short of a quota and is likely to be elected in the second count, which is underway. Fine Gael TD and Minister for State Simon Harris is also set to be re-elected with 10,819 votes.
Anne Ferris TD, meanwhile, is set become the latest casualty for the Labour Party, polling well behind on 2,634 first-preferance votes.
There is likely to be three-way battle for the final two seats in the constituency. Fianna Fail's Pat Casey (6,289), along with Fine Gael TD Andrew Doyle (6,045) and Renua TD Billy Timmins (5,510) are all in close contention.
19:21Dun Laoighaire after the 5th count:
At the end of the fifth count in Dun Laoghaire, Richard Boyd-Barrett of People Before Profit-Anti-Austerity Alliance (PBP-AAA) is just 49 votes away from the quota of 14,810. Mary Mitchell O’Connor of Fine Gael now has 11,967 votes and her running mate Maria Bailey has 11,854. These figures follow the elimination of Green candidate Ossian Smyth.
19:26Roscommon Galway first count:
First count: Naughten (Ind) elected - 13936. Fitzmaurice (Ind ) 9750, Murphy (FF) 6813, Hopkins (FG) 6812. Quota 11421. Naughten surplus of 2515 being distributed
Burton in dust up for final Dublin West seat with SF's Donnelly
Socialist Ruth Coppinger says she might take third seat in Dublin West, behind FG's Leo Varadkar and FF's Jack Chambers...this would leave Labour leader Joan Burton fighting SF's Paul Donnelly for final seat.
Laois completes count:
And so Laois achieves the rather predictable distinction of being the first constituency in Ireland to complete its count, given the small field of candidates. A large transfer from eliminated Green Party candidate Sinead Moore ensured Sinn Féin’s Brian Stanley passed the quota on the fourth count with 10,092 votes, and he was duly hoisted aloft holding a starry plough flag by his jubilant supporters. For Fine Gael’s outgoing minister Charlie Flanagan it was a qualified success as he was re-elected without a quota- a far cry from his poll-topping performance in the old Laois-Offaly constituency in 2011, but he did share a large percentage of his party’s votes with the defeated Thomasina Connell.
Speaking to The Irish Times prior to the final count, Flanagan described today as a “particularly black day for Fine Gael nationally” and categorised the national result as “gravely disappointing” but was content that the party bucked the overall trend by garnering over 30 per cent of first preferences in Laois.
19:38People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett elected in Dun Laoghaire
19:41SF's McDonald tops poll in Dublin Central
Marie O'Halloran report
Sinn Fein deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald has topped the poll and been elected in Dublin Central on the 6th count. The result was announced to huge cheers and as they waited for the declaration to be made her supporters sang an Irish song and chanted.
Speaking at the RDS count centre Ms McDonald said the outcome from the electorate is that “the Government has been sacked by the electorate”.
“They’ve sacked Fine Gael and Labour”, she said. "That was the first conclusion.The second conclusion is that politics here has changed. The old tweedledum and tweedledee between Fianna Fail and Fine Gael is now over.Politics is much more diverse. I think that’s a really healthy thing."
SF's Toibin elected in Meath West:
Elaine Edwards reports
Sinn Fein TD and party finance spokesman Peadar Toibin has been re-elected to the Dail in Meath West on the second count. The count result was announced shortly before 7.30pm.
Mr Toibin gained 271 votes from the distribution of Shane Cassells's 933 surplus.
Fine Gael TD Damien English gained 210 votes from Cassells in the second count. This was insufficient, however, to bring him over the 9,652 quota. Fine Gael TD Ray Butler gained 87 votes, bringing his total to 4,519. The next highest candidate, independent Trevor Golden, gained 126 votes to bring his total to 1,844.
The returning officer has now eliminated the candidate with the lowest number of votes - independent John Malone.
A third count is now underway.
19:49Independent TD Michael Lowry re-elected in Tipperary
19:50Taoiseach Enda Kenny due in Mayo count centre in about an hour
19:53Dun Laoghaire after sixth count
Richard Boyd-Barrett of People Before Profit-Anti-Austerity Alliance (PBP-AAA) has been elected a TD in Dun Laoghaire.
