Fianna Fáil holds 12 seats in Kildare after late-night count

Election of former junior minister Sean Power marks return of ‘old guard’

Fine Gael’s Brendan Weld topped the poll in Co Kildare with 1,701 votes. File photograph: Rod Minchin/PA Wire

Fine Gael’s Brendan Weld topped the poll in Co Kildare with 1,701 votes. File photograph: Rod Minchin/PA Wire

 

The Kildare count ended at 3.10am today with the election of three candidates from the Celbridge-Leixlip area.

At 2.30am, Fine Gael’s Joe Neville took the 37th seat on the 11th count. Some 40 minutes later, Sinn Féin’s Ide Cussen, Labour’s Kevin Byrne and Independent candidate Brendan Young were elected without reaching the quota when Labour’s Shane Griffin was eliminated.

This means that Fianna Fáil now holds 12 seats on the 40-seat council. Fine Gael and independents hold nine each while Sinn Féin and Labour have five seats each.

The number of seats went from 25 to 40 in this election. In 2009, Fine Gael won the biggest share of votes, at 28 per cent, followed by both Labour and Independents at 24 per cent. Fianna Fáil was at 23 per cent and Sinn Féin came in at one per cent, although the party did not win any seats in 2009.

The election has seen the return of the old Fianna Fáil guard, in the form of Seán Power, but also the new guard - his son Robert. Seán Power lost his Dáil seat in the great Fianna Fáil purge of 2011 and was a late addition to the Fianna Fáil ticket for the Kildare-Newbridge electoral area.

Sean Power was elected without reaching the quota on the 17th count, along with FG’s Mark Stafford and Independent candidate Willie Crowley.

There were just two women out of 25 representatives on the last council. Now Kildare voters have elected 10 women, three of whom are Sinn Féin newcomers.