It’s been a day of jubilation and desolation, and Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael have been matching each other all the way
WE TOOK YOU THROUGH until after midnight on day two of the general election count.
Even after the mammoth number of hours counting, there are still 10 seats out of 158 to be settled. Here’s a brief recap of the state of play come Sunday night.
- Just four seats separates Fine Gael (47) and Fianna Fáil (43)
- Renua has failed to win a seat while the Green Party fulfilled Eamon’s Ryan dream of a comeback with two deputies – including himself – returning to Dáil Eireann.
- Fine Gael and Labour have lost some big names, including Cabinet members.
- No one knows who will form the next government – and how it can be done.
- There have been five recounts/rechecks ordered: Dublin South Central, Dublin South West, Dublin Bay North, Longford-Westmeath and Wexford.
Good evening one and all and welcome to the evening liveblog for election count day two.
Cianan Brennan here, bringing you all the action from the count centres for those constituencies that remain undecided.
There’s still lots to come – in truth a lot of seats aren’t going to be decided tonight – but we’ll bring you everything that does happen.
So settle in, it’s gonna be a long one.
Here’s a selection of some of the new faces who’ll be populating Dáil Éireann come 10 March.
You can read more about all the new faces that will feature in the next government here.
First up is Donegal, where Fianna Fáil royalty Pat ‘the Cope’ Gallagher has been elected on count 11.
Independent Tim Jackson has been eliminated which could spell trouble for Sinn Féin’s Padraig Mac Lochlainn depending on where Jackson’s transfers go.
If they go to Thomas Pringle Sinn Féin may end up with just the one seat (Pearse Doherty) in a constituency that should be a stronghold for them.
It’s getting tense up north.
This is a very interesting statistic pointed out by our Dan Mac Guill:
Of the five TDs who left Fine Gael over the 2013 Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill, none will be in the next Dáil. Peter Mathews, Billy Timmins, Terence Flanagan and Lucinda Creighton have all lost their seats, and Brian Walsh retired. Conversely, the two deputies who left Fine Gael over local issues – Denis Naughten and Noel Grealish – were both easily elected as Independents.
Indeed there is Barry.
Ok so, there are 23 seats left to be decided, here’s where they all are:
Cavan Monaghan: Two seats outstanding
Donegal: Three seats outstanding
Dublin Bay North: Four seats outstanding
Dublin South Central: One seat outstanding pending a recount (but not a full one)
Dublin South West: No seats outstanding, but there is a full recount on the way from 9am tomorrow
Kerry: Three seats outstanding
Longford-Westmeath: Three seats outstanding
Louth: Two seats outstanding
Sligo-Leitrim: Three seats outstanding
Wexford: Two seats outstanding pending a recount from 9am tomorrow morning
All centres bar Wexford, Dublin South West, and possibly Dublin South Central (we’re not fully sure what’s going on there) continue to count this evening.
Here’s how the seat-allocation is looking right now:
Fine Gael have slowly opened something of a lead over Fianna Fáil today – currently they’re four votes out in front – 42 plays 38.
If you add those votes up you get 80 – enough for an overall majority.
Life really would be a little easier if the two old foes could come up with a government together. But will they?
Sinn Féin have 20 seats. What happens in Donegal next with the final seat will be very interesting for them – losing Padraig Mac Lochlainn would be a blow.
Renua will now officially have no seats in the next Dáil.
And Labour need one more seat to secure the seven needed for speaking rights in the next Dáil.
There’s still plenty to play for.
Ged Nash has lost his seat in Louth on the 11th count.
Fine Gael incumbents Fergus O’Dowd and Peter Fitzpatrick are returned.
In Kerry Labour’s Arthur Spring is gone on the 10th count. No-new TDs elected there however. Yet another loss for Labour.
The Tánaiste and Labour leader Joan Burton earlier spoke to RTÉ’s Six One News about where it all went wrong for her party.
“Well it’s been a very difficult election for the Labour Party,” she said.
We’ve lost a lot of very good people. The people have recognised that progress has been made but they don’t want Labour in government.
A government will have to be formed. Those parties that have got the votes are now going to have to step up to the plate and look to provide a stable and secure government.
Asked on her own future as leader Burton said she wouldn’t “be saying anything at this point in time until we see all the results”.
Until a new government is formed the existing government will stay on in a caretaker capacity, with the Taoiseach and me as Tánaiste.