Mr Boyd-Barrett will be returning to the Dail after securing 15,718 votes.He went over the quota of 14,810 on the sixth count following transfers from the eliminated Fianna Fail candidate Cormac Devlin. The Labour candidate Carrie Smyth has now been excluded. Mary Mitchell O’Connor of Fine Gael now has 12,393 votes and her running mate Maria Bailey has 12,422. With Seán Barrett of Fine Gael seeking another term as Ceann Comhairle and therefore automatically returned to the Dail, the constituency is effectively a three-seater.
There was disappointment for Fianna Fáil, with Mr Devlin’s running mate former minister Mary Hanafin on 10,221 after the sixth count. Green candidate Ossian Smyth went out after count four. The electorate was 92,248 and the total poll 59,639. There were 401 spoiled votes so the total valid poll is 59,238. The quota is 14,810. A total of 412 votes were non-transferable after count six.
Galway East update:
Galway East's three seats have been filled with outgoing Fine Gael TD Ciarán Cannon returned to the Dáil on the seventh count without reaching the quota. He joins Independent Seán Canney and Fianna Fáil newcomer Anne Rabbitte who both exceeded the quota on count six.
19:58On the prospect of a grand coalition, FF's Eamon O'Ciuv says the party's position remains "no FG, no SF".
Mark Hilliard reports
There is still no sign of a first count in Louth with proceedings certain to run into Sunday.
Breaking news: Former justice minister Alan Shatter eliminated in Dublin Rathdown.
Fine Gael’s Josepha Madigan and Green’s Catherine Martin elected to the second and third seats In Rathdown without reaching the quota. The count is now complete.
Varadkar rules out removing Kenny as leader
Sarah Bardon reports:
Minister for Health Leo Varadkar has ruled out removing Taoiseach Enda Kenny as leader of Fine Gael or entering coalition with Fianna Fail. Speaking as he was elected in Dublin West Mr Varadkar said this was a bad day for Fine Gael but all senior Ministers needed to accept their share of the blame.
Asked if Mr Kenny should remain as leader the Minister for Health said: "I think he should. Absolutely." Mr Varadkar said this was a disappointing result for Fine Gael but the party looks set to still be the largest party in terms of seats.
The Minister for Health said the obligation to form a Government also falls on opposition parties also. He said he did not favour a Fianna Fail-Fine Gael coalition claiming it would not be good for either party and would not last long.
Mr Varadkar said: "I do not trust them and it would open the door to Sinn Fein as lead of opposition."
20:10Wallace arrives at Wexford count
Mick Wallace has arrived at the count in Wexford where he is expected to take a seat later tonight or on Sunday.
Asked about his prospects he said: “I’m not there yet”. But he said he had a good campaign and knocked on about 20,000 doors mostly in towns and villages. He welcomed the potential Fianna Fail – Fine Gael coalition saying it would “clean up Irish politics”. “They are two right wing parties. The only difference between them is the civil war. Next time we will have a proper left right wing divide,” he said.
Coveney predicts FG will lose over 15 seats
From Barry Roche, Cork
Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney conceded that it has been a poor election for Fine Gael with the party likely to lose over 15 seats but he said he did not believe there was an appetite within Fine Gael for a challenge to Enda Kenny’s leadership.
"I don't get the sense that there is going to be any leadership challenge in Fine Gael. We will win in or around 50 seats and we will be the largest party and Enda Kenny will be the leader of the largest party."
"He will obviously take on his responsibilities of bringing the party forward. I don't get the sense that there is any panic or anything like that. People are disappointed. They are frustrated. A lot of very good people are going to lose their seats."
Martin Wall reports:
Clare GP Michael Harty, who is expected to take a seat in the constituency as an independent candidate, has arrived at the count centre. He was joined by senior figures in the National Association of General Practitioners which backed his campaign. Fianna Fail's Timmy Dooley is likely to be the first person elected in the constituency.
Shatter expresses surprise at losing seat
Former justice minister Alan Shatter said he was not expecting the result and suggested a last-minute call by FG party headquarters to give first preferences to his running mate Josepha Madigan may have cost him his seat.
20:45Labour leader Joan Burton looks likely to take the fourth seat in Dublin West after a dog fight with SF's Paul Donnelly.
