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Dublin: 8 °C Thursday 17 October, 2019
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Down to the wire: This Labour TD might still have a chance at a seat

Penrose had conceded on Saturday evening but this morning he said there is “an outside chance” he’ll get back in.

Source: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

A FULL RECOUNT is due to resume for the Longford-Westmeath constituency at 3pm today, with three seats still up for grabs.

Fianna Fáil candidate Connie Gerety-Quinn called for the recount after the 12th count left just 38 votes between her and Fine Gael’s James Bannon. She was due to become the 12th candidate to be eliminated.

Here’s how the count stands right now:

It looks like Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran will take the second seat and the third will go to Peter Burke. With 283 votes now separating Sinn Féin’s Paul Horgan and Labour TD Willie Penrose, transfers from James Bannon and Connie Gerety-Quinn will likely determine who takes that final seat.

Penrose, who returned to the parliamentary party in 2013, having resigned as a junior minister of the closure of a military barracks, had conceded on Saturday night. Speaking to RTÉ’s Morning Ireland today, he said it still looks unlikely he was get his seat back – but only time will tell now.

To be honest, I didn’t think I was in the hunt at all, and I think I conceded on Saturday night and I think it’s an outside chance that I might survive – but you never know. The vagaries of PR are certainly on display, I think somebody could do a dissertation on PR. When you look down through some of the counts it just shows you its a wonderful system.

He said he is “fully resigned to not surviving” and that he would accept that if it is the result.

I’ve had 23 and a half great years and it’s a great privilege and honour to be elected by your peers across Westmeath initially, and then Longford and Westmeath, and I’ve certainly enjoyed the honour. It’s something that I’ve never taken for granted.

Though he conceded it had been a disastrous result for his party, he said it would have been “cowardly” for them to sit on the sidelines instead of joining Fine Gael to form a government in 2011.

“No matter what we did, no one gave you an ounce of credit for it. You won’t get any credit for stopping things that would have happened if Labour didn’t participate.”

LIVEBLOG: 148 down, 10 to go as recount gets underway today>

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