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Luke 'Ming' Flanagan speaking at TF Royal Theatre in Castlebar at the Midlands North West constituency count in the European elections. Alamy Stock Photo
European elections

‘Big potential for a recount’ in Midlands-North-West, according to Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan

Flanagan also remarked that the initial information he has received is good news for his re-election hopes.

THERE IS A “big potential for a recount” in the European Elections in the Midlands-North-West constituency, according to Independent MEP Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan.

Counting got underway this morning in Castlebar, Co Mayo after votes were cast in both the local and European elections on Friday.

The current four MEPs are independent Luke “Ming” Flanagan, Fine Gael’s Colm Markey and Maria Walsh, and Sinn Fein’s Chris MacManus.

However, the constituency has grown since the last election in 2019 and a fifth seat is up for grabs this time round.

The first results cannot be announced until after polling closes in each EU member state at 10pm tonight, but unofficial and incomplete tallies carried out by volunteers observing ballot boxes being opened provide some insight into the likely outcome.

“We have a lot of tallies from the west of Ireland, and I seem to be doing quite well there,” Flanagan told The Journal.

He added that former RTÉ correspondent Ciaran Mullooly and Fine Gael’s Maria Walsh are also “doing quite well”.

However, he remarked that the “problem we have with trying to make predictions is that we have very little information from Kildare and Meath”.

Flanagan explained: “Although they are only two out of 15 counties, they make up 28% of the electorate, so we haven’t a clue what’s happening that side of the country, and there is a similar situation in Louth.

“But the information that I’m getting for myself – if the tallies are correct – I’m happy with it,” he added.

He also cautioned that the count could take over a week, given there are 27 candidates.

“I would predict that this time next week, we will still actually be here, trying to decide who will get the fifth seat,” said Flanagan.

“You’ve got 22 candidates to eliminate and a lot of them are going to be  fairly close together on a substantial amount of votes.

“As far as I can see, there is a big potential for a recount, so we are going to be here for a long time.”

However, that isn’t all bad for Flanagan, who said he “doesn’t mind that”.

He told The Journal: “I have to say I love counts, so I’m only delighted.”

This work is co-funded by Journal Media and a grant programme from the European Parliament. Any opinions or conclusions expressed in this work are the author’s own. The European Parliament has no involvement in nor responsibility for the editorial content published by the project. For more information, see here.


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