I hope that happens in a reasonably speedy timeframe. We’ll know the final outcomes from the election by lunchtime tomorrow I think.
Now we turn to what parties the people have voted for. They need to be able to get a stable government out of this election.
I remain on as Tánaiste until a new government is formed, I won’t be making any decisions in relation to anything until we know the outcomes and until a new government is formed.
She said that “if nothing has been agreed by 10 March we may be asked by the president to carry the current government on in a caretaker capacity”.
What happens next with Labour will be a matter for the members of the Labour Party, we have a longstanding tradition of one member one vote in this party, we’ll see what they have to say.
Who doesn’t love a wild celebration? There’s been a fair few over the course of this weekend. Here’s a few of them to savour.
All videos by Órla Ryan and Hugh O’Connell.
The results of Dublin Bay North’s tenth count are in… and Sinn Féin’s Mícheál Mac Donncha is out.
But no-one new has been elected. This constituency just doesn’t want to be decided does it. Richard Bruton remains the sole candidate to be re-elected at this stage.
Things are insanely tight as you can see. It’s looking a little rosier for Aodháin Ó Riordáin though – can he become the magic seventh elected TD for Labour?
As regards the final two seats… well your guess is as good as ours, but it looks like being two from Finian McGrath (Ind), John Lyons (AAA-PBP), Tommy Broughan (Ind), and Averil Power (Ind).
To Cavan-Monaghan, where another two TDs have been elected. And they’re both Fianna Fáil.
Brendan Smith and Niamh Smyth have gotten in on the 10th count, joining Fine Gael Arts Minister Heather Humphreys and Sinn Féin’s Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin.
That’s all the seats filled now, with Fine Gael’s Joe O’Reilly eliminated.
There are now just five constituencies actively counting – Donegal, Dublin Bay North, Kerry, Longford-Westmeath, and Sligo-Leitrim.
Dublin Bay North in particular is set for a dramatic evening you feel – it’s incredibly tight.
Our reporter Rónán Duffy is settling in for a long night in the RDS. Here’s the latest on that tight count from Dublin Bay North:
There are six candidates who all have a reasonable shot of taking one of the three seats.
Long-time Independent TD Finian McGrath was looking pretty glum around the RDS this evening, but it’s not over yet.
Junior Minister Aodhán Ó Riordáin is nowhere to be seen in Simmonscourt but he’s definitely in this fight. As are Sinn Féin who have have been trying to win a seat here for years.
Tommy Broughan and John Lyons will be battling for some left-wing transfers with Averil Power potentially swooping in on them all.
You can read all about it here.
A second seat has finally been taken in Sligo-Leitrim – and it’s gone to Martin Kenny of Sinn Féin who inherited a truckload of transfers following the elimination of his running mate Chris MacManus.
Just the two left to be filled now – and it’s Fine Gael’ Tony McLoughlin and Gerry Reynolds and Fianna Fáil’s Eamon Scanlon in the ring. Who’s going to emerge on top?
And the award for ‘best joke your dad might make’ goes to…
Anything Dublin Bay North can do, Donegal can do too.
The drama has just been ramped up to crazy levels – Fianna Fáil’s Pat ‘The Cope’ Gallagher and Fine Gael’s Joe McHugh have just taken seats three and four at the 11th count.
And so the last seat is between Sinn Féin’s Padraig Mac Lochlainn and independent Thomas Pringle – and after Pringle inhaled eliminated Tim Jackson’s transfers there’s just 74 votes between them. Mamma Mia.
If Sinn Féin do lose out you would imagine they will be kicking themselves for running three candidates and splitting their vote to such an extent.
Not again… there’s to be a full recount in Longford-Westmeath according to RTÉ…
It’s starting tonight though, which is a great thing or not such a great thing depending on how badly you need sleep tonight.
That recount has been requested by Fianna Fáil’s Connie Gerety-Quinn by the way.
This is how things stood after count 12.
Fianna Fáil’s Robert Troy remains the only candidate returned thus far in the four-seater.
It’s poised on a knife-edge, this one. And Willie Penrose for Labour may not be as done as he feared he was last night – should he inherit transfers from the likes of James Bannon (assuming he himself is eliminated), he could be in a very strong position to take the final seat.
Here’s Pat ‘The Cope’ Gallagher’s victory jig from Donegal.
And doesn’t he look happy.
Video courtesy of Highland Radio.
Kerry is done and done.
