Elections Live

The count goes on in the South as the would-be kings and queens of Labour make their moves

Conor Pope Tue, May 27
LIVE: Elections Live

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  • This event has now ended
  • 10:38
    Are we there yet? Are we there yet?

    No, no we are not.
  • 10:46

    This election is like the party guest who just won't go home despite the fact that the birds are singing outside and the milkman can be heard clinking bottles on the door step.

    The count in Ireland Southis set to resume this morning.

    Fianna Fáil’s sitting MEP, Brian Crowley made it a fifth consecutive successful European election win when he took the first seat yesterday while Sinn Féin’s Liadh Ni Riada achieved yet another success for the party when she took its first ever seat in the constituency.

    Fine Gael's Sean Kelly looks set to take the third seat leaving fellow party members Simon Harris and Deirdre Clune to battle it out for the last seat.  


  • 10:47
    Last night Green Party leader Eamon Ryan failed to secure a seat in the Dublin European constituency after a recount saw Independent Nessa Childers and Fine Gael’s Brian Hayes elected along with Sinn Féin’s Lynn Boylan.
  • 10:54

    Independent TD for Roscommon-South Leitrim Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan was elected having topped the poll in the Midlands North-West European constituency yesterday.

    He was elected on the second count after receiving 129,561 votes, carrying him over the quota of 129,290.

    Independent senator Ronan Mullen was eliminated on the third count shortly before 10pm, with 41,164 votes on transfers. Three seats are still left to fill in the Midlands North West constituency. Counting in Castlebar is to resume this morning.

    Mairead McGuinness and Matt Carthy may take the next two seats, and transfers will determine the outcome for the last seat — with a tussle expected between Fianna Fáil MEP Pat The Cope Gallagher, Fianna Fáil’s ‘M50 belt’ candidate Thomas Byrne, and Independent MEP Marian Harkin.

  • 10:55

    Can we not have e-voting?  


    This has been going on since Saturday morning.  

  • 10:56

    Eamon Gilmore’s decision to resign as Labour Party leader has triggered a leadership race with a raft of early hopefuls, but has also raised serious doubts about the ability of the Coalition to survive its full term.

    At least seven Labour TDs were last night reported to be considering entering the race to succeed him, but the field is expected to narrow by the time nominations close on June 3rd.

    The membership of the party is expected to face a choice of at least one senior Minister and at least one of the younger generation of Labour TDs.

    The indications last night were that Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton will be a leading candidate for the post. Her Cabinet colleague Brendan Howlin was reported to be considering the position. Sources said he had been contacted by many members of the party urging him to stand. However, he has twice failed to win the leadership and may be reluctant to run again.

  • 10:57

    Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn has said the Labour TDs who proposed a motion of no confidence in Eamon Gilmore as party leader lacked courage and decency.  “It’s not the Labour way to have thereatened to put down a motion without having the courage or indeed the decency to contact the party leader,” he said ahead of this morning’s Cabinet meeting. He said Mr Gilmore had decided to resign but was not given the space to make his announcement in a timely manner.

  • 10:58

  • 11:02

    Eighth count in Ireland South just in,

    It's the distribution of Ni Riada's surplus of 1,019

    Clune  and Harris both got 47 transfers. 56,738. Hartley got 84 and Kelly was left with 53 while O'Flynn  hoovered up 395             extra votes and O'Sullivan a further 164  with Prendergast             adding 65 to her tota. A further 235 votes were non-transferable. No one was elected so O'Sullivan has been distributed and the and distribution of her 34,607 papers starts now.  


  • 11:03

  • 11:03

  • 11:04

    Sorry, what now?



  • 11:08

    Ireland is the only place where the European election count is still going on.  

    Slow and steady wins the race boys. Slow and steady wins the race.  

