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As it happened: Counting under way for a third day - and we have our first MEP

Meanwhile, there are around 50 seats yet to be filled across Ireland’s local authorities.

LAST UPDATE | May 27th 2019, 3:10 PM

THE FIRST MEP has been elected, but we’re being made to wait in Dublin as poll topper Ciaran Cuffe isn’t quite as strong as the RTÉ exit poll predicted.

In Ireland South, the sheer volume of paper slowing the process down, meaning we won’t have a first count until 6pm.

We do, however, have a result in the three plebiscite on directly elected mayors – Waterford city rejected the proposal and Limerick city voted for it. Cork city rejected the proposals by less than a thousand votes.

Counts will continue in just a handful of local authorities, including in Donegal, Meath, Cork City and county councils, where logistical problems meant the first count couldn’t begin until yesterday morning. 

Stay with us for the latest.

Good morning all, Seán Murray here and I’ll be with you until the early afternoon.

So here’s a quick refresher if you need to catch up this morning:

  • Ireland hasn’t yet elected its first MEP, after counting throughout the day in Dublin, Ireland South and Midlands North West yesterday. Green Party candidate Ciaran Cuffe and Fine Gael’s Frances Fitzgerald look like shoo ins in Dublin, while Fine Gael’s Mairead McGuinness is well on course to top the poll in Midlands North West.
  • There are still around 80 seats left out of the 949 seats in the local elections with counting also set to resume this morning. Areas such as Cork City and County, Donegal, Meath and Longford still need to elect new councillors. You can find the full list of elected councillors here.
  • Across the water, there were huge gains for Nigel Farage’s Brexit party and the pro-remain Liberal Democrats, while the Tories and Labour witnessed their vote crumble in the UK.
  • Looking around the continent, the European Parliament elections had the highest turnout in 20 years as the populist right and Greens made gains on the establishment parties around the bloc.

European Parliament election Cuffe topped the poll in Dublin Brian Lawless / PA Images Brian Lawless / PA Images / PA Images

Looking more closely at Dublin, while there are still 12 candidates left on the ballot with count 8 to begin this morning, there are only really five people in the running for the four seats.

As mentioned, the Green Party’s Ciaran Cuffe and Fine Gael’s Frances Fitzgerald are certain to get in. But the fight for the remaining two seats are set to be ferocious.

Fianna Fáil’s Barry Andrews is currently in third place on 51,997, with Independents4Change TD Clare Daly in fourth on 43,400 and Sinn Féin’s Lynn Boylan next on 40,045.

However, there’s still all to play for as the transfers will be dished out from other candidates as they’re eliminated from the ballot.

The transfers of Social Democrat Gary Gannon, on his over 21,000 votes for example, if and when he is eliminated will have a huge say on how it goes.

Boylan said last night that it will be tough to retain her seat but that “it’s all to play for”.

Virgin Media News’ Gavan Reilly has created this handy spreadsheet to keep track of the Dublin votes.

European Parliament election It's looking good for Sean Kelly (left) but Mick Wallace has a fight on his hands. Michelle Devane / PA Images Michelle Devane / PA Images / PA Images

In Ireland South, a first count is expected between 1pm and 3pm today.

In the South constituency, Fine Gael’s Sean Kelly, Sinn Féin’s Liadh Ní Riada and Fianna Fáil’s Billy Kelleher are expected to take the first three seats.

In the mix for the fourth seat are Independent Mick Wallace, Green Grace O’Sullivan, Deirdre Clune of FG and Fianna Fáil’s Malcolm Byrne.

Prince Albert of Monaco Visits Ireland Mairead McGuinness is set to top the poll Niall Carson / PA Images Niall Carson / PA Images / PA Images

The battle for seats is fierce in Midlands North West.

Fine Gael Mairead McGuinness is expected to top the poll and comfortably be re-elected.

The numbers also look good for independent Luke Ming Flanagan and Sinn Féin’s Matt Carthy.

Then it’s a three-way battle for the fourth and final seat with transfers again set to play a key role.

Here, we have Fine Gael’s Maria Walsh, Green Saoirse McHugh and independent Peter Casey all in with a shout.

