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Independent mayoral candidate John Moran
early tallies

Independent candidate John Moran looking ‘hard to beat’ in Limerick Mayoral election

The votes will be counted on Monday.

A FINAL CROSS-party tally of voting in the historic Directly Elected Mayoral (DEM) election in Limerick had Independent candidate John Moran racing ahead with 24% of the vote.

Moran, a former General Secretary at the Department of Finance, was the front runner heading into Monday’s vote count, with an eight percentage point lead on nearest rival Independent Helen O’Donnell, who is on 16%.

Not one vote yet has been counted in the race to be mayor, but final tallies produced at the Limerick racecourse count centre showed Moran heading for the finishing post with 16,855 first preference votes.

Potentially bookies were still open to the possibility of a two or three-horse race, with O’Donnell remaining steady on 11,755 votes, and Fianna Fáil’s Dee Ryan gaining on O’Donnell with 10,315 first preferences (14%). Daniel Butler is making up ground on 13% with 8,966 first preference votes.

Fine Gael didn’t support O’Donnell’s candidacy, despite her being a former parliamentary party chairperson and her late husband Tom O’Donnell being a former TD and MEP for the party.

She hopes to pick up transfers from Butler, a former mayor of Limerick.

“I would hope to get transfers, but it’s too early to say, but it will definitely go down to transfers,” O’Donnell said.

“I know John Moran is polling well, but I’m not doing too badly either, and it will go down to the wire. I’m delighted with what my tally people are telling me because I have never done this before,” she added.

Sitting Limerick TDs Maurice Quinlivan of Sinn Féin and Brian Leddin of the Green Party did not appear to be pushing forward into the parade ring, although Quinlivan was still visible in the chasing pack at 10%.

On 3% of the votes tallied, Leddin, however, will be disappointed that his vision of a liveable city with new transport links had failed to garner more traction with the electorate.

Sitting Councillors, Frankie Daly (Independent), Conor Sheehan (Labour) and Elisa O’Donovan (Social Democrats) are on 6%, 3% and 3% respectively.

Some suggest that with a lot of non-transferable votes, whichever candidate is elected to the historic first DEM role, they would likely to do it without reaching the quota.

With something of a grain of rice between the top three – Moran, O’Donnell and Ryan – all eyes will be on the vote of Fine Gael candidate and former Limerick mayor Daniel Butler, who the tallies had on 12%.

Transfers may not be enough though to pull Moran, and perhaps Ryan, back from the finishing post.

Speaking at the count centre, Quinlivan, who during his campaign, told Limerick city and county he would be a “champion” for them, said he was “happy” with his standing in the race.

“It’s too early to call it,” he said.

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