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Dublin: 12 °C Wednesday 1 October, 2014

Liveblog: The 2011 presidential election count, 6:45pm – 3am

Part TWO of our all-day liveblog following the twists and turns of the Presidential election count (and the latest on the Dublin West by-election and the referenda results).

Michael D Higgins and wife Sabina celebrate in Dublin Castle tonight after the first count
Michael D Higgins and wife Sabina celebrate in Dublin Castle tonight after the first count
Image: Stephen Kilkenny/LightCurvePhoto

Hi all and thanks for joining us for our continuing liveblog on the 2011 Presidential election count. If you want to see what happened from 9am to 6.45pm, check out Part ONE of the blog here.

Now, where were we?…

18.56 – Hi all, the length of this blog (we’ve been with you since 9am) is getting too hot to handle for those coming to us through their iPhone and Android apps so we’re going to bring this one to a conclusion and start a brand new PART DEUX! Come join us in our second part here.

18.58 – This just in:

“Dana Rosemary Scallon  wishes to congratulate Mr Michael D Higgins on his election as Uachtaran na hÉireann.  ‘His wife Sabina and his family are a great support to him and I hope that their time is Aras an Uachtaráin will be happy and successful. I’m sure  the supporters in Galway are particularly proud of him at this time’. Dana Rosemary Scallon.”

19.00 – Now – here’s another result in from Meath West, and no surprise to see that it’s followed the provincial lead and gone for Higgins too, though only just.

- Michael D Higgins 34.4%
- Sean Gallagher 33.5%
- Martin McGuinness 14.9%
- Gay Mitchell 6.1%
- David Norris 5.9%
- Dana Rosemary Scallon 2.7%
- Mary Davis 2.5%

Here, too, is Wexford’s entry to the ledgers:

- Michael D Higgins 36.2%
- Sean Gallagher 33.9%
- Martin McGuinness 14%
- Gay Mitchell 6%
- David Norris 4.8%
- Mary Davis 2.5%
- Dana Rosemary Scallon 2.5%

More on that issue with ballot paper in Wicklow – we now hear that it was 32 ballot papers, with the stamp of Dublin Central, which showed up on..

19.01 – … er, them. How odd.

19.07 – With Michael D Higgins on track for the Áras – and Paddy Power bookies paying out on bets with his name on it – will people be asking whether a tweet lost Seán Gallagher his lead on the poet-politician? One of the most retweeted notes today comes from @colmtobin who asks:

19.14Dublin North West first count is coming out now – waiting for percentages but it’s Michael D way out in front with 9,709 first preferences, ahead of Seán Gallagher in second with 5,069 and Martin McGuinness on 1,111. David Norris is in fourth there with 2,638, Gay Mitchell on 1,111 (four-legged eleven?), Mary Davis on 915 and Dana Rosemary Scallon on 576.

19.17 – Meanwhile, Dublin North Central is showing similar colours with:

Michael D Higgins 46.4%

Seán Gallagher 20.1%

Martin McGuinness 11.2%

David Norris 10.5%

Gay Mitchell 5.9%

Mary Davis 3.5%

Dana Rosemary Scallon 2.5%

19.19 – The order was the same for Dublin North West, as we mentioned – in percentages of the first vote:

Michael D Higgins 38.8%

Seán Gallagher 20.3%

Martin McGuinness 19.9%

David Norris 10.6%

Gay Mitchell 4.4%

Mary Davis 3.7%

Dana Rosemary Scallon: 2.3%

19.28 – And more results now… from Cork North Central this time:

Michael D Higgins 46.4%

Seán Gallagher 20.1%

Martin McGuinness 11.2%

David Norris 10.5%

Gay Mitchell 5.9%

Mary Davis 3.5%

Dana Rosemary Scallon 2.5%

And from Cork South Central, semi-good news for Dana where she doesn’t finish right at the bottom of the poll:

Michael D Higgins 45%

Seán Gallagher 24.9%

Martin McGuinness 14.1%

David Norris 6.5%

Gay Mitchell 4.7%

Dana Rosemary Scallon 2.8%

Mary Davis 2%

19.30 – Meanwhile, over in Dublin Castle, TheJournal.ie’s Gavan Reilly is keeping an eye on the international and local media who are, er, keeping an eye on the arrival of any candidates. The complete results of the first count are due there some time after 8pm.

