Election 2016 Count

Follow the remaining counts, news and analysis from General Election 2016

Eoin Burke-Kennedy, Hugh Linehan Sun, Feb 28
LIVE: Election 2016 Count

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  • This event has now ended
  • 07:15
    Good morning it's Day 2. You can catch up will all the drama from the day one live blog here.
  • 07:16
    In Cork East  Minister Sean Sherlock of Labour has been elected. He topped the poll  followed by Deputy David Stanton of Fine Gael  and Cllr Kevin O'Keeffe. All three have been elected
  • 07:21
    A full recount has been granted to Wexford Sinn Féin  candidate Johnny Mythen. Mr Mythen was within 52 votes of losing out on the fifth seat.
  • 07:23
    Tim O'Brien reports from Wexford:  

    The returning officer had been expected to declare two Fine Gael candidates Paul Kehoe and Michael D’arcy were elected to the fourth and fifth seats.

    The returning officer did not name the fifth candidate who he said had pushed Mr Mythern into sixth place in the five-seat constituency.

    He said simply that Mr Mythen had requested a total recount on the basis of a 52 vote gap between himself and the apparent winner of the fifth seat.

  • 07:38
  • 07:45
    The people of Wexford will have to wait until Monday for the final result. The recount won't resume until 10am. It was requested by SF's Johnny Mythen who was 52 votes short.
  • 07:49
    Just 18 of 40 constituencies are complete. It's going to be a long day!
  • 07:57
    The national picture after the latest trio of Cork East elections is: Fine Gael 29, Fianna Fail 29, Labour 5, Independents and others 14, Sinn Fein 12, AAA-PBP 4, Social Democrats 3, Greens 1
  • 08:00

    In Cork East the count is finally over. Pat Buckley of Sinn Fein has just been deemed elected without having reached the quota. All four seats have now been filled.

  • 08:14
    Labour's Sean Sherlock who has been re-elected in Cork East this morning after an overnight count said:  "To be honest I have yet to internalise the impact of this victory as it goes against the head when you look at the national situation", Olivia Kelleher reports. The count was a "  gruelling experience for the sixty counters," she writes.
  • 08:47

    Sinn Fein deputy leader MaryLou McDonald says there is no appetite among the party’s activist base to be a minority or junior partner in Government.

  • 09:02
  • 09:22

    For a broader perspective on Fine Gael's failed campaign, here's former leader Alan Dukes speaking earlier

  • 09:34
    Despite the fact that Fine Gael clearly had a bad election in terms of the popular vote, the party does seem to be managing to achieve a pretty good return in terms of seats won. Most predictions this morning are that the party is likely to get 52 to 54 seats, which should leave it eight to ten seats ahead of Fianna Fail. That could be significant when it comes to negotiations between the parties.
  • 09:38

    Not everybody likes the whooping and hoisting on shoulders approach. Here's Mick Wallace's reaction last night to his re-election in Wexford.

  • 09:42
    A full recount will take place in Clare this morning following the 11th count. Labour's outgoing TD Michael McNamara had been eliminated, but requested the recount on the basis that he felt there was confusion among voters between his name and that of FF's Michael McDonagh. There are 85 votes between the two.
  • 09:44

  • 09:47
    Another recount will take place in Dublin South-West, where Kathryn Zappone's election has been challenged by Fine Gael's Anne-Marie Dermody. With a gap of well over 100 votes, Zappone looks pretty safe.
  • 09:54

  • 10:01
    Here's a pic from Mark Hilliard, who's on his way back into the count centre in Louth, where he tells us the hope is that a first TD will be elected soon. I do like the psychedelic flooring.
    Here's a pic from Mark Hilliard, who's on his way back into the count centre in Louth, where he tells us the hope is that a first TD will be elected soon. I do like the psychedelic flooring.
  • 10:03

  • 10:09
    Barry Roche has been speaking to Fine Gael TD Jerry Buttimer.
    “The people have spoken and you must listen to what they have said and they have voted in a huge way sending a message to this government that they didn’t want us – there’s a responsibility on the people who are in the next Dáil to reflect upon that,” he said.
    “If that means Sinn Féin and Fianna Fáil must come together that’s a matter for them but the politics of protest cannot govern the country- there’s a responsibility on those elected today to be held to account for their policies and for their actions and you can’t be all things to all people.
    “We need to reflect on that because we did make mistakes as a political party but today isn’t a day for that sort of soul searching, today is about acknowledging the result and saying the next Dáil is taking shape and must put in place the next government.”
    Mr Buttimer   will be hoping for a strong transfer from Labour’s Ciarán Lynch to have a chance of retaining his Cork South-Central seat. Read more here.
  • 10:11

  • 10:20

    Probably the biggest controversy of this election is in Dublin Bay North, where Independent TD Tommy Broughan has expressed concern about the 700 votes that were not stamped at polling stations and were deemed invalid.
    It was the last constituency in the State to declare a first count, and looks set to be an incredibly tight contest for the last seat.
    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 there were at” but he said “there’s a huge question mark as to what the staff were doing. And those votes are now out of the mix.”

    More here.