  • 11:16
    Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin hinted this morning he would bid for the vacant Labour Party leadership. Speaking on his way into Cabinet this morning, Mr Howlin said he would be part of the “reform” of the Labour Party along with colleagues. “I’ll be part of that. What role I’ll play I’m going to decide in the next day or two,” he said.
  • 11:18
    Alan Kelly has just told Tipp FM he will run for leader or deputy leader of Labour. Hasn't made up his mind about which position just yet.
  • 11:32
    We're not the only place convulsed by elections and their consequences. Former British prime minister Tony Blair has had a dig at UKIP saying some thing "pretty nasty and unpleasant" lies beneath the surface. Beneath the surface? Blair said it was time to "confront and expose" Nigel Farage's party and the National Front in France and said they did not have any "actual solution to the problem of the 21st century".
  • 12:26

  • 12:36

    A bit of non-election news.

    Rating agency Moody’s has upgraded to Baa1 from Baa3 the government-guaranteed debt ratings of four Irish banks: Allied Irish Banks, EBS, Bank of Ireland and Permanent tsb (PTSB). The outlook on these debt ratings changed to stable from positive.

    This follows its upgrade of Ireland’s government bond rating to Baa1 from Baa3 and the change in outlook on this rating from positive to stable.

  • 13:03

    Counting is also still going on in Northern Ireland where the remaining two seats in the European parliament have still to be filled. There is growing criticism of the lengthy delay in returning the final results.


  • 13:16

  • 13:51
    FG's sitting MEP Jim Higgins waseliminated on the 4th count in Midlands NW. Marian Harkin got a third of Ronan Mullen's transfers Higgins votes now being distributed.
  • 14:01

    Stop the presses!

    And the election talk.  This just in from the PSNI:

    "Police in Newtownards are appealing for information following the theft of three ducks in Comber. The ducks, Jemima, Pete and Agnus, were stolen from a nursing home in the Castle Street area of the town sometime between 9:30pm on Friday, May 23rd and 7:30am on Saturday, May 24th. Anyone who was in the area and who noticed any suspicious activity or anyone with information is asked to contact police in Newtownards on the non-emergency number 101."


  • 14:02

  • 14:08

    If you're an election geek you will find this to be a thing of beauty...  

  • 14:16
    Diarmuid O'Flynn has been eliminated in Cork. Hos 50k + votes are being distrubuted now.  
  • 14:17

  • 14:18

    It's neck and neck between FG's Harris and Clune in Ireland South with FF's Hartley in with an outside chance...  

    Recount anyone?  

  • 14:32

  • 15:24

    Labour Party senator and MEP candidate Lorraine Higgins said she has reported to gardaí “death threats” allegedly made to her on Facebook last Friday, the day of the local and European Parliament vote.
    Ms Higgins said she could not “say for sure” where the threat came from .
    The pattern had begun “a number of weeks ago” and had intensified in the last week, culiminating in a death threat on Friday.
    She was speaking on RTÉ’s Today with Sean O’Rourke programme.
    Asked if she had any idea where the threat had come from, Ms Higgins, who was eliminated on the second count of the ballot for the Midlands North-West constituency, said: “I haven’t but I’ve reported it to the gardaí.”
    “I was told, essentially, that I was going to be hatcheted in the face as a way of murdering me.
    “That’s not it verbatim, but words to that effect. I could trace the person who said it based on his Facebook profile and that information is now with the gardaí.”
    Ms Higgins added that the individual “certainly had links to a political party and was a supporter of a political party based on his friends on Facebook”.

  • 16:05

    Hi there. My name is Colin Gleeson and I will now be taking over the roller-coaster fourth day of counting in the European elections from my beleaguered colleague Conor Pope.

    The excitement just got too much for him.

  • 16:25

    So, to recap.

    In the South, Fianna Fáil's Brian Crowley and Sinn Féin's Liadh Ní Riada have been elected as MEPs.

    Fine Gael's Seán Kelly remains on course to take the third seat but there is an intriguing battle going on between Fine Gael young gun Simon Harris and party colleague Deirdre Clune for the last seat. A little over 2,000 votes separate them and the eleventh count is underway.

    Fianna Fáil's Kieran Hartley also has a chance.

    In the Midlands-North-West constituency, Independent Luke 'Ming' Flanagan was elected yesterday.

    Fine Gael's Mairead McGuinness was elected a short time ago on the fifth count.