Note the carrier of empty coffee cups on the desk in the foreground. It’s gonna be a long evening…

19.32 – Co Limerick’s first count is coming in and showing Higgins and McGuinness at the top. WAY at the top according to the local Live95fm news who tweet that Higgins got 14,134 first preferences and Gallagher 12,238 while the next in line is McGuinness at 3,854. Quite the gap there.

19.35Clare has signalled its first count results:

Michael D Higgins 44.3%

Seán Gallagher 31.4%

Martin McGuinness 10.5%

Gay Mitchell 5.4%

David Norris 5.4%

Dana Rosemary Scallon 2.8%

Mary Davis 1.9%

19.37 – Those Limerick county results we mentioned break down a little like this:

Michael D Higgins 38.7 per cent

Seán Gallagher 33.5 per cent

Martin McGuinness 10.6 per cent

Gay Mitchell 7.8 per cent

David Norris 3.7 per cent

Dana Rosemary Scallon 3.4 per cent

Mary Davis 2.2 per cent

19.46 – Excellent tweet from Conor Spackman of the BBC gives a further insight into behind the scenes at a count:

And political blogger Suzy Byrne is pointing out the lack of wi fi in a national count centre for a Presidential election that comes round only every seven years is pretty ironic considering the presence of major tech entrepreneurs at the Dublin Web Summit today:

Luckily, we have equipped our folks at Dublin Castle with a dongle and a bag of nuts ‘n’ raisins. Sorted.

19.51 – We’re getting close to the overall first count now. Kerry North-West/Limerick, Kerry South and Waterford are in:

Kerry North-West/Limerick:

Michael D Higgins 37.9%
Seán Gallagher 29%
Martin McGuinness 16.8%
Gay Mitchell 6.5%
David Norris 3.8%
Dana Rosemary Scallon 3.7%
Mary Davis 2.2%

Kerry South:

Michael D Higgins 36.7%
Seán Gallagher 30.6%
Martin McGuinness 14.9%
Gay Mitchell 7.3%
David Norris 3.9%
Dana Rosemary Scallon 3.9%
Mary Davis 2.7%

Waterford

Michael D Higgins 38.7%
Seán Gallagher 31%
Martin McGuinness 13.6%
Gay Mitchell 5.9%
David Norris 5.8%
Dana Rosemary Scallon 2.9%
Mary Davis 2.2%

19.53 – It’s all go here tonight. The fourth count in the Dublin West by-election had eliminated Ruth Coppinger of the Socialist Party. BUT there will be a full recount after it was found that only 18 votes separate her from second-placed FF candidate David McGuinness.

At last. A bit of drama to count day.

20.07 – Seems they solved the case of the misplaced ballots in Wicklow where a result is in:

Michael D Higgins 41.6%
Seán Gallagher 28.4%
Martin McGuinness 11.6%
David Norris 8%
Gay Mitchell 4.8%
Mary Davis 3.1%
Dana Rosemary Scallon 2.4%

20.12Longford-Westmeath is in:

Michael D Higgins 35.5%
Seán Gallagher 33.7%
Martin McGuinness 13.1%
Gay Mitchell 7.5%
David Norris 4.8%
Dana Rosemary Scallon 3.4%
Mary Davis 2.1%

20.16 – Some belated, if unhelpful, good news for Seán Gallagher. He has achieved most first-preferences in Roscommon-South Leitrim:

Seán Gallagher 36%
Michael D Higgins 31.8%
Martin McGuinness 14.6%
Gay Mitchell 6.5%
Dana Rosemary Scallon 4.4%
David Norris 3.7%
Mary Davis 3%

This means Seán Gallagher has topped four constituencies tonight and Martin McGuinness one – with Michael D Higgins topping the others so far.

20.21 – Carlow-Kilkenny and Tipperary North have also sent in their first count results. Make that five Gallagher has topped:

Tipperary North:

Seán Gallagher 35.6%
Michael D Higgins 34.8%
Martin McGuinness 11.8%
Gay Mitchell 8.2%
David Norris 3.7%
Dana Rosemary Scallon 3.7%
Mary Davis 2.3%

Carlow-Kilkenny:

Michael D Higgins 36.7%
Seán Gallagher 33.8%
Martin McGuinness 12.4%
Gay Mitchell 7.7%
David Norris 4.8%
Dana Rosemary Scallon 2.7%
Mary Davis 1.9%

20.22 – First overall count due in around ten minutes says our man in Dublin Castle.