  • 10:30
    Fine Gael TD and junior minister Paudie Coffey, who lost his seat in Waterford, has posted a message on his Facebook page to thank everyone - except the online trolls and abusers.
    Fine Gael TD and junior minister Paudie Coffey, who lost his seat in Waterford, has posted a message on his Facebook page to thank everyone - except the online trolls and abusers.
  • 10:32

  • 10:40

  • 11:03

    Erin McGuire reports:

    The count in Longford-Westmeath resumed at 10:30 this morning, having adjourned after the third count last night. There are three seats left to fill in the constituency.
    Fianna Fáil TD Robert Troy was elected on the first count and will keep the seat he first won in 2011 as the party’s only newly-elected TD.

    More here.

  • 11:05

    Peter Murtagh updates us from Castlebar:

    Peter Murtagh

    Counting has resumed in Mayo.

    So far, one TD, Fine Gael leader and Taoiseach Enda Kenny, has been elected but his party colleague, Michael Ring, is poised to take a seat ,as is Fianna Fail's Dara Calleary.

    The fourth seat will be a fight between Michelle Mulherin of Fine Gael and Lisa Chambers of Fianna Fail, currently separated separated by just 172 votes.

    The eighth count currently taking place sees the distribution of three eliminated candidates -- Michael Farrington of Renua Ireland, Tom Moran of the Anti-Austerity Alliance-People Before Profit grouping, and Margaret Sheehan of the Green Party.

    Over 3,000 votes are at stake

  • 11:10
    In Dublin Bay South, Chris Andrews of SF has been eliminated following the distribution of Lucinda Creighton's votes. Observers are predicting that Kevin Humphreys of Labour will lose out to Jim O'Callaghan of FF,, with Eamon Ryan of the Greens and FG's Murphy and O'Connell taking the other seats.
  • 11:14

  • 11:15
    Mark Hilliard reports:

    Ged Nash has arrived at the Louth count centre where proceedings are expected to resume shortly.

    No TD has yet crossed the line in the north east constituency and Nash, the outgoing Labour minister, is hoping to avoid following many of his party “comrades” into political oblivion.

    He looks set for a final seat skirmish with Fine Gael’s Peter Fitzpatrick. If the latter is elected, it will probably represent a remarkable two seat return for Fine Gael, with stalwart
    Fergus O’Dowd expected to return to the Dail.

    No sign of Gerry Adams yet; the Sinn Fein president has no such worries about his own seat, comfortably topping the poll throughout and his return to Leinster House is only a matter of time. An added bonus for his party here, Imelda Munster is waiting to be confirmed as the second Sinn Fein TD and the first female to represent Louth in the national parliament.

    There is a lot to play for and surprises may yet unfold. Counting has resumed.

  • 11:17

  • 11:24
    No recount in Clare as Michael McNamara of Labour withdraws request and concedes defeat. Count 12 will distribute his 6844 votes.
  • 11:26

    Kitty Holland reports:

    A recount is underway in Dublin South West at the request of Fine Gael. The recount is starting with the 16th count. Depending on what emerges from that Fine Gael have reserved the right to ask for a recount of the 15th count and possibly to work back as far the first count
    The party sought the recount after Independent candidate Katherine Zappone overtook Fine Gael candidate Anne Marie Dermody on the 16th count, to poll 9,655 as compared with Dermody’s 9,503.
    Zappone was declared elected to the fifth seat shortly before 3 am at the count centre in Citywest. She overtook Demody for the first time on the last count, having taken the bulk of the 4,916 transfers available from the independent candidate Peter Fitzpatrick after he had been eliminated in count 15.
    Fine Gael sources say they will likely request that the recount go back further than the 16th count though they would use their “intellectual as well as out emotional intelligence”.
    Also elected on the 16th count in the early hours of this morning was Colm Brophy (Fine Gael), who took 10,639 votes, just short of the 11,212 quota.
    Elected yesterday in Dublin South West were Paul Murphy of the Anti-Austerity Alliance   who polled 13,528 votes, John Lahart of Fianna Fail who polled 11,402 and Sean Crowe of Sinn Fein who got 11,245 votes.

  • 11:36

    Former FF minister Noel Dempsey caused a disturbance in the force this morning when he said the FF-Green coalition between 2009 2011 and the FG - Labour arrangement between 2011 - 2013 were the best governments the country had experienced. Cue outrage. Listen back here.

  • 11:38
    Peter Murtagh writes:
    Fianna Fail should not enter government with Fine Gael but pursue options with others, notably Labour, the Social Democrats and independents, according to Dara Calleary.
    The Mayoman who is poised to be re-elected to the in-coming Dail said at the count center in Castlebar that the people had voted for a change and Fine Gael was not part of that change.
    “We are staying out of government with Fine Gael,” he said. “Can we work with other parties who want a change of government? We’ll have to see. We have to talk to others.”
    Sinn Fein was out, he said. On Labour, “they are into fairness as well. Social Democrats? Absolutely, there’s no doubt about that.”
    He said that talks, which he said could take some time, should aim to reach “a collective agreement about a different way of government and politics in a way that respects the institutions of State”.

  • 11:40

    Danny Healy-Rae has just been officially elected in Kerry, joining his brother, Michael. Here's an interview I did with both of them last week.

