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Thursday 30 November 2023 Dublin: 3°C

Confirmed: The Socialist Party takes a second Dáil seat in Dublin West

Ruth Coppinger joins Joe Higgins in the Dáil as the strong left vote in Dublin West paid dividends for the Socialists.

Updated 9.35pm

THE SOCIALIST PARTY has won its second Dáil seat in Dublin West after councillor Ruth Coppinger beat Fianna Fáil’s David McGuinness on the sixth count in Citywest tonight.

Coppinger joins party colleague Joe Higgins and replaces resigned independent TD Patrick Nulty who quit the Dáil earlier this year after sending inappropriate messages on social media.

Coppinger was elected on the sixth count with 12,334 votes. She failed to reach the quota of 14,478, but held off competition from Fianna Fáil’s McGuinness who got 9,237 votes.

McGuinness had pulled into second place, ahead of Sinn Féin’s Paul Donnelly after benefitting from the transfers of the eliminated Fine Gael candidate Eamonn Coghlan on the fourth count.

But the elimination of independent David Hall saw his transfers fall favourably for Coppinger who pulled over 600 votes ahead of McGuinness after the fifth count before benefitting from a sizeable transfer from the eliminated Sinn Féin candidate Donnelly on the sixth and final count.

McGuinness, who had been trailing in third place for much of the day, had gone into second place just 553 votes behind Socialist Party councillor Ruth Coppinger after the fourth count.

VINE: David Hall was eliminated after the fourth count in Citywest this evening. 

Speaking after her election just after 9pm tonight, Coppinger said: “We’re just delighted that we kept this seat for the left and for socialism.”

Hugh O'Connell / YouTube

Earlier, upon arriving in Citywest, Coppinger said that voters’ switch to left-leaning parties in the constituency was “somewhat inevitable if you consider the level of anger, the level of disillusionment with the establishment parties”.

She said: “So, parties such as the Socialist Party, who are anti-austerity and parties who are critiques of austerity, like Sinn Féin, who have a much bigger apparatus in the Dáil in terms of 14 TDs, would be seen as a vehicle to express a protest.”

Speaking earlier in the day, Sinn Féin’s Donnelly said it was “a fantastic result” for the party and “the manifestation” of the work his party has put in across the constituency over the last four years.

It’s been a terrible day for Labour whose candidate Loraine Mulligan has polled just over 1,500 first preferences votes and was eliminated on the second count along with Green Party candidate Roderic O’Gorman.

Speaking at the count centre in Citywest earlier this afternoon, McGuinness said he was neither optimistic nor pessimistic but “in the middle”.

“From our point of view, we’re out in front of Fine Gael, the independents and the Green Party and that’s the place we needed to be in this to be in the shake up in the end,” he said.

His defeat in this by-election is his second after he ran unsuccessfully in the October 2011 by-election in Dublin West caused by the death of former minister Brian Lenihan.

Socialist Party TD, a sitting deputy in Dublin West, said earlier in the day that the party hoped for transfers to take the second seat in the constituency.

Speaking before lunchtime, mortgage arrears campaigner Hall admitted he faced an “uphill battle” to win the seat. However, he confirmed his intention to run in the next general election and will be pleased with his fourth-placed finish.

Hugh O'Connell / YouTube

But People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd-Barrett, who is supporting Coppinger, said earlier in the day that it was “looking good” for the Socialist after early tallies showed her in the lead:

Hugh O'Connell / YouTube

LIVEBLOG: Local election results 2014

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