20.26Galway West is in – as one would expect of a Higgins stomping ground, it’s a majority for him. If this was the actual overall first count vote, we could all go home:

Michael D Higgins 57.6%

Seán Gallagher 18.5%

Martin McGuinness 10.7%

Gay Mitchell 4.6%

Dana Rosemary Scallon 3.5%

David Norris 3.3%

Mary Davis 1.8%

20.27 – Gavan Reilly, speaking to Seán Gallagher campaign people at Dublin Castle, says Gallagher is “very philosophical” about how the count is turning out for him. His wife Trish is apparently devastated for him.

20.29 – Gerry Adams has been spotted high-fiving children who are accompanying members of his campaign team and supporters.

A little earlier, we (fuzzily) snapped him having an on-air chat to Newstalk’s George Hook. We take it no high fives were exchanged:

20.31 – We are waiting for first count results from Cavan-Monaghan, Laois-Offaly and Louth.

20.33 – Martin McGuinness was speaking at Dublin Castle. He said that a “strong third” for him in this Presidential race means for Sinn Féin:

The brand of republicanism that I represent is here – it’s going from strength to strength; incrementally it will be built upon, so I think the future is very very bright. I think that going forward we’re in a very dominant position in the north, and becoming increasingly dominant in relation to our brand of Irish republicanism in the south. I think it’s fantastic that we’re continuing to build for the future it’s about hanging in there and not giving up.
Many people in this state could be treated as second-class citizens.
I hope that Sinn Féin will stand up for those people – I’m absolutely confident that they will. One thing is for certain: we are moving forward.

20.36 – Martin McGuinness also said that he doesn’t go into things “half-heartedly” and will go back to work as joint First Minister in the North and “also as the longest-serving minister on the All Ireland Ministerial Council”.

Pic of Martin McGuinness speaking at Dublin Castle from Stephen Kilkenny/LightCurvePhoto:

20.39 – Another one in now. Cavan man Seán Gallagher unsurprisingly tops the Cavan-Monaghan poll – and Michael D only comes in third after Martin McGuinness:

Seán Gallagher 45.1%

Martin McGuinness 20.6%

Michael D Higgins 19.8%

Gay Mitchell 7.1%

David Norris 2.8%

Dana Rosemary Scallon 2.7%

Mary Davis 1.8%

20.50 – The tension was palpable at the Dublin West count centre when Ruth Coppinger of the Socialist Party asked for – and got – a full recount after she looked to be eliminated after the fourth count on a difference of fewer than 20 votes. That’s count Sheriff John Fitzpatrick on the right. Image by Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland:

20.50 – Michael D Higgins is arriving at Dublin Castle. SCRUM!

20.56 – Meanwhile, over on RTÉ, Labour minister Joan Burton is denying Miriam O’Callaghan’s assertion that there might have been panic stations when Seán Gallagher came to the fore. The difference between Michael D and Seán was that Michael D’s was an open book whereas Seán Gallagher hadn’t been scrutinised at that point.

20.59 – And Miriam just said she would be bringing an interview with the “President-elect” after the Nine O’Clock News. She means Michael D Higgins, right?

21.03 – In the interest of balance, here is the impressive Colette Fitzpatrick of TV3 News at Dublin Castle, keeping tabs on Justice Minister Alan Shatter. Pic from Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland.

21.06 – Michael D Higgins is very happy with the “decisive” vote and Seán Gallagher, arriving just ahead of him, said he was happy for him too. He has no regrets about running.

21.08 – This, by the way, is a media scrum. You can’t see him but Michael D Higgins is in the middle of those cameras there. Image via Gavan Reilly standing on a chair:

21.12 – FIRST COUNT at National Count Centre, Dublin Castle – first preference votes

Total poll 1,171,762

Quote 885,882

Michael D HIGGINS 701,101

Seán GALLAGHER 504,964

Martin McGUINNESS 243,030

Gay MITCHELL 113,321

David NORRIS 109,469

Dana Rosemary SCALLON 51,220

Mary DAVIS 48,657

Davis and Scallon’s votes will be transferred and they are ELIMINATED.