  • 11:46

  • 11:46

  • 11:47

  • 11:48

  • 11:52

    Lorna Siggins reports:

    Fianna Fáil deputy leader Éamon Ó Cuív has become the first TD to be elected to Galway West-South Mayo, while outgoing Labour TD Derek Nolan has lost his seat.
     The results of the ninth count at NUI Galway elected Mr Ó Cuív with 11,103 votes – just over 390 votes above the quota.
      He had benefited from transfers from running mate Cllr Mary Hoade, who was eliminated on the eighth count.
    To cheers from a hall filling with party supporters, Mr Ó Cuív was heaved high on shoulders, while his wife Aine Ní Choincheannain was surrounded by well-wishers in NUI Galway’s Bailey Allen hall.
      Mr Nolan had conceded defeat early yesterday when the tally results showed that the Labour vote had collapsed.
    The 33-year-old solicitor admitted sadness to having lost a seat “carved out of the rock by Michael D in a very conservative Galway at the time”, which he had   inherited when he topped the poll in 2011.
    Mr Nolan said it was   a seat built on “honest, integrity and principle”, but he hoped “others will pick up that mantle” and said he felt honoured to have served the constituency.
    The tenth count is now continuing with the distribution of Mr Nolan’s 3,787 votes, which is expected to benefit city Fine Gael candidate Senator Hildegarde Naughton and independent councillor and former Labour Party member Catherine Connolly.
    Outgoing TDs Noel Grealish (Ind) is   expected to be returned, but Fine Gael’s Sean Kyne is not safe yet. Sinn Féin senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh is now   at 6,721 votes on the ninth count, some 130 votes clear of Mr Kyne.
     While Senator Naughton is currently almost 1300 votes behind Mr Kyne, she may benefit more from   Mr Nolan’s transfers as a city candidate. Both Kyne and Naughton on will expect transfers from Fine Gael’s John O’Mahony, who   moved from Mayo to the new Galway West-South Mayo constituency under redrawn boundaries .
    The former Mayo Gaelic football manager, who led Galway to two All-Ireland senior football championship victories in 1998 and 2001, did not receive as much support from south Mayo constituents as he might have anticipated.
    Figures indicate   that some 2,432 south voters gave O’Mahony their number one, while 2,932 gave their first preferences to other Galway runners.
    Social Democrat Niall Ó Tuathail is now at 4,725 votes, while Fianna Fail city councillor   John Connolly is almost 150 vote ahead of him on 4,873 votes.

  • 12:05

  • 12:17
    In Dublin North-West, John Lyons of Labour has 2,481. FF's McAulliffe is on 5,941 and Noel Rock of FG has 5,431 votes. With Lyons now eliminated, it's expectedhis transfers will elect Rock.
  • 12:20

    Anne Lucey's profile of new Kerry TD Danny Healy-Rae:

    Danny Healy-Rae, Main Street Kilgarvan. Does not wear a cap. The eldest son of the late Jackie Healy-Rae, TD, and brother of Michael Healy-Rae TD   is married to Eileen and is a father of six, a publican and a director of Healy-Rae Plant Hire Ltd, the highest earning plant hire contractor to Kerry County Council in 2015.
    He mainly drives a digger and his son Johnny runs the company.
    Danny has been a councillor   since 2004, representing the Killarney area. His son Johnny represents South and West Kerry.
    He loves singing and music but does not like telling his age. Extremely close to his late father, he used Jackie’s   mobile phone and number during the short two week election campaign which he entered just minutes before the deadline on February 11th. The exit of Tom Fleming TD and the failure of any political party to run a candidate in the Killarney area was a key factor in the decision by Danny to run. On his election at 11.40 am, he ceased to be a member of Kerry County Council.

  • 12:23
    We're very proud in here of the Irish Times's New Election Results Database (or NERD). It's had a role in upholding the quality of the country's democracy this morning, by finding an error in the count in Louth. Mark Hilliard pointed out the count was a vote out (because our system wouldn’t allow the error) and they corrected it. You're all welcome.
  • 12:24
    Eamon Ryan and Eoghan Murphy are deemed elected in Dublin Bay South.
  • 12:29
    Sinn Fein's Gerry Adams and Fianna Fail's Declan Breathnach have been elected on the sixth count in Louth.

  • 12:46
    Brian Hayes predicts FG will be at least 10 seats ahead of FF. Says FG will be between 52 and 54 seats.
  • 13:03

    Conor Pope reports:

    Barry Martin of the Independents 4 Change movement has been eliminated in the eighth count in Dublin FIngal following a re-check of the seventh and eighth count at his request. He made the request after the transfers of the Green Party’s Joe O’Brien left him just 22 votes behind Lorraine Clifford Lee. The ninth count which will see Mr Martin’s 5077 votes distributed is now underway. While it still looks like the last seat will be a dogfight between Louise O’Reilly of Sinn Fein and Dr James Reilly, Ms Clifford Lee is still in with an outside chance of taking it if she can overtake Mr Reilly on the next count. As it stands she has 5099 votes while the outgoing minister has 5549 votes.