We should have a first count here at around noon or lunchtime.

Across the Irish Sea, and all the parties in the UK are coming out to bat this morning trying to put the best spin on the European election results. 

The results were disastrous for the Conservatives, poor for Labour, good for the Greens, great for the Liberal Democrats and even better for Nigel Farage’s Brexit party as it came out on top.

UK Green Party MP Caroline Lucas has been speaking to BBC Radio 4, and she’s said that pro-Brexit parties didn’t win the election. 

“I think the Brexit party got about 35% of the vote and the strongly remain parties got about 40% of the vote,” she said. “So either way you look at it, the Brexit party has got nothing like the 17 million they had before.”

Meanwhile, the absolute drubbing for the Conservatives – who’ve won less than a handful of seats – means that the people of the UK want them to just get on with Brexit, according to Home Secretary Sajid Javid.

Elsewhere in Britain, far-right activist Tommy Robinson won just 2.2% of the vote.

He told reporters he lost because he’s banned from social media sites.

Not all the seats in the UK have been filled.

Scotland will declare its result this morning, with the Scottish National Party set to do very well.

There was no counting in Northern Ireland yesterday, which is traditionally not done on a Sunday, so that will get under way there this morning at 9am.

There are three seats on offer here, with Sinn Féin’s Martina Anderson and the DUP’s Diane Dodds bidding for re-election.

Other high profile candidates include the SDLP leader Colum Eastwood and the Alliance’s Naomi Long.

Strong statement from senior Labour shadow minister and Corbyn ally, John McDonnell, in the wake of the party’s poor showing in the Euro elections.

He says Labour must be clear and back a second referendum.

Turning to our own local elections here, and Fianna Fáil is on course to have the biggest presence on councils across Ireland. 

It’s also set to have the most seats on Dublin City Council for the first time in two decades.

With the party’s strong showing, is it thinking of a general election?

Its TD for Meath East Thomas Byrne has told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland they will not speculate about it, with Brexit remaining a threat. 

“We’ve got to protect the stability of this country, and that’s what Fianna Fáil is going to do,” he says, and says leader Michéal Martin has committed to seeing another Budget passed.

Looking at the wider picture, and it’s certainly been a good set of local elections for the Green Party.

The narrative of the Green surge took hold on Saturday, and it’s certainly increased the number of seats it holds nationally.

In Dublin, it more than doubled the number of seats it won in 2014 with Hazel Chu getting double the quota in the Pembroke area.

For Sinn Féin, on the other hand, this was a very damaging election as it lost a number of seats with its share of the vote dropping by 5%.

Party leader Mary Lou McDonald has said the poor performance is “something we are going to have to reflect on very carefully”

And, lest we forget, there’s yet another vote still to be counted in some areas.

In the cities of Waterford, Cork and Limerick, the electorate voted in a plebiscite on whether to have a directly-elected mayor.

To be clear, they weren’t voting on a mayor. 

It was rather a vote on if they wanted to have a vote in the future to elect a mayor with expanded powers.

You with me?

Early indications are that the people of these cities may have voted against the proposals, but counting hasn’t got under way yet. 

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin hit out at the government on Saturday for its “shambolic” campaign on the issue. They can’t expect people to be coming in behind a proposal that is poorly thought out,” he said. 

The increase for Fianna Fáil, and the strong showing from the Greens, meant that Taoiseach Leo Varadkar was asked about holding a general election over the weekend.

Fianna Fáil is keeping the minority Fine Gael + independents government in power, and says the reason for allowing Varadkar’s government to continue is that it’s in the best interests of the country while Brexit is still not sorted.

Fianna Fáil’s Jim O’Callaghan has said “there is space” for a general election but party leader Micheál Martin has said they will continue to support the confidence and supply agreement.

Yesterday, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said he “can’t rule out” an earlier than intended election.

What do you think?

You can vote in today’s poll here.

It’s a close one so far.

poll results

GREECE-ATHENS-PM-EARLY NATIONAL ELECTIONS Greek PM Tsipras called the general election last night. Xinhua News Agency / PA Images Xinhua News Agency / PA Images / PA Images

And speaking of general elections, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tspiras has called one after his ruling left wing Syriza party received a drubbing at the polls by centre-left opposition New Democracy.