Fine Gael minister Jimmy Deenihan has been eliminated on the 11th count, and Fine Gael’s Brendan Griffin, Sinn Féin’s Martin Ferris, and Fianna Fáil’s John Brassil are all elected to join the brothers Healy-Rae in Dáil Éireann.
It’s a bit of a result for Martin Ferris in particular – a recent poll had suggested that he wasn’t polling too well coming up to the election.
It’s a sad end though to 29 years as a TD for former Kerry footballer Deenihan.
It’s starting to look grim indeed for Sinn Féin in Donegal.
After distribution of Pat ‘The Cope’ Gallagher’s surplus there’s just 36 votes between Padraig Mac Lochlainn and Independent Thomas Pringle with the independent with his nose in front.
Now it comes down to the distribution of Fine Gael’s Joe McHugh’s surplus. That’s hardly going to go to Sinn Féin is it? It’s looking very grim up north now for Sinn Féin.
Meanwhile word has come through that Fianna Fáil’s Deirdre Heney has been eliminated in Dublin Bay North.
It seems very much like we won’t have a result in Longford-Westmeath tonight after a full recount was called for.
Michael McDowell and Katherine Zappone looking pensive at Citywest ahead of the full recount of Dublin South West in Citywest tomorrow morning at 10am.
It looks like Fine Gael is going to bring their full legal might to bear in an attempt to dislodge Zappone from the seat she won this morning.
A Healy-Rae cavalcade sounds like an interesting phenomenon:
It looks like Thomas Pringle is about to become Donegal’s final TD for the next Dáil session:
We’re hearing that Padraig Mac Lochlainn has conceded in Donegal…
It’s official: Thomas Pringle is elected in Donegal without reaching quota.
Sinn Féin’s Padraig Mac Lochlainn is eliminated. He’s a rarity in this election – a sitting Sinn Féin TD who hasn’t been re-elected.
The party will now have only one representative, Pearse Doherty, in what would be seen as one of their heartlands in Donegal.
In the end Pringle extended his lead, but it was a case of inches – 10,082 votes for Pringle, and 9,898 for Mac Lochlainn after count 13.
So, how do we stand now?
With just 12 seats left to play for Fine Gael are on 46 seats and Fianna Fáil are on 42.
In a game of increasingly fine margins you’d have to imagine Sinn Féin will be gutted over what has just transpired in Donegal. They could certainly have had two TDs there, but now they’ll have to settle for one.
There’ll be 16 independents in the next Dáil (assuming nothing changes with recounts).
Labour remain on six seats, one away from the magic number of seven.
But they have at least two strong contenders still standing in Willie Penrose (Longford-Westmeath) and Aodhán Ó Riordáin (Dublin Bay North).
After the Donegal distraction it’s back to Dublin Bay North.
It’s tight as ever – will Deirdre Heney’s votes be enough to finally see Seán Haughey over the line?
Dublin Bay North count 12.
No-one is elected but Cian O’Callaghan has been eliminated.
Here’s a snapshot of today’s talking points after a truly hectic day of counting:
Social Democrat O’Callaghan will now have his votes distributed, that’s 4,796 votes.
But where will they go?
Could his elimination be good news for Averil Power?
Sean Haughey still hasn’t made quota, but he is surely safe.
Final statement on that final seat in Donegal, where Independent Thomas Pringle barely pipped Sinn Féin’s Padraig Mac Lochlainn to the post.
We have six or seven minutes to wait apparently for the next count in Sligo-Leitrim.
And this could be the count that leaves Fianna Fáil’s Eamon Scanlon in a dogfight with Fine Gael’s Gerry Reynolds for the final seat.
This is how things stood after count 13:
Reynolds seems to hold the aces in this one.
One of the greatest moments of this any or any other election – the election of Alan Kelly to the Dáil as TD for Tipperary from earlier this afternoon:
Talk about a tension release…
Ok folks, it looks like we’re going to be waiting for a little while longer for the next count from Sligo-Leitrim, so I’m going to sign off now.
Sinéad O’Carroll will now be with you for the rest of the night.
Good evening everyone. As Cianan said, it’s Sinéad O’Carroll here for the next few hours – exactly how many hours, we’re still not sure.
We also have eyes on Longford-Westmeath and Sligo-Leitrim where there are still seats up for grabs.
We’re not the only ones pulling all-nighters in the Journal Media offices. DailyEdg.ie has a classic double team of their own - Valerie and Amy - geared up for the most Irish Oscars of all time.
