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Labour Party to elect Howlin's replacement as postal vote closes today

Tipperary TD Alan Kelly and Dublin TD Aodhán O’Riordáin are in the running for it.

Image: Leah Farrell

THE OUTCOME OF the Labour Party’s leadership contest will emerge shortly as voting among the party’s members closes today. 

Two candidates – Tipperary TD Alan Kelly and Dublin TD Aodhán O’Riordáin – are competing for the title after Brendan Howlin last month announced he would resign as leader following the outcome of February’s General Election. 

Labour failed to capitalise in an election which saw voters move further to left and put Sinn Féin out in front as the biggest party.

Howlin’s party secured just six seats with some of its more prominent parliamentary figures, including Joan Bruton and Jan O’Sullivan, losing their seats. 

Kelly’s leadership bid centred around rebuilding the party from the ground up and returning to the roots and core values of the party.

“When people work and pay their taxes, they deserve a be able to afford a home, equality across all education services, that if they are sick or a loved on is sick, that the state will look after them.”

Meanwhile, O’Riordáin’s campaign centres around reevaluating the party’s core beliefs, aiming to appeal to a younger cohort of the electorate.

“Ireland is changing, and the Labour Party needs to change too. Our core values are what define us,” he said in a campaign video. 

Some 2,000 members have been voting over the past two-and-a-half weeks, with the postal vote set to close later today. 

The appointed returning officer will carry out the sorting and counting of ballots in a room in Mazars – the external auditor where postal ballots have been gathered.

He is due to start the count at 2.15pm or when the daily post arrives. He will be the only person involved in the count due to the Covid-19 emergency and there will be a video link from the count room for candidates, Labour said. 

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