  • 13:04

    Mark Hilliard reports:

    Gerry Adams was pipped to the Louth post by Fianna Fail’s poll-topper Declan Breathnach but the Sinn Fein TD said it did not bother him.
    He has also said the party remains on election footing, given the unpredictable lay of the land with counts continuing nationwide.
    In the end it took six counts but Adams crossed the 11,255 threshold with 11,278 votes, compared to Breathnach’s 12,192.
    Breathnach benefitted hugely from transfers from his colleague Emma Coffey, eliminated in the previous round.

  • 13:07
    We'll probably have around 35 women in the next Dail, up 10 from the last, larger Dail, and representing approximately 22 per cent of the total.
  • 13:12
    Dean Ruxton hss done a round-up of international media reaction to the result of the general election. You can read it here.
  • 13:21

  • 13:30

    Peter Murtagh and Lorna Siggins have been testing the temperature among FF Tds on the much-mooted grand coalition with FG. And it's fair to say the results are cool to frosty.

    “We are staying out of government with Fine Gael,” Dara Calleary said. “Can we work with other parties who want a change of government? We’ll have to see. We have to talk to others.”

    Read more here,

  • 13:36
    That's it for me on this liveblog today. I'm heading off to record a podcast about what (if anything) this all means, so keep an eye/ear open for that this afternoon. Handing over now to my more than capable colleagure, Eoin Burke-Kennedy.
  • 13:49

    FF's Willie O'Dea has justed delivered the biggest thumbs down to the prospect of the "grand alliance" with Fine Gael - seemingly unable even to utter the word, coalition. Speaking on RTE TV, he said it was his belief the party would not align itself with Fine Gael.


  • 13:53

    Labour's Alan Kelly sidesteps question about Joan Burton's leadership, saying he was simply relieved to win a seat. He's about to get the final one in Tipperary. He said the forthcoming period would used to rebuild.  

    Labour is on course to win its lowest ever seat tally, falling from 33 seats to 6-7 seats.

  • 14:08
    Battle for fifth seat in Dublin South West

    Kitty Holland reports:

    The battle for the fifth seat in Dublin South West may go on into tomorrow as a recount has seen the gap between front runner, Independent Katherine Zappone and Fine Gael’s Anne-Marie Dermody narrow, from 158 votes to 124.

    The recount of the final 16th count has been completed and   counters are now proceeding to recount the 15th count,   at the request of Fine Gael.If the recount of count 15, which is of the distribution of the Labour Party’s Pamela Kearn’s 4,182 votes,   further narrows the gap Fine Gael is certain to request a full recount from the 1st count.

  • 14:09
  • 14:11
  • 14:37
  • 14:39
    This weird, fractured, all-over-the-place result, which took a wrecking ball to a government and then wondered what rubble could be cobbled together. Read Una Mullally's take on the election result.
  • 14:41

    Reilly loses seat in Dublin North

    Deputy leader of Fine Gael and former minister for health James Reilly has just lost his seat in Dublin North

  • 14:50
    Reilly expresses disappointment at losing seat, admits party failed to make emotional connection with people but insists government will remembered for turning the country around. His departure means there will have to be an election contest within FG for deputy leader. Could be divisive, given the current mood.
  • 15:01
    <p>Fine Gael director of elections Brian Hayes and Green Party Leader Eamon Ryan , at the count in the RDS.   Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times      </p>

    Fine Gael director of elections Brian Hayes and Green Party Leader Eamon Ryan , at the count in the RDS.   Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times      

  • 15:02
  • 15:03

    Kelly and Healy take final seats in Tipperary

    Labour’s deputy leader Alan Kelly and Independent Seamus Healy have won the final two seats in a hard fought battle in Co Tipperary. Fine Gael’s Tom Hayes has been eliminated from the election and the party no longer holds a seat in the constituency, having previously held two.  

  • 15:15
    Jonathan O’Brien re-elected for SF in cork north central
  • 15:17

    Labour stalwart Emmet Stagg eliminated Kildare North

    Labour Party chief whip Emmet Stagg has been eliminated in Kildare North. He received 594 transfers from Sinn Fein candidate Reada Cronin, bringing him to 5,775. Those votes will now be distributed to the remaining candidates; Bernard Durkan FG, Anthony Lawlor FG, James Lawless FF, and Frank O’Rourke.

    At present, Lawless has the most votes, with 8,850, including 594 transferred from Cronin. O’Rourke is next, on 7,684, including 546 transfers, and Durkan has 6,974, with 234 transfers. Sitting TD, Lawlor, has 6,213, with 167 transfers from Cronin.

  • 15:21

    More from Reilly

    Conor Pope reports:

    When asked why he thought he had lost his seat Dr Reilly suggested that the three years he had served as Minister for Health between 2011 and 1014 had definitely played a role. “My time   in Health would not   have been exactly helpful. But the country had no money and hard decision had to be made”.  

    The deputy leader of   Fine Gael said it was too early to say if his failure to win re-election spelled the end of his political career.   “I don’t think today   is a day to make decisions like that,” he said.   “I can put it this way:     my wife will feel sorry for me but delighted for us.”  

    Political associates of Dr Reilly said that as the most high profile government candidate on the ticket he had borne   the brunt of voters anger of the years of austerity.

