1010: Hi and welcome back. In the previous seven and a half hours, a further 18 TDs have been elected, eight Fine Gael, five Labour, four Fianna Fail, two Fine Gael, one ULA and one Independent.
Nine constituencies are yet to be completed – Dun Laoghaire, Carlow-Kilkenny, Wicklow, Laois-Offaly, Galway West, Galway East, Kerry South and Cork South-Central and Louth.
The Dail, as it stands right now (130 elected):
1019: Counting has resumed in most places at this stage, with some, like Wicklow, expected to last another five hours at least. Still 33 seats still to be awarded between those nine constituencies. Labour are two victories away from having their most successful election ever. An overall Fine Gael majority is still possible, but increasingly unlikely.
1036: In Galway West, they are heading into a seventh count, with no one close to taking any of the five seats. Looks like four to five more counts needed there with Fianna Fail still trying to get the first seat through Eamon O’Cuiv. Another sitting FFer, Frank Fahey is about to be eliminated there.
Same story in Galway East, where a recount is underway. Michael Kitt of FF leads the way with FG looking to pick up two seats and Labour one.
Wicklow is still adjourned, with numerous counts still to be completed.
Dun Laoghaire is yet to resume, with a full recount due. Richard Boyd Barrett looks likely to take the last seat there at the present time.
In Kerry South, Brendan Griffin (FG) and two Independents (Healy Rae and Fleming) are a few counts away from victory.
Into the ninth count in Cork South-Central, where Simon Coveney (FG), Michael McGrath (FF) and Jerry Buttimer (FG) looking likely to be elected.
Laois-Offaly is no where near finished, but Fianna Fail can expect two, Sinn Fein one, and Fine Gael maybe two, though Labours John Whelan may yet take a seat.
In Carlow-Kilkenny, no one elected, but the gap between fifth and sixth is growing. Three FG seats and one each for Fianna Fail and Labour.
Lastly, in Louth, Gerard Nash (LAB) and Patrick Fitzpatrick (FG) will be elected in not too long a time.
1041: Some actual analysis and commentary on the result as a whole, both nationally and in Limerick City, will come at a later date but it is clear: Fianna Fail rolled a natural one and Fine Gael are the ones to benefit most. The transfers, or rather the lack of them, were telling as again and again established FF names floundered.
1046: Of the myriad of sitting TDs not re-elected, only one, FGs Michael D’Arcy, is not from either Fianna Fail or the Greens. No Green candidates are still in the running. One wonders just what the Green Party will be doing next week.
1101: A Twitter massacre, as I “Unfollow” numerous TDs and political accounts this morning. Down nearly a hundred “following”.
1104: Two things to mention: The Fine Gael vote management in Mayo has been a lesson to everyone in just how to do it. And Labours breakthrough in Clare is very important, if the exception rather than the rule. More of a Gilmore Breese really.
1110: Simon Coveney has been elected in Cork South-Central for Fine Gael, with running mate Deirdre Clune eliminated. Two seats left, one each for FG and FF.
1113: Fine Gael are 11 seats away from having their best electoral performance ever and are expected to get there.
1129: Michael Gleeson (SKIA) has been eliminated in Kerry South. One last count to confirm the result there.
1150: Very quiet. With a few exceptions, all of the remaining counts/recounts will take a while to do. We will have it completed by, I’d say, six or so. My current final prediction would be FG: 76, LAB: 39. FF: 20, SF: 14, ULA: 5, INDS: 12.
Alright, real world calls. I’ll be returning sometime around 1400 where more TDs will have been elected.
1407: And, I’m back. Jerry Buttimer (FG) and Michael McGrath(FF) in Cork South Central, Gerald Nash (LAB) and Peter Fitzpatrick (FG) in Louth, Eamon O’Cuiv (FF) in Galway West, Brendan Griffin (FG) in Kerry South and Charles Flanagan (FG) in Laois-Offaly have all been elected in my absence, while Richard Boyd Barrett (ULA) is almost certain to be in Dun Laoghaire. 26 seats are still to be decided in seven constituencies.
Labour are one more seat away from their best result ever.
1431: Quick round-up:
Dun Laoghaire is now a formality, with Richard Boyd Barrett (ULA) and Mary Mitchell O’Connor (FG) just waiting to be announced as successful. As I write, O’Connor has just been confirmed.
Kerry South is the same, it just being a matter of time before Michael Healy-Rae and Tom Fleming (both INDs) are confirmed.