21.28 – This is what Michael D Higgins had to say at Dublin Castle tonight (reporting by Gavan Reilly):

Can I say, I must first of all say that I’m very grateful to the media in all its forms for their kindness and their courtesy to my family and to myself over a very long campaign.

I pay tribute to the other candidates – they had a long campaign, they had many good ideas, which I’ll incorporate into the idea of the ninth presidency, which is a presidency of transformation…

How do you feel?

I feel a little overwhelmed but I’ll have to tell you in truth I’m very very happy. It’s something I’ve prepared for – I’ve talked about for a long while.

I am very glad, as well, that it’s a presidency and built on a campaign that emphasised ideas. I hope it will be a presidency that will enable everyone to be part of [it], and be proud of.

I’m out of an ethos of the left, but when the declaration is made I won’t be a member of any political party – I will be a president for all of the people – whether they voted for me or not, and whether they’re young or old, and particularly the Irish abroad who are in my habit to visit….

I think it will be exciting and I think it will be wonderful.

Michael D Higgins says that he won’t speak any further until the whole count is finished.

21.30 – This was Seán Gallagher and wife Trish at Dublin Castle tonight:

21.34 – Typo there. Transcript, not Ttranscript. But you knew that.

21.35 – Dana Rosemary Scallon has arrived at Dublin Castle. Did she miss the announcement of the first count – and her elimination?

21.39 – Bizarrely, the Louth and Laois-Offaly first counts have only been officially declared.

Louth:

Michael D Higgins 36.3%

Seán Gallagher 29.6%

Martin McGuinness 20%

David Norris 5.5%

Gay Mitchell 4.1%

Mary Davis 2.3%

Dana Rosemary Scallon 2.2%

Laois-Offaly:

Seán Gallagher 37.6%

Michael D Higgins 31.8%

Martin McGuinness 13%

Gay Mitchell 6.6%

David Norris 6%

Dana Rosemary Scallon 3%

Mary Davis 2%

21.44 – Dana Rosemary Scallon has swept in, all smiles. Image from our own Gavan Reilly. She’s moving so fast, she’s almost a blur.

21.49 – Note: Eugene in the comments section has noticed that my super speedy typing fingers juxtaposed the second and third digits in the total number of votes – it should be 1.7m+ valid votes rather than the 1.1m I mentioned earlier. All other figures are correct.

21.52 – That full Dana arrival. Thanks to Niall Carson/PA Wire for the spiffing shots:

22.17 – Mary Davis apparently told RTÉ’s Fran McNulty that the campaign was a dirty one. Doesn’t she say something similar in the video highlights package RTÉ online news have been running today (it was on at the end of the Nine O’Clock News too).

Anyway, she said the end of the campaign was difficult for her. Can’t blame her then for the broad smile she’s giving here as she receives a hug during the announcement the first count tonight at Dublin Castle (Pic by Niall Carson/PA Wire):

22.26 – Second count has begun again by the way with some figures already coming into Dublin Castle.

22.35 – Brought to our attention that David Davin Power told Anne Doyle on the Nine O’Clock News that Gay Mitchell was a candidate who seemed to “repel” votes.

Gay Mitchell – vote repellant, it seems – was very nice about Michael D Higgins in any case when he told reporters tonight that he was delighted for him. He also gave Michael’s wife Sabina his blessing as an ambassador in the Áras.

22.38 – We really are in here for the long haul tonight. National Count returning officer Ríona Ní Fhlanghaile has decided to press on to get the full count finished by tonight. Second count should be available before midnight.

22.42 – Some victory shots from Stephen Kilkenny/LightCurvePhoto:

And fnally, President-elect kissing alert:

23.02 – Some second count results have been confirmed – this is how the remaining five candidates are faring with transfers…

Limerick City:

Michael D Higgins +504 votes (brings him up to 50.8% of this constituency’s vote)

Seán Gallagher +355 votes (23.3%)

Martin McGuinness +138 (12.5%)

David Norris +137 (6.4%)

Gay Mitchell +253 (6.3%)

23.04Tipperary South:

Michael D Higgins +523 votes (37%)

Seán Gallagher +438 (35.5%)

Martin McGuinness +156 (13.5%)

Gay Mitchell +230 (8.5%)

David Norris +118 (4.8%)

23.07Galway East second count result is in too:

Michael D Higgins +906 votes (48.1%)

Seán Gallagher +665 votes (30.3%)

Martin McGuinness +259 votes (10.9%)

Gay Mitchell +337 votes (6.9%)

David Norris +139 votes (2.8%)

23.14 – Meanwhile, Tom Watson has tweeted his congratulations to Michael D.