  • 15:26
    Rachel Flaherty reports:

    Outgoing Tipperary TD Tom Hayes said he was very disappointed he did not get returned to seat.   “We had the quota of votes, we should have got a seat,” he said. He said it was the first time in the history of the state the county, the formerly south Tipperary constituency, did not have a Fine Gael TD. “It’s a pity west Tipperary, from Cashel to Tipperary, now has no TD,” he said.
  • 15:30

    Labour's Alan Kelly on prospect of FF/FG alliance and going into govt in 2011

    Do you think FF AND FG should go into coalition together?

    "Absolutely. We did the country a service by putting the country first five years ago. They now need to put the country first. It’s 2016, 100 years since the Rising. It’s absolutely the time. There’s very little between the two of them. They should come together and coalesce. The people expect it. The people voted for that and that’s what should do now."
    Any regrets about going into government in 2011?

    "None whatsoever. I think it was one of the best Governments ever to serve the people. Obviously you make mistakes but by and large you look at what has been achieved, where we are as a country now. Look at our debt levels, look at our employment levels, our growth levels. Look at everything that has been delivered - the schools around the country."

    "I helped rebuild this school. I have no regrets about going into Government. It was the right thing to put the country first. It’s now time for us in the Labour Party to put the Labour Party first for a short while. It’s time for Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael to stop the pettiness and come together to form a Government."

    Courtesy of Ruadhán Mac Cormaic

  • 15:35
    Mayo update:

    Peter Murtagh reports:

    Mayo has returned two Fine Gael and two Fianna Fail TDs to the in-coming Dail. The victors were Taoiseach Enda Kenny, his colleague Michael Ring, Fianna Fail's Dara Calleary and new-comer party colleague Lisa Chambers.

    The result is a set back for Fine Gael whose Michelle Mulherin lost her seat. There was wild cheering and crowd renditions of The West Awake! and The Fields of Athenry from Fianna Fail supporters in the count centre inn Castlebar amid roars of Up Fianna Fail! as it became clear that Ms Chambers would beat Ms Mulherin to the final seat.

    After the results were announced, three of the candidates, Mr Ring, Mr Calleary and, first to speak Ms Chambers, thanked their supporters and extolled the value of democracy. All promised to serve their constituents faithfully. Ms Chambers is aged 29 and one of Fianna Fail's bright rising stars. A protege of party leader Micheal Martin, she is a barrister and strong supporter of women in politics.
  • 15:37
  • 15:52
    Time to recap: 27 of 40 Constituencies complete: 121 of 158 Seats filled  
  • 15:54
  • 16:00
  • 16:17

    Martin's dilemma:

    As predicted, FF TDs are more vocal in their disquiet over the prospect of a tie-up with arch enemy Fine Gael. O'Dea, O'Cuiv and Calleary have poured cold water on the proposal.

    FF tacted to the left in advance of this election and it's paid off. Using the vote to prop up a FG-led government would be a difficult sell for Martin. He has the advantage of allowing party delegates decide on any possible deal. You would think political instinct alone would push him the other way, but pressure will be exerted on him to explore the possibility of an alliance in the interests of wider political stability.

  • 16:29
    RTE panel discussing possible shift to "Borgen-style politics" in ireland, presumably this means bigger coalitions, more consensus building and potentially the first female taoiseach.

  • 16:30
  • 16:32
    Can Labour's Ged Nash sill make it?

    Mark Hilliard reports:

    Labour's Ged Nash - written off as a goner yesterday - still has a chance of retaining his seat in Louth but it's shaping up to be a tight battle. With three left to be filled, and Imelda Munster and Fergus O'Dowd on course to take two, it's down to Fine Gael's Peter Fitzpatrick and Nash. On the ninth count Nash secured a massive 1,173 transfers bringing him to within 343 votes of Fitzpatrick. It could go to the wire.
  • 16:36
  • 16:43
    Our latest election podcast
  • 16:54
    FF grandee Ray McSharry appears to rule out alliance with FG

    Ronan McGreevy reports:

    Former Minister for Finance and EU Commissioner Ray MacSharry has said Fianna Fáil should only go into Government as the lead party.   Mr MacSharry maintained it was clear from the election results that Fianna Fáil had won the election and Fine Gael had been rejected by the electorate. In such a scenario, Mr MacSharry suggested that Michéal Martin should be Taoiseach even if Fianna Fáil is the smaller party after the election.

    “That can happen and does happen in democracies all over the world," he said. "They have had their time as Taoiseach and the people want them out. They want Fianna Fáil in and participating in Government.   The biggest gainers should be leading the Government. I would like to see that Michéal Martin is in control and that Fianna Fáil is in its rightful place in charge of Government.”

  • 17:07

    Bruton says no leadership battle within FG

    Marie O'Halloran reports:

    Fine Gael Minister for Jobs Richard Bruton has been elected in Dublin Bay North with a surplus of 821 votes.

    In a slow count delayed by a dispute over 150 votes not stamped at polling stations, Mr Bruton was the first TD to be elected, having topped the poll.

    He said the Taoiseach had signalled that it was his responsibility to form a stable government, but he said Fine Gael recognised other parties had a responsibility too but “we are the largest party in the Dail and once again that’s encouraging for Fine Gael”.

    Mr Bruton also said that other parties would have to play their part. “People can’t advocate for change but then not be willing to participate in seeking the change”.