“I will not run away or quit the struggle for equality, solidarity, social justice,” Tsipras said.

Now, Greeks are set to go to the polls again in a general election next month.

And we’re back.

Counting resumes at the RDS for the final two electoral areas in Dublin City Council.

It’s only Monday, but a timely reminder here from Cork City Council that all those election posters have to be removed by Friday.

Counting was set to get under way for the plebiscites in Limerick from 9am, after it filled all its council seats yesterday.

One focus of attention today is how the exit poll for the Dublin European election compared with the actual results.

Based on RTÉ/TG4′s exit poll, Ciaran Cuffe was set to make the quota on the first count with 23% of the vote. He actually only got 17.5%.

The swing to the Greens did indeed happen, but not as strongly as the exit poll suggested.

Staff and candidates have been informed how recounts will be done as they go again at the RDS.

As an aside, they could really do with refilling those vending machines.

rds Dublin City Council / Twitter Dublin City Council / Twitter / Twitter

A novel way of judging whether or not a specific vote was spoiled, which the Guardian reported from a count centre in Leicester last night.

More on a potential election, Minister Richard Bruton was speaking to RTÉ’s Morning Ireland and said the Taoiseach wants an election next year and not in 2019.

He left some wiggle room though.

“The election can come for any reason. The Dáil arithmetic could change as a result of by-elections. People could change their mind,” he said. “Anything could happen.”

Back to Europe now, and Poland’s ruling right-wing PiS party has won the country’s European elections.

The PiS took 45.56% of the vote to win 27 of Poland’s 51 seats in the European Parliament.

“We won but with a result that should push us to one thing: to work hard before the parliamentary elections this autumn,” its leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski says.

His government has repeatedly stoken tensions with the EU, with a string of reforms that Brussels has said pose a threat to judicial independence and the rule of law.

Our reporter Kathleen McNamee is back for another day in the Castlebar count centre, where it won’t be till the afternoon that we have a first count in the European constituency of Midlands-North West.

Follow her for all the updates there.

Longford also has a number of council seats to fill, and counting is under way there too.

Meanwhile, here’s the scene of the Limerick plebiscite counting:

It really was a miserable result for the Conservatives in the UK, as it’s set to come in fifth place behind the Brexit Party, Lib Dems, Labour and the Greens. 

A new leader will have to try to repair the party’s fractured relationship with the electorate and, while Boris Johnson is still favourite, a number of senior Tory figures have been lining up to throw their hat into the ring.

Here’s a rundown of some of the main contenders here, and where they stand on Brexit.

Spoiled votes, the Irish edition.

“Which negotiations are you talking about?”

This interview with former Conservative MP and newly-elected Brexit Party MEP Ann Widdecombe is quite something.

Sean O’Rourke has been speaking to Fine Gael TD Maria Bailey in a pre-recorded interview.

“I’m not looking for damages, I was only looking to have my medical expenses recouped,” she says.

“This has been a hugely distressing, intrusive week,” she says, and says a journalist rang her last week with a lot of medical information about her.

Bailey says that she “plays fair”, and “not offside”. It was “not for public information”, she says.

She says this was “pre-planned” to cause her collateral damage, and says she planned to stop the case last Tuesday but was told it would look “cynical” in a week of local elections.

This is a testy interview. 

File Photo The Government’s efforts to tackle claims culture cannot be taken seriously when a Fine Gael TD is taking a case over falling off a swing, a former justice minister warned. Senator Michael McDowell highlighted the controversy surrounding Mari Leah Farrell / Leah Farrell / /

She says her legal advice is that it would appear a “cynical move” to withdraw the case before election day.

Bailey says it was a “private matter” that happened “long before” she was a TD. 

She says that, on the night in question, she went to the venue with a friend.

“Nobody was drunk, nobody was messing,” she says. 

She says she had a bottle of beer in her hand when she fell.

Bailey says she was “mortified” when she fell. 