Galway East remains in recount mode, with one FF and two FG seats safe with Colm Keaveney (LAB) and Tim Broderick fighting it out for the last place, 300 between them.
In Galway West, Derek Nolan (LAB), Noel Grealish (IND), and Brian Walsh (FG) are safe enough, with FGs Sean Kyne and Fidelma Healy Eames fighting for the last seat.
In Laois-Offaly, Brian Stanley (SF),Barry Cowen (FF), John Whelan (LAB) and Sean Fleming (FF) are all likely to join Charles Flanagan (FG) but many counts remain.
In Carlow-Kilkenny, Ann Phelan (LAB) John McGuiness (FF) John Paul Phelan (FG) Phil Hogan (FG) and Pat Deering (FG) are all looking like locks with Bobby Aylward (FF) losing out, another sitting TD to do so.
Wicklow still has 15 candidates in the running. Andrew Doyle, Billy Timmins and Simon Harris have pulled of another vote management masterclass and will all take seats for Fine Gael. John Brady (SF) and Stephen Donnelly (IND) are in place to take the others but so many transfers remain to be given out. Labour running three candidates has ruined their chances here and both FF seats are slipping away.
1437: It now appears Fine Gael will finish with 75 seats, Labour with 36, Fianna Fail with 21, the ULA with 5, Sinn Fein with 15 and Independents with 14. There will only by a difference of one or two with those numbers at most.
1447: The very last Green candidate, Niall Byrne in Wicklow, is going to be eliminated shortly. There will still be 12 candidates left afterwards. Anne Ferris (LAB) is sixth by over a thousand, but will be reaping the benefit of nearly 7000 transfers there before too long.
1452: Kerry South is over with two Independents, Michael Healy Rae and Tom Fleming being returned as expected. There was a brief time yesterday morning when it appeared that “Dolly” was in trouble but Kerry South was never not going to elect him.
1501: Boyd Barrett has been elected, finally, in Dun Laoghaire, bringing that count to a close (and with it, Dublin) and capping the performance of the ULA. Let’s see what they can do. Five constituencies left.
1520: John McGuinness (FF) and Ann Phelan have been elected in Carlow Kilkenny. Phelan’s election has officially made it Labour’s best result ever.
1534: 20 seats in five constituencies left – Both Galway’s, Laois-Offaly, Carlow-Kilkenny and Wicklow. An unlikely continuous line there, going across the middle of the country.
1551: Derek Nolan is across the line for Labour in Galway West. An Independent Catherine Connolly, has also leaped back into firm contention due to transfers there, with Fine Gael’s hopes of taking two seats looking to be in a bit of trouble.
Carlow-Kilkenny will require only two more counts maximum to elect three Fine Gaelers. Still several counts needed in Wicklow, Laois-Offaly. The recount in Galway East continues but is expected to end shortly.
1554: Basically, Fidelma Healy Eames will soon be eliminated for FG in Galway West. If FG are to take two seats, her 7’000 votes will have to get both Sean Kyne and Brian Walsh ahead of Connolly. Walsh is 800 behind, Kyne 1’200. If her votes divide evenly, it can happen. If not, it’s a rare example of bad FG vote management in this election.
1559: Apparently, Independent John Leahy in Laois-Offaly, just eliminated, was close to calling a full recount (he was only 70 behind his nearest challenger. He was talked out of it, preventing some headslamming from the Laois-Offaly counters I’m sure). No one else near quota there at the moment, as we start count ten.
1613: Oh boy. Fidelma Healy Eames has called for a full recount in Galway West. She is only 56 votes off her running mate Sean Kyne. That count has been adjourned until 1830 and looks like it might be the last to finish now. It is only a matter of deciding which two of three FG candidates get the last seats, but she is entitled.
1630: Carlow-Kilkenny comes to an end with John Paul Phelan (FG) Phil Hogan (FG) and Pat Deering (FG) all coming in under quota. Fine Gael nearing 70 seats.
1631: Four counts left, two of them doing recounts. 16 seats remain to be filled. That Galway West count is actually ongoing now apparently, so the result will be a bit earlier there.
1645: The count time is approaching 32 hours. Real life calls again, back soon.
1809: It remains quiet as the counts drag on. With FGs Liam Quinn trailing Fianna Fails Tom Maloney by only 16 votes in Count 10 of Laois-Offaly, a recount there is likely. That will make three of the four remaining constituencies.