    He told reporters there would not be a leadership battle in Fine Gael. The Taoiseach would seek to form a government “but we wait to see if that’s possible. He has a responsibility to talk to others but we recognise there has been a significant shift in support.” Other parties had also received a mandate “and I’m sure they’ll have something to say about the possibility of forming a government”.

  • 17:10

    Renua set to lose last TD as FF,FG vie for final Wicklow seats  

    Carl O'Brien reports:

    Renua Ireland is at risk of losing its last Dail seat as Fine Gael and Fianna Fail close in on the last remaining two seats in Wicklow. As the tenth count gets underway, Fine Gael TD Andrew Doyle (9,652 votes) leads the pack, followed by Fianna Fail's Cllr Pat Casey (9,214) and Renua TD Billy Timmins (7,279). The votes of eliminated Independent Cllr Joe Behan (5,218) are now being distributed.

    Labour TD Anne Ferris became the latest casualty for the party after she was eliminated earlier on Sunday.

    Social Democrat TD Stephen Donnelly was elected on the first count in Wicklow with 14,348 first preference votes, or 21 per cent of the vote. Sinn Fein Cllr John Brady became the party's first TD in Wicklow in almost 100 years after being elected on the second count. Fine Gael TD and Minister of State Simon Harris also retained his seat in the same count.

  • 17:14
  • 17:15
  • 17:51

    Here's my take:

    Undoubtedly left wing parties are secretly relishing the prospect of a FG/FF coalition, which would sunder the civil war dynamic and pave the way for a European-style system of Christian Democrats versus Socialists.

    That said the form of socialist opposition here hasn't really materialised. Instead we have a mishmash of groups, corralled around various thinly defined political creeds.

    Publicly, SF and AAA-PBP can't admit to wishing for such a grand FG/FF coalition, given they've fought to get FG out and to keep FF out, and wanting them back in would by hypocritical.

    Labour's boom and bust electoral cycles stand in contrast to SF's slow incremental rise, which appears to be based on more solid support. SF's brand of popular nationalism with an socialist undertow is difficult to disentangle, however. In the North, the party appears pretty mainstream, albeit politics there is being conducted through the prism of a peace process.

    It's hard to believe FF will go for an alliance with FG given the potential damage to FF grassroots, and various party figures have articulated as much. Instead Martin may opt for a reverse Tallaght strategy, effectively supporting a minority FG government until the time is ripe to pull the plug and prompt   another election.

    Even if FF did go into bed with FG, the chances of such a coalition passing a budget without a major backbench revolt is difficult to imagine.

    Either way, the State is facing a period of political instability, just what   the business community didn't want to see.

  • 17:59

    Haughey says FF will work in the national interest

    Sarah Bardon reports:

    Dublin Bay North candidate Sean Haughey said Fianna Fail would work in the national interest.   He said a Fianna Fail-Fine Gael coalition was not the only option and people to be more imaginative. Mr Haughey said he would not be in favour of a formal Tallaght strategy being put in place.   However he added: "Perhaps if that is how the issue evolves we could look at issue by issue and give the power back to the parliament."

    Minister for Jobs Richard Bruton denied this was a rejection of Taoiseach Enda Kenny or Tanaiste Joan Burton. He said there will be no leadership battle in the party.

  • 17:59
    Donegal 9th count:  

    Distribution of Pearse Doherty’s surplus of 2,382 votes

    Gallagher, Pat the Cope (FF) + 131 = 11,398
    Jackson, Tim (Ind)   + 140   = 4,790
    MacLochlainn, Pádraig (SF) + 1,942 = 8,509
    McHugh, Joe (FG) + 21 = 11,061
    Pringle, Thomas (Ind) + 105 = 7,722
    Shiels, Dessie (Ind) + 43 = 4,540
    Non-transferable 0
    Dessie Shiels eliminated
  • 18:03
    SF's Imelda Munster takes third Louth seat

    Sinn Fein's Imelda Munster has taken the third seat in Louth, and the second for her party. She becomes the first female TD to represent the county.

  • 18:17

    Burton says FG/Lab coalition will stay on in caretaker role until new government is formed

    Labour's Joan Burton says existing Government will stay on in a caretaker role - with Enda Kenny as Taoiseach and her as Tanaiste - until new government is formed.

    On her own position, Ms Burton said she would not be making any decisions until a new government is formed, saying the Labour leadership is matter for party members.  

  • 18:27
  • 18:31

    Dublin South West update

    Kitty Holland reports:

    A full recount will get underway in Dublin South West tomorrow morning at 9am at the request of Fine Gael as it fights to take the last of the five seats. Independent candidate Katherine   Zappone was declared elected on Sunday morning on the 16th count after a late surge ahead of Fine Gael’s Anne Marie Dermody.

    Ms Zappone had taken the bulk of 4,916 transfers available after the elimination independent candidate Peter Fitzpatrick in count 15, to poll 9,655 votes – 152 votes clear of Dermody’s 9,503. Fine Gael however requested a recount immediately which got underway at 10.30 am on Sunday.   An examination of the 16th and 15th counts found discrepancies in about 50 ballot papers,   amounting to a “material” level which Fine Gael’s legal advisor, barrister Dermot Mara argued undermined the integrity of the entire count. The recounts also saw the gap between the two candidates narrow to about 120 votes.