Did she have objects in both hands? That was for the judge to decide, she says. She doesn’t answer that.

The Fine Gael TD says she was subject to “unbelievable abuse” last week. Michael McDowell and Micheál Martin “should have known better” and not talked about it. 

Bailey says she went through “intense physio” following the fall.

She ran a race some months later.

“I never said I locked myself away in a monastery,” she says. “I had to lock myself away for three days this week and couldn’t go home.”

What way does she think the hotel was negligent?

That would have been for the judge to decide, she says. By her legal advice, she was told she had a “clear cut case”, she says.

Maria Bailey says that someone has tried to “character assassinate” her and her family.

“I’m not bowing down to keyboard warriors, and bullies,” she says.

Sean O’Rourke puts it to her that she brought it on herself.

“I have done nothing wrong,” she says. 

She wanted €6-7,000 for her medical expenses.

“I know exactly who I am,” Bailey says. “I had a legitimate case and a judge would’ve adjudicated on that.”

She again talks about the stress the publication of this has caused her. 

She accuses the media of “crossing the line”. 

“I was hurt. I was genuinely hurt.”

Bailey asks who journalists are accountable to. 

She doesn’t want to do “trial by media over the airwaves”. 

“I have worked so hard in my career,” she says. “I am representative of today’s society in a changing world.”

She says she’s very clear that she’s an honest person and knows what her values are.

Bailey says she’s learned a huge amount about herself.

“Most of all, I’ve learned a lot about people,” she says. “I’m a strong, female politician… and I will not be bullied by keyboard warriors.”

She says the Taoiseach knows her as someone hard working with integrity.

How does she move on from this?

“I draw a line in the sand on this today,” she says. 

And that’s that.

Worth a listen back later if you’ve missed it. 

More counting still going on. No solid results yet.

A recount is ongoing for Galway City Central.

It’s currently neck and neck for the Cork mayor plebiscite, but there’s still a long way to go.

When can we expect a first count in Midlands-North West?

Looking like it’ll be closer to 1.30pm-2pm at the moment.

A long day await at the RDS.

We hope the venue has good coffee for Nicky Ryan’s sake. 

Back to Maria Bailey for a second, fellow Fine Gael TD and Minister for Social Protection Regina Doherty has told RTÉ’s Today with Sean O’Rourke: “I think she did herself a disservice this morning.”

She’s also said it’s a “pity” Bailey did the interview.

Here’s the scene for the recounts in Dublin city.

A few political correspondents beginning to report that Fine Gael HQ didn’t know that Maria Bailey was about to go on Today with Sean O’Rourke.

Another reminder about posters from Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown County Council.

The fine for candidates is €150 per poster for any posters not removed by midday on Friday.

Recycling arrangements have been put in place.

In case you missed it…

Here’s that full interview with Maria Bailey on RTÉ’s Today with Sean O’Rourke.

Just a reminder that our political correspondent Christina Finn and reporter Nicky Ryan are covering things for us down there at the RDS.

Our political correspondent Christina Finn has some insight from a Fine Gael source on the Maria Bailey interview.

On the aforementioned strong vote for Long in the North, here’s an illustration of that from the BBC’s Darran Marshall.

On sheer numbers, the Brexit party is on course to be the joint-largest in the European Parliament.

And we have a new councillor!

Sinn Féin’s Eddie Fennessy has got onto Meath County Council in Navan on the 9th count.

And another in Meath.

This time it’s Fianna Fáil’s Aisling Dempsey who’s won a seat.

Turning to Germany, and Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition are set to hold crisis talks today after a poor showing in the Euro elections.

The Greens snatched the second spot from the SPD, coming in just behind Merkel’s centre-right CDU/CSU alliance.

Crucially, the environmental party took more than a million votes – including many from young people – from both the SPD and the CDU.

News weekly Der Spiegel judged that the coalition is “in danger” after yesterday’s drubbing.

Here’s what’s trending in Dublin at the minute.

dublin trending

That’s it from me for now.

We still don’t have an MEP, but maybe we will have by the time I return from lunch.

I leave you in the capable hands of my colleague Hayley Halpin for the next while.

Take it away, Hayley. 