20:47Taoiseach Enda Kenny arrives at Mayo count centre...we're awaiting first words from FG leader on what's been a pretty awful day for his party
20:49Kildare North update
Fiona Gartland reports:
The second count in Kildare North has distributed Social Democrat Catherine Murphy’s 1,320 surplus in a scattergun pattern to the remaining candidates. Emmet Stagg, Labour, got 201 transfers, Green candidate Maebh Ní Fhallúin received 164, 145 went to Frank O’Rourke, FF, and his running mate, James Lawless FF, got 131. Independent candidate Brendan Young got 123 transfers, Bernard Durkan, FG, got 121 and Reada Cronin, SF, got 118. Aishling Merriman, PBP, got 92 transfers and Anthony Lawlor FG got 84. The remaining candidates, Michael Beirne, Gerard Dunne and Elizabeth O’Sullivan, all Independents, received 17, 12, and 20 each respectively. These three have now been eliminated.
Louth first count
No candidate was elected on the first count in Louth which took place at about 8.30pm. As expected, Gerry Adams secured the highest number of first preference votes with 10,661, falling short of the quota of 11,255.
He was followed by Fianna Fail's Declan Breathnach on 9,099 and Sinn Fein's Imelda Munster with 8,829. For Fine Gael, outgoing TDs Fergus O'Dowd and Peter Fitzpatrick secured 6,814 and 6,408 votes respectively. Ged Nash, who is fighting to save his seat, a prospect many see as unlikely at this early stage, received 4,945 votes.
O'Dea's surplus reveals strange voting patterns
Kathryn Hayes reports:
The transfer of poll topper Wilie O'Dea's surplus of over 3,5000 has indicated surprising voting patterns in the Limerick East constituency.
Anti Austerity Alliance candidate Cian Prendiville secured the majority of the surplus followed closely by Sinn Fein's Maurice Quinlivan. Prendiville secured 660 of Deputy O'Dea's transfers followed in second place by Sinn Fein's Maurice Quinlivan who got 633.
Outgoing Minister for Finance Michael Noonan also benefitted significantly from O'Dea's receiving 615 of his transfers. However, O'Dea's transfers - despite reflecting unusual voting patterns - has not cleared the pitch in the battle for the final seat which still looks to be a fight between O'Sullivan, O'Donnell and Prendiville .
21:02The three options confronting the State following this result: FF/FG coalition, FF supports FG minority govt, another election...
21:04Mary Minihan reports:
Dun Laoghaire has returned two Fine Gael TDs, newcomer Maria Bailey and incumbent Mary Mitchell-O’Connor, along with Richard Boyd-Barrett of People Before Profit-Anti-Austerity Alliance (PBP-AAA). After seven counts, Ms Bailey secured 15,198 votes and her running mate Ms Mitchell-O’Connor 14,941.
Mr Boyd-Barrett was the first TD to be elected in the constituency on the sixth count and will be returning to the Dail after getting 15,718 votes. With Seán Barrett of Fine Gael seeking another term as Ceann Comhairle and therefore automatically returned to the Dail, the constituency was effectively a three-seater. Mr Boyd-Barrett went over the quota of 14,810 following transfers from the eliminated Fianna Fail candidate Cormac Devlin.
Mr Devlin’s running mate Mary Hanafin ended up with 10,969 votes as the count concluded, well behind the Fine Gael candidates. Ms Hanafin complemented Fine Gael on its “impeccable” vote management strategy in the constituency, noting that it had “bucked the trend” in evidence around the country, where there has been a swing against the Government and towards Fianna Fail.
Taoiseach describes result as disappointing
Taoiseach Enda Kenny described the election result as a "disappointment" for the party, saying the Fine Gael-Labour coalition would not now be returned to government.
21:20Investigation ordered into unstamped ballot papers
An investigation has been ordered into the rejection of 72 ballot papers in Waterford because they were not stamped.
Presiding officer Niall Rooney has told candidates he plans to investigate the failure of staff to stamp ballot papers as required before they are handed to voters. Mr Rooney said it was not clear at this stage whether the problem with unstamped ballot papers arose in a small number of locations or was more generalised across the county. However, he promised whoever was responsible would not work on future elections. The 80 unstamped ballots were among 400 spoiled votes in the constituency.
Kenny reacts to disappointing election result
Peter Murtagh reports:
Enda Kenna wants to remain in office as Taoiseach and as head of Fine Gael to see what options are possible about forming a new government. He has conceded, however, that the electorate has rejected a return to office of the Fine Gael-Labour coalition.