  • 18:42

    The costs of running for office:

    Overall election spending by parties and election agents for the 2011 election was €9.28 million. We don't have the figures for this poll.

    On the prospects of another quick-fire election, there'll probably be little appetite among the smaller parties and independents   given the costs involved.

    Of course, the bigger parties, which have more financial clout, may seize the initiative and force another poll to exploit their financial advantage.

    My colleague Arthur Beesley is working on piece on election spending for tomorrow's edition.


  • 18:48

    Donegal 10th count:

    Distribution of Dessie Shiels’s 4,540 votes.

    Gallagher, Pat the Cope (FF) + 434 = 11,832
    Jackson, Tim (Ind)   + 1,074   = 5,864
    MacLochlainn, Pádraig (SF) + 634 = 9,143
    McHugh, Joe (FG) + 723 = 11,784
    Pringle, Thomas (Ind) + 769 = 8,491

    Non-transferable 906

    Tim Jackson eliminated

  • 19:04

    Hi there. My name is Colin Gleeson and I will be taking you through the next couple of hours of election 2016 (part one) as we move towards filling the last of the 32nd Dail’s seats.

    It’s already been a fascinating election that has produced a very different political landscape from that which we’ve had over the last five years.

  • 19:12

    High Profile Casualty

    There has been another high profile Government casualty.

    It comes after the eleventh and final count in Cork North Central where Minister of State Kathleen Lynch has lost out.

    She joins her brother-in-law Ciaran Lynch – the chair of the banking inquiry - who lost his seat in neighbouring Cork South Central.

  • 19:20

    Labour TD Arthur Spring, nephew of former Tanaiste and party leader Dick Spring, has lost his seat in Kerry after the tenth count.

    His vote of 6,139 is currently being distributed at the count centre in Killarney. Jimmy Deenihan, his Government colleague and Minister for the Diaspora, looks like he will be on the way out also.

  • 19:21
    In Louth the final two seats have been claimed by Fergus O'Dowd and Peter Fitzpatrick.
  • 19:34

    High Profile Casualty

    That means it’s another one down for Labour and the Government.

    Minister of State at the Department of Jobs Ged Nash has been ousted.

  • 19:35

    Newly elected independent TD for Galway West Catherine Connolly has said she will not return to the Labour party which she quit a decade ago, and says she believes Labour “lost its soul” and has “left a vacuum in opposition”.

    With Labour looking to secure the seven TDs it needs to be entitled to speaking rights in the Dail, it could have used another body on deck.

    Connolly has said she believes Fine Gael and Fianna Fail should “stop the nonsense” and form a government and put an end to civil war politics.

    “I think it would be very helpful to healthy debate that we would have a left and a right [in the Dail],”she said.

  • 20:03

    In Kerry, Arthur Spring has arrived at the count centre and said: “I am never going to walk away from politics entirely.”

    “Looking at the gravitas of the situation - by gravitas I mean the weight that pulls you down - that we found the country in five years ago, we dealt with it as best we could.”

    Not sure he understands what gravitas means.

  • 20:16

    High Profile Casualty

    Minister of State for the Diaspora Jimmy Deenihan has been eliminated in Kerry.

    Martin Ferris of Sinn Fein and John Brassil of Fianna Fail have been elected without reaching the quota.

  • 20:31
    Not sure I can share how this makes me feel.
  • 20:36

    A full recount in Longford Westmeath is take place after a request from Fianna Fáil. It gets underway at 9pm.

    Fianna Fail’s Robert Troy was elected to the four seat constituency on the first count. His running mate Connie Gerety-Quinn made the request after count 12, which redistributed votes for James Morgan (Independent).

    It resulted in less than a 40 vote difference between Gerety-Quinn and Fine Gael’s James Bannon.

  • 20:38

    Minister for Health Leo Varadkar last night said: "It's up to the Opposition to see if they can form a government. We've been rebuffed."

    Not a happy camper.

    Some sources expressed the view that although there is no immediate threat to Enda Kenny's leadership of the party, he cannot lead Fine Gael into another election.

    It was claimed that one "risk" is that another election may be held before Mr Kenny himself decided to stand aside.

  • 20:43

    There are just 13 seats left to be filled.

    With recounts to take place in the morning in Wexford and Dublin South West, there won’t be much in the way of more seats being filled tonight.

    They’re still counting in Donegal, but that might be it.

  • 20:48

    Speaking of Donegal, Fianna Fail’s Pat the Cope Gallagher has been elected.

    He joins party colleague Charlie McConalogue to make it two for FF in the five seat constituency.

    In the last Dail, the party only had one seat there.

    Minister of State at the Department of the Gaeltacht Joe McHugh was elected for Fine Gael on Sunday.

    Pearse Doherty of Sinn Fein has also taken a seat but there is a dramatic battle ongoing for the final seat between two outgoing TDs, Sinn Fein’s Padraig Mac Lochlainn and independent socialist Thomas Pringle.

    After twelfth counts there is just 36 votes between them with the result hinging on the final transfer of Mr McHugh’s surplus of 251 votes.

  • 21:04

    The now former Labour TD Arthur Spring has asked whether the Healy Raes have one page “or even one line” of policy.

    Ah but they’re one of our own Arthur.