Stick with us through the early hours for all kinds of news from all sorts of votes.
Find their great work here.
Áine Lawlor has just told us on The Week in Politics that Fianna Fáil’s Thomas Byrne has already changed his Twitter handle to reflect his new positions.
And indeed he has.
Wonder how long that website will last?
With just one TD voted in for Longford-Westmeath, there has been a full recount ordered after a request by Fianna Fáil’s Connie Gerety-Quinn.
It looks like they’ll be back tomorrow before there’s any sign of a result.
Here’s the state of play as we stand. Kevin ‘Boxer’ is all but in, just less than 1,000 votes off the quota.
Labour members have one eye on Willie Penrose here and the other on Aodhán Ó Ríordán in Dublin Bay North. At least one of them has to secure a seat to ensure the party keeps those all-important speaking rights in the 32nd Dáil.
Some context from a local journalist in-the-know up in Donegal.
There was nothing between the Sinn Féin TD and his independent counterpart Thomas Pringle. The well-liked deputy was gracious in defeat, despite that fact.
A weary Bríd Smith has just spoken to RTÉ about the ongoing dispute in Dublin South Central. The AAA-PBP candidate edged out Fianna Fáil’s Catherine Ardagh who subsequently asked for a recount.
Her team claimed there were votes incorrectly filed.
Tonight, Smith said a number of votes have been tagged for adjudication by both sides.
There will be no decision tonight and they’ll be heading home soon, she said, adding:
“Thanks be to God.”
They haven’t quite adjudicated yet, but there definitely won’t be a conclusion tonight – or even the early hours of the morning.
News from Sligo Leitrim, where the count has finally come to a close.
Fianna Fáil’s Eamon Scanlon has joined his running mate Marc MacSharry as an elected representative.
Fine Gael’s Tony McLoughlin takes the fourth seat in the constituency.
A flurry of activity there from across the country – in the places that are still active, anyway.
Over to Rónán Duffy in Dublin Bay North, where a full recount has just been ordered on the request of Averil Power.
There are just 67 votes between her and Tommy Broughan.
The returning officer for Dublin Bay North has decided that the recount will begin at 11am tomorrow.
Averil Power says it’s been an excruciating count for everyone but feels that she had to ask for the recount given how close the numbers are – and how friendly other candidates’ transfers have been to her.
So, we’re back tomorrow for FIVE recounts in:
- Dublin South Central
- Dublin South West
- Dublin Bay North
So, we have 10 seats left to fill out of 158.
Not that it will tell us a huge amount as we’ve still no idea what our next government will look like.
It will be an anxious night for Labour and AAA-PBP, two parties hoping to sneak past the seven TD mark to ensure they have speaking rights in the Dáil.
Labour need one of Willie Penrose or Aodháin Ó Riordán to cross the finish line, while the newly-joined AAA-PBP need both Bríd Smith to be confirmed after a recount in Dublin South Central and John Lyons to come out on top in the so-called Group of Death in Dublin Bay North.
That will be a tough ask. Read more here.
In other news, Saoirse Ronan has arrived on the red carpet for the 2016 Oscars. And she’s doing the country proud.
Ryan Seacrest didn’t ask her about the results in Carlow-Kilkenny though.
From LA to Longford…
Longford-Westmeath to be exact. The recheck process is still underway there and we’re not sure if the returning officer is going to continue counting after its complete.
More than likely, she will decide to leave it at that and return in the morning.
But for the moment, they’re still continuing. ShannonsideFM is saying they’ll be rechecking votes for at least two hours.
The check was called after the 12th count on the request of Fianna Fáil’s Connie Gerety-Quinn.
Count centres are generally tense locations but when the internet isn’t up to scratch, anger levels can also rise.
So kudos to our colleague Orla Ryan for sitting it all out for two days with grace and charm.
Here’s what she saw over the 48 hours which culminated in chants of Up “Fianna Fáil, we’re back!” And back in ‘Fine Gael county’.
We’re wrapping up here for now but will be back first thing in the morning as the counts continue to fill those 10 final seats.
- Dublin South West will begin at 9am.
- Wexford is back at 10am
- Dublin Bay North will be returning at 11am for counting.
- Dublin South Central will resume its count at the later time of 1pm.
- We’re still unclear what is happening in Longford-Westmeath but will have an update at 6.30am.
… for now.