“It is perfectly obvious that the government of Fine Gael and Labout can not be returned to government,” he said on arrivibg at the Mayo constituency count centre of Castlebar this evening, “but I have a duty and responsibility as Taoiseach to do everything possible, as head of government, to se that our country is provided with a stable government and I won’t be in possession of all the options that are open until we have the final figures.”
Asked if such a stable government might involve Fianna Fail, he said: “I’m not going to talk about any of the options that are open right now.” He conceded that the emerging election results were a blow to Fine Gael.
“This is a disappointing day for our party and it is particularly disappointing for those who are candidates and those wo have lost their seats, particularly so those who have been serving in the Oireachtas over the last five difficult years when they were a great support to a party in government making very difficult decisions in respect of moving our country in the right direction. This is a time of great disappointment and sorrow for many of those people.
“Democracy is always exciting but it is merciless when it kicks in.”
“I want to make it clear that I expect that the Fine Gael party will be a large block in the next Oireachtas and from that point of view my responsibilityas Taoiseach is to work to see that our country has a stable government and that it has a government that can continue the work on the progress that we’ve made over the last couple of years in bringing the benefits of a recovering economy to all our people.
“Its very early days to say what the eventual outcome will be of quite a number of the constituencies will be. . . So I want to wait and see what the eventual final outcome will be and then look at all of the options that are open to me as Taoiseach as head of government. I need to call my colleagues togther, my parliamentaly colleagues, my colleagues in government and talk about a number of issues.”
Asked if he would remain as party leader, he said: “I have a duty and responsibility to work with the decision that the people have made and provide the country withh a stable government and that I intend to do fully and completely.”
He attributed the election failure to people who in 2001 had felt too “ashamed” to vote for Fianna Fail had no such inhibition this time.
21:31Ruadhán Mac Cormaic reports
The sixth count is under way in Meath East, where two of the constituency's three seats are yet to be filled. Thomas Byrne of Fianna Fáil exceeded the quota and was elected on the first count, winning the seat he lost in the 2011 general election.
The second seat will be taken by one of the two Fine Gael incumbents, Helen McEntee and Regina Doherty, who came in second and third place, respectively, in the first count. After the elimination of candidates from the Workers' Party, the Green Party and Renua Ireland, Ms McEntee leads Ms Doherty by about 800 votes and is well-positioned to take the second seat. That would leave Ms Doherty as favourite to take the third and final seat unless Sinn Féin's Darren O'Rourke, who currently trails her by about 1,000 votes, can do exceptionally well on transfers from eliminated candidates.
Labour's Dominic Hannigan is certain to lose the seat he has held since 2011.
21:42Joan Burton elected
Labour leader Joan Burton survives close call in Dublin West. She has just been elected along with FG's Leo Varadkar, FF's Jack Chambers and Socialist Ruth Coppinger, beating SF's Paul Donnelly for the fourth seat.
No one was elected after the second count in Co Tipperary. Mattie McGrath is closest to the quota at 11,781. He is followed by Deputy Labour leader Alan Kelly and Independent Seamus Healy. Fianna Fail’s Jackie Cahill is in fifth place, with his party colleague Michael Smith 1 per cent behind. Michael Lowry was elected on the first count.
Minister Alan Kelly now likely to lose seat
Deputy Labour leader and Minister for the Environemtn Alan Kelly looks certain to lose his seat in Tipperay, capping an awful day for Labour.Joan Burton and Brendan Howlin look like only Labour cabinet members to survive.
Anne Lucey reports from Kerry:
Complete re-check of first preferences under way before any count announced. Suspicion is Healy-Rae brothers papers may have been mixed up, but no confirmation about this. However after checking both Healy-Rae stacks which are side to side county registrar Padraig Burke announced a recheck of the approx 78,000 votes in the Kerry Constituency.
22:09Darragh Murphy reports:
Nigel Dennehy of Sinn Fein has been eliminated on the sixth count in Cork North West, with none of the 13 candidates have yet been elected. Dennehy’s transfers – 4,256 votes - could be of decisive difference to Cllr John Paul O’Shea, the first independent mayor of Cork County and independent candidate who is fifth in the running on 6,687 votes after the sixth count – just 504 votes behind sitting TD Aine Collins.