  • 21:05

    “The Healy-Raes have a style and it appeals to them and to the people of Kerry,” said Spring. “For me, I have my own style, my own set of beliefs and my own political party and policy. And today they have been rejected by the people of Kerry.”

    Jimmy Deenihan said the Healy-Rae achievement was down to “an outstanding machine”.

  • 21:08

    We have a final result in Donegal.

    Sinn Fein has lost a high profile TD in the shape of its justice spokesman Padraig Mac Lochlainn.

    Independent socialist TD Thomas Pringle has been returned after a tight contest.

    There was a dramatic battle for the final seat between Mr Mac Lochlainn and Mr Pringle.

    By the twelfth count there was just 36 votes between them with the result hinging on the final transfer of Mr McHugh’s surplus of 251 votes.

    Those transfers have seen Mr Pringle take the seat by 184 votes.

  • 21:12

    There is better news for the party in Dublin Bay North where are still counting.

    Denise Mitchell received 2,708 transfers from her running mate Micheal MacDonncha.

  • 21:31

    The only other place (not undergoing recounts) where there are seats to be filled is Sligo Leitrim.

    Fianna Fail’s Marc MacSharry and Martin Kenny of Sinn Fein have taken two of the four seats there.

    Still in contention are Eamon Scanlon (FF), and two Fine Gael candidates Gerry Reynolds and Tony

    All three of them are grouped fairly tightly.

  • 21:33
    Social Democrats hopeful Cian O'Callaghan has been excluded after the 12th count in Dublin Bay North.  
  • 21:51

    Ronan McGreevy in Sligo reports that Tony McLoughlin of Fine Gael is certain to be elected on the next count.

    The last seat is then likely to be headed for a cliff-hanger between Fianna Fáil's Eamon Scanlon and Gerry Reynolds (FG).

    Currently Reynolds is 623 votes ahead of Scanlon.

    There are two counts left. One will see the distribution of Sinn Féin's Martin Kenny's surplus of 1,465 and the other will be the distribution of the surplus of Fianna Fáil's Marc MacSharry's which amounts to 809 votes.

    Ronan McGreevy says: "The feeling in the count centre is that Kenny's surplus will break heavily in favour of Scanlon and then it will be down to MacSharry's on the final count.

    “Though Scanlon is both Fianna Fáil and from Sligo, MacSharry's surplus is likely to come mostly from Leitrim where Reynolds is based.

    "Observers here say it is much too close to call and could go down to as little as 10 votes between the pair. There is also talk of a recount."

  • 21:58
  • 22:07

    Marie O’Halloran reports that Fianna Fail’s Sean Haughey is just over 600 votes from reaching the quota in Dublin Bay North.

    The quota is 12,271 in what has been described as the “constituency of death” because of the large number of candidates.

    Sinn Fein’s Denise Mitchell is now in second place with 8,386 votes in the five seat-constituency, an amalgamation of the two three-seaters Dublin North-East and Dublin-North Central.

    The 4,796 votes of Social Democrats candidate Cian O’Callaghan, who has been eliminated, will prove crucial in deciding the final outcome.

    Ms Mitchell is expected to be elected in third place.

  • 22:08

    Marie O’Halloran says the odds of Labour Minister of State Aodhain O Riordain being re-elected have increased significantly.

    He will be fighting to hold onto his seat against Independent TD Finian Mc Grath, Independent Tommy Broughan, Anti-Austerity campaigner John Lyons and Independent Senator Averil Power.

    Certainly a very tough constituency.

    Just one candidate, outgoing Minister for Jobs Richard Burton, has been re-elected.

  • 22:20

    It looks like the last seat in the Sligo-Leitrim constituency will go to Fianna Fáil's Eamon Scanlon.

    He is only 131 behind Fine Gael's Gerry Reynolds.

    Marc MacSharry's surplus of 759 votes will be distributed on the last count between Tony McLoughlin (10,901), Reynolds (10,316) and Scanlon (10,185).

    As McLoughlin is certain of election, it will all go down to whether Scanlon will receive 131 more preferences from MacSharry's surplus.

    Given that Scanlon is a running mate of MacSharry and also from Sligo, it is likely that he will overtake Reynolds on the last count, but it is still very close.

  • 22:45
    Eamon Scanlon will win the fourth seat in Sligo-Leitrim, Gerry Reynolds has conceded.  
  • 23:11
    There is to be a full recount in Dublin Bay North on Monday after a request by Independent senator Averil Power, who found herself just 678 votes behind Tommy Broughan.
  • 23:13
    In Sligo, the inevitable has happened and Fianna Fail’s Eamon Scanlon has been elected after taking in excess of 600 transfers from party colleague Marc MacSharry
  • 23:18

    Former Fine Gael minister of state Paudie Coffey has reacted to his defeat on social media.

    “To all the trolls and abusers on social media who like to personally attack politicians you can go piss off now and think about standing yourself as a candidate to see if you’ll do any better.”

    Well said.

  • 23:20

    That pretty much brings to an end any further updates tonight.

    There are only a handful of seats left to be filled but none of them will be settled tonight with a number of recounts set to take place tomorrow.

    See irishtimes.com for all the latest news and analysis.

    Thanks for reading.