Hello! Hayley here, I’ll be keeping you up to today with all things election counting for the next while.

First up from me – It looks like we’ve another new councillor in Meath. This time it’s Suzanne Jamal, who has been elected in the Ashbourne area. 

Our reporter Kathleen McNamee is on the scene down in the Castlebar count centre. 

Mairead McGuinness and Saoirse McHugh have entered the building.

Here’s some more insight into the mood in the Fine Gael camp today following Maria Bailey’s interview on RTÉ’s Today with Sean O’Rourke: 

As election campaigning is over and done, candidates will have to ensure all their posters have been taken down over the coming days. 

Newbridge Tidy Towns is reminding those who have erected posters to make sure all plastic ties are taken down, too. 

Turning again to Germany for a moment, the country’s far-right AfD have named the Greens its main rival after the environmentalist party’s strong showing at European elections. 

“They are our main competitors. We’re taking them very seriously,” Joerg Meuthen, who headed the AfD’s European elections list, said.

The Greens stole a march on the AfD in yesterday’s vote, doubling their share from the last European elections to just over 20% and coming in second after Chancellor Angela Merkel’s centre-right alliance.

The AfD, meanwhile, took just 11% of the vote. 

Looking to catch up on who has been elected to your local council? 

Well, there’s now just a few dozen seats left to fill as counting continues and you can check out our full list here of those elected so far here.

Counting still rumbling on in some counties across the country. Here’s where we stand following the fifth count in Portlaoise: 

And here’s where we’re at in Newbridge following count four: 

Our reporter Nicky Ryan is at the scene in the RDS this afternoon. Here’s a bit of an update to Dublin counts: 

The 8th count is in for the European’s in Dublin. 

Here’s a breakdown:

  • Ciarán Cuffe (GP) – 65,291
  • Frances Fitzgerald (FG) - 59,575
  • Barry Andrews (FF) - 52,078
  • Clare Daly (Ind) - 44,159
  • Lynn Boylan (SF) - 40,470
  • Gary Gannon (SD) - 21,561
  • Alex White (Lab) - 19,088
  • Mark Durkan (FG) - 16,778
  • Alice-Mary Higgins (Ind) – 11,751
  • Gillian Brien (Sol-PBP) - 13,134
  • Gemma O’Doherty (Ind) - 8,768
  • Ben Gilroy (Ind) - 8,609

Ben Gilroy has been eliminated.

Meanwhile, counting has been suspended in the RDS until 1.30pm.

And two more councillors have been elected in Kildare’s Clane area – Daragh Fitzpatrick and Brendan Weld. 

Here’s the full announcement from the returning officer in Dublin’s RDS for the 8th count of #EP2019:

Let’s not forget about the plebiscite counting.

Counting is still underway and Limerick Council expects a result in the early afternoon.

Aaaaaaaaand we’ve another councillor. 

This time it’s Sinn Féin’s Johnny Guirke. He has been elected in Meath’s Kells area on the sixth count. 

Minister for Health Simon Harris has spoken to reporters about Maria Bailey’s interview this morning on RTÉ’s Today with Sean O’Rourke. 

He said it’s “regrettable” that she didn’t meet with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in advance of the interview.

“I think it would have been important that he would have been afforded that opportunity to have that meeting with Maria. She obviously made that decision to go on radio this morning,” Harris said.

“My understanding is that’s a decision she made of her own volition, as is her right, but I think it would have been better had she had the meeting with the Taoiseach first.”

Harris said he thinks the interview was an “unfortunate” one.

“I think when you withdraw a claim, that is in and of itself an acknowledgment of the fact that perhaps that claim shouldn’t have proceeded, yet the interview still very much seemed to be the space of blaming lots of other people.”

Turning to Britain for a moment, British Prime Minister Theresa May has lamented a “very disappointing” result from European Parliament elections. 

May’s Conservative party has been crushed in this election as Nigel Farage’s new Brexit Party has made huge gains, taking 31.7% of the vote. 

Meanwhile, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has arrived in Farmleigh to meet with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. 

A quick reminder that we have reporters on the scene at some count centres around the country. 