Yet Ms Collins, of Fine Gael, remains in fourth place in this three-seater constituency. She is on 7,191 votes overall, but will gain little surplus from her running mate Michael Creed, due to his truncated vote tally. The quota is 11,740. No candidate has is likely to be elected before the seventh count.
22:37Good evening. My name is Colin Gleeson and I will be bringing you rolling updates for the rest of the night as the make-up of the next Dail begins to take shape.
Sinn Fein’s Martin McGuinness has said that it seems Fianna Fail and Fine Gael are “warming” to the idea of coalition together.
"At this stage, I believe there will be some form of arrangement between Fianna Fail and Fine Gael,” he said. “That's my sense of what is in prospect. You would basically have two right wing parties in Government and a continuation of the austerity agenda.
“Now whether that will be a formal coalition or whether Fianna Fail supports a minority Fine Gael government remains to be seen. I think that’s the most likely prospect but if that’s the case, then Sinn Fein will be the lead opposition party.”
Outgoing Labour minister Ged Nash has said a Fine Gael/Fianna Fail coalition would not introduce a referendum to repeal the eight amendment.
“Very soon the people of Ireland will miss the Labour party in government, and it saddens me to say that, but I think that’s a reality,” he said.
“We are on the verge of electing possibly the most centre-right government that we have ever seen in this country and I don’t believe that that is in the interest of working people or people who depend on public services.”
Having said that, he felt there was now “an onus and a responsibility” on Fine Gael and Fianna Fail to sit down and seriously consider their potential to form a government.
Some pundits are suggesting that Alan Kelly may not be dead and buried yet.
He’s in a close battle with a number of other candidates in the five-seater Tipperary constituency.
Michael Lowry topped the poll, and fellow Independent Mattie McGrath looks certain to take the second seat.
An independent candidate in Mayo has been forcibly removed from the Castlebar count centre after he tried to confront Taoiseach Enda Kenny.
Mr Kenny was moving among Fine Gael party members behind the barrier separating onlookers from ballot counters when Stephen Manning tried to make his way over to him.
When security staff intervened to prevent him, Mr Manning remonstrated with them and demanded to know by what authority they were preventing him.
Heated exchanges ensued and Mr Manning was escorted from the building shouting.
With three counts now completed in Louth, the constituency has still to elect a TD.
Gerry Adams, who looks set to top the poll, is inching ever closer to the line but the five-seater looks like being into a drawn out affair.
Outgoing junior minister for skills and innovation Damien English has been elected for Fine Gael on the 6th count in Meath West.
In Kildare South, Fine Gael’s Mark Heydon topped the poll with 7,851 first preferences and was elected on the second count.
Tanaiste Joan Burton has defended her leadership of the Labour Party after its collapse in support.
“The leadership of the Labour Party and my role as leader continues,” she said.
“We await the outcome of all the different counts and what the position of the party is and how many TDs are returned when we get an opportunity to meet colleagues and members of the party.”
She also appeared to rule out Labour having any involvement in the make-up of the next government.
“Obviously the electorate has given a particular verdict and whatever role it is the Labour Party takes up, we’ll do that to our utmost best,” she said.
“But I don’t at this point foresee the Labour Party being involved in government.”
Erin McGuire reports that outgoing Labour TD Willie Penrose has conceded defeat in the Longford-Westmeath constituency, after receiving 4,822 votes in the first count.
He polled behind Independent Kevin “Boxer” Moran (7,585), Sinn Fein’s Paul Hogan (5,276) and Fine Gael’s Peter Burke (5,683).
An emotional Penrose has called on Fianna Fail and Fine Gael to form the next government.
Colm Keena reports that it now looks as though Fine Gael may win two seats in Carlow Kilkenny - the same as Fianna Fail - rather than the one/three split that was being expected for much of the day.
With Carlow-based Jennifer Murnane-O’Connor (FF) not picking up transfers at the rate needed, Pat Deering (FG), also Carlow-based, is coming from behind and looking more like getting re-elected.
Sinn Fein’s Kathleen Funchion and John Paul Phelan (FG) have been elected on the tenth count. The latter’s 2,531 surplus is now being distributed. John McGuinness (FF) topped the poll.
Gerry Adams has urged his party faithful to remain on an “election footing” amid the prospect of the country being forced to go to the polls again.
Adams is on course for an historic two seat pick-up in Louth.