Who’s he again? He’s the British Labour Party MP who helped bring the News of the World phone hacking scandal to the spotlight as deputy chair of the House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee. (The one the Murdochs and NoTW former editor Rebekah Brooks appeared before).

This is what he had to say:

23.22 – More results coming in from the second count. We’re going to try a few ole blobs to make these look prettier. Because it’s that time of night.

Donegal North East:

  • Martin McGuinness +541 votes (34.1%)
  • Seán Gallagher +661 votes (30.6%)
  • Michael D Higgins +519 votes (24.9%)
  • Gay Mitchell +245 votes (5.8%)
  • David Norris +123 votes (3.2%)

Dublin South  Central:

  • Michael D Higgins +524 votes (41.2%)
  • Martin McGuinness +213 votes (17.1%)
  • Seán Gallagher +393 votes (15.9%)
  • Gay Mitchell +412 votes (13.1%)
  • David Norris +195 votes (11.9%)

23.34Bryan Dobson has tweeted to say that 15 out of 43 constitutiences have their second count results in. It looks like they are coming thick and fast now and we’ll at least have a second count in the early hours.

After that? Well, the returning officer will have to decide if it’s time to give sleepy counting staff a rest. We could go all night of course. Oh yes.

This for example, is how exciting it is looking down at the National Count Centre now where TheJournal.ie‘s Susan Ryan has been looking around just now:

Like we said. Scintillating stuff.

23.49 – Back to the real hive of activity.

More second counts of transfers in:

Longford-Westmeath:

  • Michael D Higgins +661 votes (36.9%)
  • Seán Gallagher +646 (35.1%)
  • Martin McGuinness +281 (13.7%)
  • Gay Mitchell +351 (8.3%)
  • David Norris +153 (5.1%)

Cork South Central:

  • Michael D Higgins +740 votes (46.4%)
  • Seán Gallagher +605 (26.1%)
  • Martin McGuinness +196 (14.5%)
  • David Norris +202 (6.8%)
  • Gay Mitchell +394 (5.4%)

Limerick (county):

  • Michael D Higgins +566 votes (40.3%)
  • Seán Gallagher +515 (34.9%)
  • Martin McGuinness +184 (11.1%)
  • David Norris +302 (8.7%)
  • Gay Mitchell +125 (4.1%)

Dublin North West:

  • Michael D Higgins +414 votes (40.5%)
  • Seán Gallagher +339 (21.6%)
  • Martin McGuinness +157 (20.6%)
  • David Norris +127 (11.1%)
  • Gay Mitchell +222 (5.3%)

Dublin North:

  • Michael D Higgins +614 votes (46.4%)
  • Seán Gallagher +440 (26.6%)
  • Martin McGuinness +160 (10.8%)
  • David Norris +205 (10.4%)
  • Gay Mitchell +252 (5.1%)

Meath East:

  • Michael D Higgins +537 votes (39.6%)
  • Seán Gallagher +439 (33.4%)
  • Martin McGuinness +134 (12%)
  • David Norris +146 (7.1%)
  • Gay Mitchell +259 (7%)

Laois-Offaly:

  • Seán Gallagher +810 (39%)
  • Michael D Higgins +752 votes (33%)
  • Martin McGuinness +279 (13.5%)
  • Gay Mitchell +370 (7.2%)
  • David Norris +236 (6.4%)

23.56Dublin South second count results:

Michael D Higgins +1,169 votes (52.%)

Seán Gallagher +723 (21.2%)

David Norris +295 (10.3%)

Gay Mitchell +596 (8.3%)

Martin McGuinness +196 (6.8%)

0.06Dublin North East:

  • Michael D Higgins +688 votes (45.9%)
  • Seán Gallagher +529 (22.5%)
  • Martin McGuinness +196 (13.7%)
  • David Norris +218 (11%)
  • Gay Mitchell +280 (5.9%)