With lunchtime kicking in, it looks like they’ll be able to take a quick breather before everything begins to ramp up again. 

The first result is in for the plebiscite votes. 

Waterford has voted NO to a directly elected mayor, with 21,718 yes votes and 22,437 no votes.

Capture Twitter Twitter

That’s all from me for now. 

My colleague Sean Murray will take over for the next while to bring you all the latest updates.

Cheers Hayley.

So just to reiterate there, Waterford is the first city where the plebiscite was on to return a result – and it’s a narrow NO from the people of that city.

The government has already faced criticism for not running a strong enough campaign on the issue.

In fairness, they can’t say they weren’t warned.

In March, former Waterford city and county Lord Mayor Adam Wyse told that people weren’t being given enough information about it

“It might already be too last-minute,” he said. “Turnout is usually lower for local elections anyway. We saw last year young people get very engaged with the eighth amendment referendum, which was well flagged with information provided well in advance. That’s not happening now.”

Some top quality council #plebsicite #banter here a little earlier.

council banter

So, for Limerick, that means they’ll be electing a mayor with new powers in 2021 at the earliest.

It’s a lot of responsibility, but break it down.

In April, my colleague Órla Ryan did just that and explained exactly what a directly-elected mayor will be able to do, and what they won’t. 

We have some results in from Northern Ireland.

As expected, Sinn Féin and DUP look set to retain their seats.

And the Alliance Party’s Naomi Long has performed extremely well and looks likely at this stage to take the third and final seat.

download (44)

And here’s the full list of results from the Limerick plebiscite.

It was a clear victory for the Yes side.

Here’s some details from Olivia Kelleher, who’s down in the Ireland South count centre in Cork:

A first count result is not expected at the Ireland South European Parliament Count until 4pm with early indications that sitting MEP Sean Kelly will top the poll.

Speaking at the count centre in Nemo Rangers, Mr Kelly said transfers could play a major role in determining who wins a seat over the next few days.

Fine Gael MEP Sean Kelly has insisted that the party is in the running to win two seats in the European Parliament.

“I think we are very much in contention for two seats – definitely if it is a five seater.”

“No votes have been counted yet and above all you have to realise that transfers have a big bearing on it – particularly when you have 23 candidates. There are going to be a whole pile of transfers and if they fall the right way they are going to push up candidates quite a lot.”

Mick Wallace, however, isn’t letting the nerves get to him.

“Pressure is only for tyres. The people will make the call. I accept whatever comes. I will make the best of it either way,” he said.

He’s also worried Fianna Fáil could perform better than the exit poll predicted.

Wallace said: “They were saying on the radio that Fianna Fail were doing better than the exit poll showed. That will be problematic for me. Malcolm Byrne is obviously a competitor with me for the fifth seat. So if he does better it is somewhat more difficult for me.”

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan is down in Cork for the count, and he’s also been asked about the Maria Bailey case.

“I accept that the optics have not been good. This was an issue that was raised on the doorsteps,” he said.

Still no result from the Cork plebiscite but it’s looking like it will be very, very close.

A game changer for Farage or a win of sorts for Remain?

Rónán Duffy has taken a look at some of the the main talking points from across the water.

As a reminder, the Brexit Party are set to be the joint biggest party in the European Parliament.

The Cork plebiscite really is going to the wire, and still a way to go.

I can feel Nicky Ryan’s patience ebbing away at the RDS count centre, with counting still not under way yet today for the Dublin constituency.

Fine Gael Senator Maria Byrne is delighted the people of Limerick have backed the mayor proposals.

She said in a statement: “We have seen directly elected mayors work in other international cities. A mayor can become a vital part in ensuring that a great city has a strong voice and can attract investment from home and abroad. We are now going to have a strong voice in Limerick to create strong city and to drive the region forward.”

No European votes are being counted at present at the RDS, the race for South-East Inner City on Dublin City Council couldn’t be tighter. 

It’s similar tight in Cabra-Glasnevin with a dozen votes separating two Labour candidates.

We’re hearing a first count is imminent in Midlands North West…

Just to remind you: Mairead McGuinness is likely to top the poll in Midlands North West, and could exceed the quota on the first count.