He and fellow party candidate Imelda Munster are set to win two of the constituency’s five seats, though it will be Sunday before the results are confirmed.
“We advised all of our candidates to stay on election footing,” Mr Adams said at the count centre in Dundalk.
“We advised our people to take down the posters and hide them away because we could be back again very, very soon. Now that might not happen, if a government is formed, but we are certainly staying on election footing.”
Fianna Fail’s Timmy Dooley has been elected in Clare.
In Dublin Central, Minister for Transport Paschal Donohoe has been re-elected without reaching the quota.
The final seat has been taken by Independent TD Maureen O’Sullivan who earlier looked in serious danger of missing out.
Ruadhán Mac Cormaic reports that Labour's Dominic Hannigan, who topped the poll in Meath East in 2011, has been eliminated on the 8th count.
There are three candidates left in the race: Helen McEntee (FG), Regina Doherty (FG), and Darren O'Rourke (SF).
The two FG incumbents are best-positioned to take the two remaining seats.
Paschal Donohoe went bananas when his election was announced.
He was earlier thought to have been among the more vulnerable prominent Fine Gael TDs.
Maureen O’Sullivan made a remarkable comeback after finding herself in seventh place in a three seat constituency after first preference votes were counted.
Goes to show how important transfers can be.
Cork South West’s first female TD says she plans to celebrate before taking stock, reports Louise Roseingrave.
Margaret Murphy O’Mahony topped the poll and says she’s “thrilled and delighted with her achievement”.
The only Fianna Fail TD running in the predominantly rural constituency, she’s a mother of two from a strongly political Bandon based family.
She led the poll throughout and finished with 11,962 votes on the fifth and final count, some 1,147 over quota.
23:52Renua leader Lucinda Creighton has lost her seat in Dublin Bay South.
23:54Fine Gael figures are saying that deputy leader James Reilly is set to lose his seat in Fingal.
Also in Dublin Bay South, Social Democrats candidate Glenna Lynch has been eliminated and the distribution of her votes puts Eamon Ryan in contention for the third seat, after Fine Gael’s Eoghan Murphy and Kate O’Connell.
Labour TD Kevin Humphreys has stayed just ahead of Fianna Fail candidate Jim O’Callaghan with 4,992 votes compared to 4,949.
The count has been adjourned until Sunday morning.
Dublin South West declared its first TD just before midnight, with Fianna Fail’s John Lahart topping the poll in this five-seater, reports Kitty Holland.
The next expected TD home is Paul Murphy of the Anti-Austerity Alliance, currently on 10,678 votes. The quota is 11,212.
Others in contention are Sean Crowe of Sinn Fein currently on 9,642, Colm Brophy of Fine Gael on 8,655 with Independent Katherine Zappone, on 6,129 and Anne Marie Dermody of Fine Gael on 7,793.
It remains to be seen if counters will continue through the night, or break and resume in the morning.
Sitting Fine Gael TD Michael Creed has been re-elected in Cork North West on the eighth count, after garnering 4,879 in transfers from running mate Aine Collins, who was eliminated on the seventh count.
Fianna Fail’s first-time candidate Aindrias Moynihan remains second on 11,141, and seems certain to take the second seat.
He secured the highest number of first preferences.
His running mate, sitting Fianna Fail TD Michael Moynihan is facing a battle to retain his seat, however.
He leads John Paul O’Shea, the Independent mayor of Cork county, by less than 700 votes going into the final count. O’Shea is on 8,549 votes, to Michael Moynihan’s 9,228 votes.
Not even Michael Noonan has performed too well.
Sinn Fein’s Maurice Quinlivan has taken the second seat in Limerick city ahead him, although he is expected to take the third.
Labour’s Jan O’Sullivan looks set to retain her seat and take the fourth and final seat, with Quinlivan’s 1,164 surplus currently being distributed.
00:29Sinn Fein TDs Aengus O Snodaigh and Dessie Ellis have been re-elected in Dublin South Central and in Dublin North West respectively.
Fine Gael’s Helen McEntee and Regina Doherty have both been elected without reaching the quota in Meath East.
Thomas Byrne of Fianna Fail topped the poll earlier.
Former mayor of Donegal Frank McBrearty junior who was eliminated on the fourth count in Donegal on Saturday night took his defeat rather badly.
Gerry Moriarty reports that after leaving the count centre before his elimination, Mr McBrearty issued a Facebook post stating: “Next bastard that comes to my door will know all about it.”