1837: If you can’t tell, it has gone very quiet, as ballots are checked and rechecked. These last few have the potential to go on late into the night. Updates as they happen, but I have little else to add at this point. As stated previously, some proper analysis will come, sometime next week.
The Wicklow count has actually just been adjourned for the night and will resume tomorrow. So, final numbers will not be known until then at any rate.
1850: The Wicklow counting has actually been called because Dick Roche, a sitting Fianna Fail TD, was just eliminated by a very tight margin and requested a total recount. All of the remaining constituencies are being recounted.
Earlier on in the campaign, I dallied with the idea of watching all of the election counts from start to finish. As we head towards the 34th hour of counting, with another 24 likely, I am glad I did not give that a try.
2005: The Galway East recount has concluded. From being two votes behind, FGs Tom McHugh has jumped ahead by around six votes over Independent Tom Broderick, who is now eliminated. He’ll need to survive the next count too, which is still up in the air.
2022: John Foley (IND) thinks he’s well placed to get the last seat in Laois-Offaly. He’s well off the pace, so he must think he’s transfer friendly. Geographical considerations in the constituency (he’s an Offaly man) must also be considered.
2048: Apparently, some of the Wicklow candidates, including SFs Brady are unhappy with Roach’s decision to seek a recount. The argument is that Roach may survive this count as a result, but he has no hopes of election regardless. This is true, he is simply delaying his inevitable elimination.
But, it is his right to call for a recount. Brady will just have to wait an extra day. If he’s mad at anyone, it should be the insane number of candidates who have delayed the count to this point.
2125: Galway East has finally delivered some TDs. Michael Kitt (FF) Paul Connaughton (FG) and Ciarain Cannon (FG) have all crossed the line. FGs Tom McHugh has survived another count and will compete with Labour’s Colm Keaveney for the last seat. McHugh is over a thousand behind, but the transfers would favour him.
13 seats left. Five in Wicklow, four in Laois-Offaly, one in Galway East and three in Galway West.
2131: With one more seat, Fine Gael will break their own electoral record, set back in Nov ember 1982.
2142: Galway West will complete its recount and then adjourn so at least two constituencies will continue tomorrow. I suspect Laois-Offaly will be the same; it’s just getting too late. Galway East will finish up shortly though.
2207: Labour have taken an historic seat in Galway East in the form of Colm Keaveney. The Gilmore Gale has blown in some places. Galway East is finished, so just three left. I don’t think any of the remainder will be reporting any further seats tonight.
2230: Quick round-up/predictions of the remainder:
Galway West will see Noel Grealish (IND) elected with the last two seats being fought over by three Fine Gaelers (Brian Walsh, Sean Kyne and Fidelma Healy Eames), and Independent Catherine Connolly. Regardless of whether it is Eames or Kyne to be eliminated after the recount, I think the loser will have enough to get his/her running mates past Connolly.
In Laois-Offaly, Brian Stanley (SF) and Barry Cowen (FF) are close and require only a few more counts. Marcella Corcoran Kennedy is also fairly safe looking for Fine Gael. Competing for the last seat are Fianna Failers Sean Fleming and John Maloney, Labours John Whelan and Independent John Foley.
Fine Gael’s Liam Quinn may see his elimination reversed by the ongoing recount, which would see Maloney eliminated. Regardless, Maloney will be eliminated at some point, and I think his surplus will get Fleming there ahead of Whelan. The Cowen constituency is just a bit too far for the Gilmore Gale.
Wicklow is going to see Fine Gael candidates Andrew Doyle, Billy Timmins and Simon Harris elected. John Brady (SF) and Independent Stephen Donnelly currently occupy the last two places, but Anne Ferris (LAB) is in a good position to overtake the latter with transfers from running mate Tom Fortune. But, this might be counter-acted by the transfers of Fianna Fail candidates Dick Roach and Pat Fitzgerald, not to mention Independent Joe Behan, all of whom are likely to be eliminated without further challenging.
If pressed, I’d say both Brady and Donnelly will hold on.
I doubt we’ll see anyone else elected tonight. It won’t be until tomorrow morning that the counts will start again proper. So, I’m calling the liveblog for tonight. I will continue tomorrow as best I can, but I’m travelling for most of the afternoon, so it’s likely I will miss most of the remainder. I will offer thoughts on the last of those elected at some point tomorrow.
The 31st Dail as it stands:
Talk to you tomorrow.