Luke Ming Flanagan and Sinn Féin’s Matt Carthy also looking good to get a seat.

However, there’ll be an almighty battle for the last seat – FG’s Maria Walsh, GP’s Saoirse McHugh and Peter Casey.

Our reporter Kathleen McNamee has been speaking to SF’s Matt Carthy in Castlebar.

He’s feeling “very relaxed” at the minute.

Here we go with Count One in Midlands North West…

Electorate of 1,224,88. Total votes were 616,555.

Spoiled votes of 21,628 (that’s a lot) so the valid poll is 594,927.

118,986 is the quota. 

Mairead McGuinness easily exceeded the quota. She’s elected for Fine Gael in Midlands North West and Ireland’s first MEP. 

Here’s a full breakdown of the first count for #EP2019 in Midlands North West: 

  • Mairéad McGuinness (FG) – 134,630
  • Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan (Ind) – 85,034
  • Matt Carthy (SF) – 77,619
  • Maria Walsh (FG) – 64,500
  • Peter Casey (Ind) – 56,650
  • Saoirse McHugh (GP) – 51,019
  • Brendan Smith (FF) – 42,814
  • Anne Rabbitte (FF) 30,220
  • Fidelma Healy Eames (Ind) – 15,991
  • Dominic Hannigan (Lab) – 12,378
  • Cyril Brennan (Sol-PBP) – 8,130
  • Michael O’Dowd (Renua) – 6,897
  • Olive O’Connor (Ind) – 3,132
  • Dilip Mahapatra (Ind) – 2,450
  • Patrick Greene (DDI) – 1,352
  • James Miller (Ind) – 1,322
  • Diarmaid Mulcahy (Ind) – 789

Going back to local election results, Labour’s Annie Hoey has been elected on the ninth count in Laytown/Bettystown in Meath. 

Turning the look at Europe for a moment, Poland’s governing right-wing Law and Justice party (PiS) has come out on top, complete official results show.

The PiS took 45.38% of the vote to win 27 of Poland’s 51 seats in the European Parliament compared with 38.47 % and 22 seats for the liberal European Coalition.

“We won but with a result that should push us to one thing: to work hard before the parliamentary elections this fall,” PiS leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski said at the campaign headquarters in Warsaw as an exit poll handed his party victory.

This is the first time the PiS has topped the European polls amid a record voter turnout of 45.68%.

Another local election result for Meath as Sharon Keogan takes a seat in the Ashbourne area. 

Things seem to be getting heated down at the RDS… 

Here’s what’s trending in Ireland at the minute:


Here’s the latest on the plebiscite counting in Cork:

That’s all for me for now. 

My colleague Gráinne Ní Aodha will be taking over for the next while. 

Gráinne Ní Aodha here taking over from Hayley. A quick catch up on what’s happening:

  • There are around 50 seats out of 949 seats on councils across the country waiting to be filled
  • We’re expecting a result in the Cork Mayoral Plebiscite any minute now
  • First count in the Europe election in Ireland South region is delayed until 6pm
  • It seems as though the support for Green Party MEP candidates was greatly overestimated in the RTÉ exit poll
  • In the UK, the Tory party has been obliterated, but commentators are at pains to point out that the vast majority voted against a no-deal Brexit/hard Brexit party:

Nicky Ryan has reaction from the secretary of People-Before-Profit about his reaction to Mannic Flynn’s comments that compared the group to Isis or the Taliban.

I don’t think asking questions equates you to the Taliban… I’m a 65-year-old man do I look like a Taliban bomber?

You can read our piece on the three Mayoral Plebiscites here:

Cork city

Here’s the details of the final result, tweeted out by Tánaiste Simon Coveney’s advisor Chris Donoghue:

With the divorce referendum and mayoral plebiscites decided, and just 50 seats left to fill in the local elections, attention is going to turn to the European election results where just one MEP has been officially elected so far.

We’re going to wrap up this Liveblog now, and start afresh in the next few minutes – keep an eye on it for reaction to see which MEP candidates win seats – in Ireland and across Europe.

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