    Sinn Féin's Matt Carthy is less than 3,000 votes shy of the quota and should take the third seat.

    The the fourth and final seat will probably be between outgoing MEPs Marian Harkin (Ind) and Pat ‘The Cope’ Gallagher (FF).

  • 16:35
    Mairead McGuinness has indicated she will remain in Europe for the full terms as she does not wish to contest another Dáil election.
  • 16:43

    Newly elected Socialist Party TD Ruth Coppinger has taken her seat in the Dáil.

    With her family and friends watching from the public gallery, the Dublin West TD was accompanies in the chamber by party leader Joe Higgins and welcomed by Ceann Comhairle Sean Barrett.

    She was applauded as she walked down the steps and into the chamber to shake hands with party leaders.

    The Ceann Comhairle said he hoped her time in Dáil Éireann would be “a productive and a happy one”.

  • 16:57

    Kieran Hartley of Fianna Fáil has been eliminated on the 11th count in the South European constituency.

  • 17:03

    What that means is Enda can now put his feet up.

    The remaining two seats in the South will be taken by Fine Gael – it’s just a matter of which two of three candidates.

    Sean Kelly is a certainty but the last seat will be down to the wire between Deirdre Clune and Simon Harris.

    There are no Fine Gaelers in the running for seats in the Midlands Northwest after Mairead McGuinness was elected and Jim Higgins eliminated.

  • 17:06

    What that also means is that Fine Gael has retained the four seats they won at the last European elections in 2009.

    The Labour Party however has lost all three of its seats.


  • 17:18
    In the battle of the Fine Gaelers, Deirdre Clune has increased her lead over Simon Harris to 2,952 votes.
  • 17:20

    Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore has said his successor should keep Labour in Government until the end of its mandate in 2016 but said it was clear that the Coalition needs to renewed and economic recovery must be felt by the people.

    “I think that we have to heed very clearly the message that the people of the country gave to both Government parties, particularly to the Labour Party,” he said.

    “I think there is a determination on the part of both parties to complete the job to ensure that the Irish economy is secure but also that the benefits of that economic success are felt by people.”

  • 17:21

    “Whoever is elected as the new leader of the party will lead the party into the general election, through it, and I hope back into Government,” he told reporters.

    Good luck with that.

  • 17:22
  • 17:34
    The final count for the South constituency is expected in Cork at 6.30pm.
  • 17:36
    No one has been elected following the sixth count in Midlands North West. Fianna Fail’s Thomas Byrne has been eliminated and his votes will now be redistributed.
  • 17:48

    What will be interesting now is whether Thomas Byrne’s transfers will help his party colleague Pat ‘The Cope’ Gallagher close the gap on Independent Marian Harkin.

    Well, you would expect they will, but how much?

    The gap currently stands at 31,000 votes. Ms Harkin took 4,266 of the 6,408 surplus left following the election of Fine Gael's Mairead McGuinness.

    But you would expect Mr Gallagher will benefit strongly from Mr Byrne’s transfers.

  • 17:54
    Sinn Fein candidate Matt Carthy received some 643 transfers to increase to 127,135. He is now just 2,000 votes short of the quota and is expected to reach it on count seven.
  • 18:57
    Sean Kelly and Deirdre Clune have been elected in the South following the transfer of Kieran Hartley's votes.
  • 18:58
    Fine Gael's Deirdre Clune increased her lead over Simon Harris there - and while she failed to reach the quota, she has been elected.
  • 18:58
    So two seats left to be filled in Midlands North West.
  • 19:09
  • 19:35

    A little awkwardly, all the Fine Gael candidates were gathered together for that announcement.

    Sean Kelly was thrust up into the air, while poor Simon Harris was left to applaud politely while trying not to look too sad.

    A little like when they have the nominees up on that split screen at the Oscars.

  • 19:40
  • 19:52

    Speaking afterwards, Sean Kelly expressed his satisfaction with the party success in Ireland South.

    “There was a strategy to deliver two seats and we delivered. Unfortunately we weren’t able to do that in Ireland North West and I want to pay tribute to my good friend Jim Higgins who didn’t make it over the line.

