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Running out of Road

Race for fourth place as top Dublin EU candidates remain unchanged after the second count day

Independent Ireland’s Niall Boylan is likely to run out of transfer-friendly candidates on the next count, after landing in third place on the last day.

THE COUNT IN Dublin has stopped for the evening and the main narrative hasn’t changed in the European race: no candidate has reached the 75,345-vote quota, Fianna Fáil’s Barry Andrews is set to take the first seat and the fourth seat is highly contested.

There were early signs that none of the candidates would reach or surpass the quota this evening when frontrunner Andrews and his team packed up, followed by other candidates and staff who have been eagerly awaiting the results.

Among the candidates who were last to leave were Independent Ireland candidate and radio broadcaster Niall Boylan and Green Party incumbent MEP Ciarán Cuffe as they battled out for transfers on each count.

Cuffe told The Journal on Saturday that he faced a tough battle to retain his seat, with early tallies reflecting that he and his colleague in Ireland South Grace O’Sullivan were not guaranteed reelection.

Despite this, Cuffe managed to hold onto fourth seat in the poll until the twelfth count, where votes distributed to Boylan from eliminated Ireland First candidate Philip Dwyer totalled 1,706.

Transfers to Boylan, which he has mainly recieved from candidates who ran on an anti-immigration platform, have created a good distance throughout the day between the radio broadcaster and other, established candidates such as the Labour Party’s Aodhán Ó Riordáin.

In the thirteenth and final count this evening, where Boylan recieved 4,494 of the 9,806 transferable votes of independent candidate Malachy Steenson.

This placed the broadcaster in third place, surpassing Sinn Féin’s Lynn Boylan by just over 2,000 votes. 

But with few transfer-friendly candidates left, the broadcaster could run out of road soon as Boylan’s Sinn Féin running-mate Daithí Doolin was the last to be eliminated as the count closed for the evening. His transfers will be distributed tomorrow.

Despite the party being in disarray over the results of and their performance during the local elections, Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald told reporters today: “We’re looking good and in contention for European seats.”

Back at the race for fourth, it is understood that both Cuffe and Ó Riordáin camps expect that transfers from Social Democrats’ Sinéad Gibney, who’s unlikely to be elected, will possibly give their candidates a healthy boost to continue the contest for the fourth seat.

Fine Gael candidate Regina Doherty is likely to take a seat late into the count tomorrow. The senator has been able to maintain second places through all 13 counts today.

The count continues tomorrow at 10.30am. 

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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