Mr McBrearty issued the post following reaction to an interview he gave to the Donegal Daily online site.
Mr McBrearty, an independent Donegal county councillor who formerly represented Labour, indicated he might be about to quit politics.
“After helping over 8,000 people in 7 years on the council this is how your (sic) rewarded. My vote is down everywhere. When my 3 years are up on the council that’s it,” he said.
00:46Counting has been adjourned in the Galway West-South Mayo constituency with no one yet elected to the five-seat constituency.
00:47Fine Gael's John Deasy has been elected in Waterford without reaching the quota.
Former Fine Gael advisor and strategist Frank Flannery has said Fine Gael look like they will pull off a “remarkable seat return” for a party that only received 25.5 per cent of the vote.
He reckons they will come in somewhere in the mid-fifties.
While welcoming his election in Cork North West, Michael Creed was in no mood to celebrate.
His running mate, sitting TD Aine Collins, fell to fifth place in the three-seat constituency.
"We've done poorly," he said. "We've lost a constituency colleague, and that's never easy. We like to consider ourselves a very well organised constituency, and losing a colleague hurts."
As for forming a Government, he said the onus was on the parties "that won the election".
"The public largely voted against the government, and I don't feel we have a mandate to govern," he said.
01:03Brendan Howlin, who seemed as though he was on the verge of being elected for hours at this stage, has finally gotten over the line in Wexford.
In Limerick, two Cabinet ministers have been re-elected.
Michael Noonan took the third seat, while the last seat went to Minister for Education Jan O'Sullivan.
Neither of them reached the quota.
Meanwhile, Independent candidate Joan Collins has retained her seat in Dublin South Central.
01:09The count in Dublin Fingal has adjourned as Barry Martin of the Independents 4 Change asked for recheck of two previous counts with just 22 votes separating him and Fianna Fail’s Lorraine Clifford Lee. The count will now resume at 10am.
01:10Clare GP Michael Harty has been elected as an independent candidate in Clare. He took the seat on the ninth count.
Counting in Mayo has been suspended for the night.
It will resume in the morning at 10am.
The seventh count was completed with no candidates reaching the quota since the election of Taoiseach Enda Kenny on the first count.
A number of independents have been eliminated since then, the latest being Michael Farrington, Tom Moran and Margaret Sheehan whose votes (1,659, 664 and 680 respectively) will be distributed first thing on Sunday.
Outgoing Fine Gael TD and former minister of state Michael Ring is 1,117 votes shy of the quota of 12,730 and will be hopeful of election with this distribution.
Independent TD Tommy Broughan has expressed concern about 700 votes that were not stamped at polling stations and deemed invalid for the Dublin Bay North contest.
It was the last constituency in the State to declare a first count.
Mr Broughan said seats could be decided on very few votes.
His director of elections Seán Clarke said “people voted correctly” and it was an administrative problem.
“We don’t know what polling stations were at,” he said. “There’s a huge question mark as to what the staff were doing. And those votes are now out of the mix.”
Mr Broughan said it was possible there could be a recount but they would see how it went.
He said this has happened before in the local election. “Somebody keeps making this mistake.”
01:34Sean Crowe of Sinn Fein has been elected in Dublin South West.
Frank Flannery has suggested Fine Gael could “seize the opportunity to change the leadership”.
He said the result would lead to a “very significant discussion within the party” which is “very much at a crossroads”.
Renua’s website is down.
That didn’t take long.
01:50Anti-Austerity Alliance TD Paul Murphy says the "two and a half party system" is over and there is a “huge space there” for a left wing alternative to “grow and develop”.
After 17 hours of counting, Sinn Fein is calling for a recount in Donegal.
They’ll love that.
Speaking after his election, Michael Noonan said the overall result for Fine Gael was a “reversal of what happened” five years ago.
“I think it was a reversal of what happened in 2011 party allegiances are reverting back to what was the norm and the Fianna Fail vote came back to Fianna Fail; we got a lot of it the last time.
“This is my fourteenth time being re-elected at counts in Limerick: eleven general elections and three local council elections. Sometimes I got very big votes and other times I didn’t. This was a day when I got within 40 votes of the quota with over 9,000 votes.”
Sitting FG TD Tom Barry has been eliminated in Cork East having secured just 3,573 votes.