    “I’m looking forward to working with Deirdre Clune who comes from a family involved in Fine Gael for generations. I want to also pay tribute to Simon Harris who put in a great performance and has a great future Irish politics. I look forward to seeing him go onwards and upwards.”

  • 19:53

    Deirdre Clune admitted she was both “humbled and relieved” to take a second seat in Ireland South.

    “It was a bit of a rollercoaster of count. It was hard place to be when I was 1,500 votes down last night but the hard work where we visited every town and village paid off in the transfers.

    “I’m disappointed for Simon but obviously there can only be one winner. We’ve spoken and I’ve thanked him for putting in such a strong campaign because it definitely contributed to my election today and I look forward now to representing the people of Ireland South with Sean Kelly.”

  • 19:53

    Simon Harris congratulated both Mr Kelly and Ms Clune and said they would both have his support in representing Ireland South.

    “I really enjoyed the campaign, I was humbled by the support I received and I look forward to returning to Dail Eireann and giving voice to the many issues raised with me.”

  • 20:24

    The Labour Party's executive board has agreed the arrangements for the election of a new leader and deputy leader.

    Nominations are now open and will close at 12pm on June 3rd. The count will take place immediately after that deadline ends.

  • 20:29

    Forget the elections, I have some Wozilroy news.

    Caroline Wozniacki has lost her match in the first round of the French Open – her first since her break-up with golfer Rory mcIlroy.

    She has said she "just has to move on".

    Wozniacki (23) was beaten 7-6 (7-5) 4-6 6-2 by Belgium's Yanina Wickmayer.

    The former world number one said the break-up "came as a bit of a shock".

    “What happens in my personal life, I just want to really keep that between my closest people around me.

    "I just tried to prepare the best that I could and really tried to focus on my match and what I had to do out there."

    To be honest, she’s a pretty average player and has never won a Grand Slam so her defeat is no surprise.

  • 20:31

    McIlroy of course responded to the heartache by winning the PGA Championship at Wentworth on Sunday.


  • 20:57
  • 21:08
    And I never want to hear the words "...and counting is continuing.." again.
  • 21:11
    We have a seventh count.
  • 21:11

    Matt Carthy of Sinn Fein is finally elected.


    He has been on the cusp of the quota for most of the day.

  • 21:14
    Pat 'The Cope' Gallagher has received 34,475 tranfers from his party colleague Thomas Byrne - but Independent Marian Harkin got 5,658 so while  Pat 'The Cope' Gallagher closed the gap significantly, he is still about 2,500 votes behind Harkin.
  • 21:15
    Matt Carthy's 5,658 surplus votes will decide that particular issue. They are being counted now.
  • 21:22
  • 21:32
    So, counting is indeed continuing.
  • 21:32
  • 21:53

    There’s talk of a recount in Castlebar.


  • 21:54
  • 22:31

    It seems a recount is almost certain in the Midlands North West constituency.

    Representatives in both the Harkin and Gallagher camps have acknowledged it will be necessary and it is expected to begin in the morning.

    Still waiting for the details of Carthy’s surplus to be revealed, as well as an official announcement on the above.

  • 22:40

    An announcement is due in the next few minutes apparently.

    Praise the Lord.

  • 22:51

    Hold off on the praising.

    Our correspondent in Castlebar Harry McGee thinks the announcement will be in about 20 minutes.

  • 23:13

    Vincent Browne just made a very good point in relation to why e-voting should be introduced.

    Apart from the fact that we could all be sitting at home with our feet up, there is also the fact that it would be far more democratic given that people who are working in Dublin but can’t get home on a Friday to vote could do so in Dublin.

    There would be no need to be in your constituency to vote so the turnout would be far greater.

  • 23:22
  • 23:24

    It’s official.

    We are, extraordinarily, going into a fifth day of counting in Midlands North West. It has just been announced there will be a full recount due to begin in the morning.

    Stay tuned to irishtimes.com for all the latest on that tomorrow. From me, it’s good night.