Election 2016 Results: Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil tied in race for Dáil seats

Counting and re-checks resume across the State with 98 out of 158 Dáil seats filled

Leo Varadkar has ruled out a Fianna Fáil/Fine Gael coalition saying 'I don't think it'll last, I don't trust them.'

 

Counting has resumed across the State with 19 out of 40 constituencies completed.

The Government parties have suffered heavy losses with 98 out of 158 Dáil seats now filled.

Fianna Fáil is one seat ahead of Fine Gael with 29 seats.

Labour has four seats, Sinn Féin 13, AAA- PBP has four seats, Social Democrats three, the Green party has one seat while Independents and others have 16.

A number of high profile candidates have lost their seats including Fine Gael’s former minister for justice Alan Shatter (Dublin-Rathdown), Labour’s Minister for Communications Alex White (Dublin South) and his party colleague, Joe Costello (Dublin Central).

Renua Ireland leader Lucinda Creighton (Dublin Bay South) also lost her seat where her former Fine Gael party is on course to get two seats.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has conceded the Coalition will not have the numbers to form the next government.

“It is perfectly obvious that the perfectly obvious that the government of Fine Gael and Labour can not be returned to government,” he said, adding that he had a responsibility to do “everything possible” to try to secure a stable government.

Stability 
Asked if such a stable government might involve Fianna Fáil, he said: “I’m not going to talk about any of the options that are open right now.
 
“I want to make it clear that I expect that the Fine Gael party will be a large block in the next Oireachtas and from that point of view, my responsibility as Taoiseach is to work to see that our country has a stable government and that it has a government that can continue the work on the progress that we’ve made over the last couple of years in bringing the benefits of a recovering economy to all our people.”
 
Mr Kenny said he would wait for the final outcome and then assess the options available to him. “I need to call my colleagues together, my parliamentary colleagues, my colleagues in government and talk about a number of issues,” he said. 
 
Counting continued into the early hours of Sunday morning in many places. Labour’s Sean Sherlock topped the poll in Cork East, securing his seat shortly after 7am after a marathon count in Mallow Youth Centre. 
 
Counting in Wexford also carried into the early hours. A full recount will now take place on Monday morning after Sinn Féin’s Johnny Mythen lost out on the last seat by just 52 votes to Government chief whip, Paul Kehoe. 
 
Along with further counts, a number of re-checks will take place this morning. 
 
Recounts
A recount is taking place Dublin South Central constituency where People Before Profit’s councillor Bríd Smith is just 35 votes ahead of Fianna Fáil’s Catherine Ardagh. 
 
A recount is also taking place in Dublin South West after Independent candidate Katherine Zappone unexpectedly surged ahead of Fine Gael’s Anne-Marie Dermody in the 16th and final count by 152 votes. Fine Gael sources say they will likely request that the recount go back further than the last count though they would use their “intellectual as well as out emotional intelligence”.
 
In Dublin Bay North, 700 votes were not stamped by staff at a polling station. Independent TD Tommy Broughan has expressed concern about these invalid votes and said it was possible there could be a recount, but that he would wait and see how the rest of the count progresses. 
 
While the Labour Party is in a dogfight to remain a viable force in the Dáil, a number of Fine Gael ministers have been forced to respond to questions about the future of Enda Kenny as party leader.
Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney conceded it had been a poor election for Fine Gael with the party likely to lose over 15 seats.
 
He said he did not believe there was an appetite within Fine Gael for a challenge to Mr Kenny’s leadership.
 
“I don’t get the sense that there is going to be any leadership challenge in Fine Gael,” he said. “We will win in or around 50 seats and we will be the largest party and Enda Kenny will be the leader of the largest party.”
 
Drubbing
Minister for Health Leo Varadkar topped the poll in Dublin West, but said the electorate had given Fine Gael and Labour “a drubbing” and that the obligation to form a government “doesn’t necessarily fall on us”.
He added senior figures in the Fine Gael leadership – including himself – would have to “take responsibility” for the vote. 
 
He ruled out removing Mr Kenny as leader of Fine Gael or entering coalition with Fianna Fáil.
 
Party leader Joan Burton secured Labour’s first seat on Saturday evening after a tight contest in Dublin West, while Minister for Public Expenditure Brendan Howlin topped the poll in Wexford. Minster for the Environment Alan Kelly is struggling to retain his seat in Tipperary. 
 
Ms Burton said she was “very very disappointed” with the vote, but that Labour “has obviously had a difficulty since we went into Government”.
 
She added that the party has “worked as hard as possible to bring Labour Party values and principles into the heart of Irish politics”.