Kevin O’Keeffe (FF) is in first place with 8,548 votes. He is followed by sitting TD’s Sean Sherlock (Lab) on 7,780 and David Stanton (FG) on 7,593.
SF councillor Pat Buckley picked up 807 votes bringing his total to 6,776.
Barbara Ahern (FF) is on 4,986 whilst Noel McCarthy (FG) is on 4,718.
The vote is expected to continue through the early hours of this morning.
02:25Fianna Fail's James Browne has been elected in Wexford.
There are just five votes between People before Profit candidate Brid Smith and Fianna Fail’s Catherine Ardagh for the final seat in Dublin South Central.
Ms Ardagh is in the lead.
After the 10th count, the returning officer announced she would distribute the surplus of votes from Independent Joan Collins — just 46 votes.
Earlier Fine Gael TD Catherine Byrne, who was elected third after Sinn Fein’s Aengus O’Snodaigh and Ms Collins, said she was glad the election was over.
In Wexford, James Browne’s surplus of about 500 votes is being distributed.
Mick Wallace (Ind) is about 100 votes short of a quota and is expected to take the third seat.
The final two seats are likely to be contested between Michael D’Arcy and Paul Kehoe of Fine Gael, as well as Johnny Mythen of Sinn Fein.
02:55The fifth count in Cork East has concluded but nobody has been elected. The sixth count is now on.
The situation as it stands is that 90 TDs have been elected to the 32nd Dail.
Counting has been adjourned in 17 constituencies, while they are still plugging away in five others.
We may be looking at a recount in Dublin South West as well.
Fine Gael made the request after the final count put Anne Marie Dermody just 152 votes behind independent Katherine Zappone.
In the final count Colm Brophy took the fourth seat.
Count six in Cork East has concluded with no-one elected.
Independent Mary Linehan-Foley has been excluded.
03:13Michael McNamara of the Labour Party has lost his seat in the Clare constituency. He was eliminated on the 11th count.
In Cork East, Kevin O’Keeffe (FF) is still leading the pack with 8875 votes.
He is followed by sitting TD’s Sean Sherlock (Labour) on 8674 and David Stanton (FG) on 8312.
Sinn Fein councillor Pat Buckley is on 6861. FG candidate Noel McCarthy picked up 970 transfers and is currently on 5688.
He is followed by Fianna Fail’s Barbara Ahern on 5,081.
The count is continuing.
There is to be a full recount in Clare tomorrow.
The 11th count in Dublin South Central has been adjourned.
Just 35 votes separate Bríd Smith of AAA-PBP from Catherine Ardagh of Fianna Fáil.
Just the two constituencies still counting.
Cork East and Wexford obviously have no sympathy for those of us who are stuck here until the bitter end.
Expect blog posts to get more and more sullen as the night goes on.
In Wexford, Mick Wallace is just 14 votes short of the quota. Fianna Fáil's Malcolm Byrne has been excluded after the 12th count and his 7,409 votes are being redistributed.
They’re still going in Cork East despite the fact that nobody has taken a seat.
Renua's Paul Bradford has been excluded after the seventh count.
Mick Wallace tops the list of hopefuls for three more seats to be filled in Wexford.
Count still going.
In Cork East, the land of eternal counting, sitting Fine Gael TD David Stanton is in poll position on 9,099 votes while Kevin O’Keeffe of Fianna Fail is on 9254.
Junior Minister Sean Sherlock of Labour is on 8986. Pat Buckley of Sinn Fein has picked up 820 votes to bring his total to 7681.
Noel McCarthy of Fine Gael is on 5779 while Barbara Ahern of Fianna Fail is on 5553. The count is continuing in Mallow Youth Centre. Voter turnout was 62 per cent.
Independent TD Mick Wallace has finally been elected in Wexford.
Counting will continue to fill the remaining seats.
That’s where we’re going to leave it at this stage.
After a tumultuous and transformative day in Irish politics, all is changed - changed utterly - and before long a terrible beauty in the shape of a Fianna Fail/Fine Gael coalition government may be born.
Let’s see how that one pans out.
We will be back up and running here in about two hours time for another long day during which we hope the vast majority of the remaining empty seats of the 32nd Dail will be filled.
See irishtimes.com for all the latest news and analysis.
Thanks for reading.
This event has now ended
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