Clare:

  • Michael D Higgins +745 votes (45.9%)
  • Seán Gallagher +560 (32.6%)
  • Martin McGuinness +202 (11%)
  • Gay Mitchell +265 (6%)
  • David Norris +151 (4%)

Dun Laoghaire:

  • Michael D Higgins +901 votes (54.5%)
  • Seán Gallagher +599 (18.9%)
  • David Norris +265 (10.7%)
  • Gay Mitchell +510 (8.1%)
  • Martin McGuinness +182 (7.3%)

Donegal South West:

  • Seán Gallagher +683 (34.5%)
  • Martin McGuinness +420 (29.8%)
  • Michael D Higgins +542 votes (24.9%)
  • Gay Mitchell +246 (6.1%)
  • David Norris +119 (3.4%)

Cork East:

  • Michael D Higgins +596 votes (37.9%)
  • Seán Gallagher +608 (35.7%)
  • Martin McGuinness +200 (14.2%)
  • Gay Mitchell +344 (6.7%)
  • David Norris +138 (4.6%)

0.11 – The head of NUI Galway is on RTÉ Radio 1 with the inimitable Seán O’Rourke. He says that the West is awake (his cliché, not mine) with people with NUI Galway links now top of the political chain – Enda Kenny, Eamon Gilmore, the Attorney General Máire Whelan and… Máire Geoghegan Quinn. And Michael D Higgins of course.

Whatever else, Donncha O’Connell, law lecturer at NUIG, confirms by Twitter that they are very proud of him in his alma mater:

0.14 – Gavan Reilly is suggesting that the way the second preferences are coming, ordinarily you would eliminate Norris, Mitchell and McGuinness all at once because anything smaller couldn’t plug the gap between candidates. BUT in this case it will only be Norris who is eliminated in the second count, simply because his transfers could push Gay Mitchell to the magic 12.5 per cent which would give Mitchell his expenses back.

Interesting thought. We should find out for sure when the second count national result is announced in the next half hour, roughly*.

*very roughly

0.25 – We’re up to 30 out of 43 constituencies with second count results in. Looks like the overall count is on its way and a possible adjournment for the night.

Doesn’t this podium shot from tonight in Dublin Castle already seem like so long ago? (Picture from Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland):

0.34 – If you’re wondering what’s happening with that full recount in Dublin West for the by-election, Labour Party activist Cathal McCann is tweeting that FF’s McGuinness and Socialist Party’s Ruth Coppinger are “exactly even” after the recount. A further recount or entire suspension is expected. (Doesn’t look like it will make much difference to Labour’s Patrick Nulty’s chances of winning the seat anyway…)

0.42 – It could be 1pm until the result of the second count of the Presidential election is in. It’s unlikely they will continue after that, but will break for the morning.

We realise that we brought you pics of Mary Davis, Martin McGuinness and Seán Gallagher at Dublin Castle tonight. Gay Mitchell was on the podium in that last one we posted. To make up the sextet, here’s David Norris (Pic: Niall Carson/PA)

0.49 – The other constituencies coming in now include Dublin Central, Cavan-Monaghan, Kildare South, Carlow-Kilkenny, Wexford, Kerry North, Dublin South East, Galway West and Cork North West.

0.53 – Dublin West update from RTÉ’s John Kilraine is confirming that earlier tweet we featured that there is a dead heat between Coppinger and McGuinness. Whether they will both just shake hands and give it up for Labour’s Patrick Nulty to take the seat is still being discussed.

1.14 – While we wait for the final four outstanding constituencies to get in their second count results (and for the National Count to crunch them and give us an overall second count), have a look at some of the headlines being generated internationally by our Presidential campaign:

This one isn’t a news headline exactly – it’s a column on IrishCentral.com by the pseudonymous ‘The Yank’. Ouchy.

1.20TheJournal.ie‘s incoming deputy editor (deputy editor-elect?) Christine Bohan is still holding on at the Dublin West count centre. Socialist Party’s Joe Higgins making a statement but, as Christine tweets, there is still confusion over whether there will be ANOTHER recount tomorrow. More as we have it. (Image: Christine Bohan)

1.25 – Okay, it’s clear now what has happened with Dublin West. Well, at least with Joe Higgins and the Socialist Party. He says that they will  accept “joint second” with Fianna Fáil as it is clear that neither David McGuinness (FF) nor Ruth Coppinger (SP) can overtake Labour’s Patrick Nulty.

Therefore, the Socialist Party don’t want another recount. Although we don’t know yet if Fianna Fáil will be happy to accept joint second.

Brian Greene captured Joe Higgins’s statement on audio here. (via @BrianGreene)

1.38 – SECOND COUNT results in:

Michael D HIGGINS +29,379 730,480

Seán GALLAGHER +214,437 529,401

Martin McGUINNESS +9,581 250,611

Gay MITCHELL +14,036 127,357

David NORRIS +7,057 116, 526

1.41 – The returning officer at the National Count Centre in Dublin Castle has adjourned the Presidential count until 9am tomorrow, as no candidate has reached the full quota needed (although let’s face it, we know it’s going to be Michael D at some point tomorrow – estimates are saying early afternoon).

David Norris has been eliminated after the second count so it will be his transfers that will be counted and redistributed.

1.54 – Oh, but it’s not over yet folks – the counting continues in Dublin West because the returning officer has declared Ruth Coppinger (SP) eliminated. While the recount found her in a dead heat with Fianna Fáil’s David McGuinness at 9, 873 votes each, the Electoral Act of 1992 came into play where it found that the original count of the two’s votes should determine which was eliminated. As that was Coppinger the first time round, out she went.

This is the section:

122 (3): If, when a candidate has to be excluded under this section, two or more candidates have each the same number of votes and are lowest, regard shall be had to the number of original votes credited to each of those candidates, and the candidate with the lowest number of original votes shall be excluded and where the numbers of the original votes are equal, regard shall be had to the total numbers of votes credited to those candidates at the first count at which they had an unequal number of votes and the candidate with the lowest numberof votes at that count shall be excluded and, where the numbers of votes credited to those candidates were equal at all counts, the returning officer shall determine by lot which shall be excluded.

The upshot is that Patrick Nulty of Labour is still likely to take Brian Lenihan Jnr’s old seat after the fifth and final count. Which, like the results of Presidential election, is something we could take a good stab at since early yesterday. (Yes, it IS now Saturday!)

1.58 – Little tweak to Gallagher’s figure there – inserted an extra digit into the number of transfers he got.

Those second count transfers again so far:

Michael D HIGGINS +29,379 730,480

Seán GALLAGHER +24,437 529,401

Martin McGUINNESS +9,581 250,611

Gay MITCHELL +14,036 127,357

David NORRIS +7,057 116, 526

Roscommon/South Leitrim, Waterford, Dublin Mid West will resume counting tomorrow morning at 9am but David Norris has been eliminated.

Meanwhile, we’ll see if we can’t bring you confirmation of the Dublin West result before we pack it in for the night.

2.13Christine Bohan, bless her, is still pinching herself awake over at the Dublin West count centre in CityWest. This is the blurry-eyed scene over there right now as the fifth and final count prepares to declare victory for either Labour’s Patrick Nulty or Fianna Fáil’s David McGuinness:

2.32 – We’ve been meaning to give a shout-out all night to Irish Political Maps who have been doing sterling work in putting together Ireland maps colour-graded to show who got first preferences where.

This shows the poll-toppers in each constituency:

See exactly how well each candidate did by clicking on their names… Mary Davis; Seán Gallagher; Michael D Higgins; Martin McGuinness; Gay Mitchell; David Norris; Dana Rosemary Scallon.

2.43 – We’re told the podium has been set up and a final tally is due from Dublin West any minute now. Promise.

2.47 – So Patrick Nulty has been elected in Dublin West. Will bring you the tally as it comes in.

3.00 – The final tally in the Dublin West by-election is Patrick Nulty 17,636 votes and David McGuinness on 11,590 votes.

Although Nulty is 216 votes below the quota, no other candidate will be able to catch him on transfers and so he is elected. (See the full story here).

And with that double whammy for Labour today on the political scene, we bid you goodnight.

We’ll be back at 9am with our next liveblog covering the next stage of the Presidential election count. (The referenda count will begin straight after that final tally is brought through.)

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