Local and European election results: Seán Kelly first MEP elected as Fine Gael poised to win two seats in Midlands-North-West

More than 900 council seats filled while far-right National Party and Irish Freedom Party take one seat each

Main Points

Tuesday’s election results live story is here. This story is no longer being updated

  • Incumbent candidate Seán Kelly (FG) is the first Irish MEP elected in the Ireland South constituency after exceeding the quota on the first count. The full results will be available here
  • Fianna Fáil’s Barry Andrews looks set to win the first seat in the Dublin constituency, with Fine Gael’s Regina Doherty in second and a battle between Sinn Féin’s Lynn Boylan, the Green Party’s Ciarán Cuffe, Aodhán Ó Ríordáin of Labour, Independent Ireland’s Niall Boylan, Clare Daly of Independents4Change and People Before Profit’s Bríd Smith for the other two seats. The results in detail are here
  • In the Midlands-North-West constituency, four candidates have each polled over 70,000 votes, including two Fine Gael candidates: Maria Walsh and Nina Carbery. Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan has topped the poll with over 78,000 votes and Barry Cowen, with almost 74,000 votes, looks set to regain a seat for Fianna Fáil after a ten-year gap. Independent Ciarán Mullooly has also polled well. Sinn Féin is unlikely to retain its seat in the constituency.
  • Counting in the local elections continues with more than 97 per cent of seats declared
  • A better-than-expected performance for the Government parties has led to pressure on Taoiseach Simon Harris to call an early general election
  • Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald has said “it hasn’t been our day [and] frustration – anger indeed – with Government policy on this occasion has translated into votes for Independents and others”. Read the full report here
  • Smaller parties are all mostly expected to retain their seats across county and city councils, with some gains for the Social Democrats and Aontú in particular
  • The far-right National Party and Irish Freedom Party have won one seat each in Dublin’s Blanchardstown-Mulhuddart and Palmerstown-Fonthill constituencies respectively
  • Counting is well under way in Limerick in the race to become Ireland’s first directly elected mayor, with Independent candidate John Moran in the lead on 18,308 votes
  • Moran is in advance of another Independent candidate Helen O’Donnell who has 12,903 votes, with Fianna Fáil’s Dee Ryan in third place

Key pieces


Where are we now with the European Elections

Finally we have counts in from Midlands North West and from Ireland South

We have one MEP elected. That’s Sean Kelly who exceeded the quota of 114,000 by 8,000 votes on the first count.

Who else will get elected?

In Ireland South, Billy Kelleher (FF) looks assured of a seat.

In Dublin, Barry Andrews (FF) and Regina Doherty (FG) are both so far of their rivals they cannot be overtaken.

And in Midlands North West, we have four candidates who look like they are more or less nailed-on: that’s Luke Ming Flanagan (Ind); Barry Cowen (FF); Nina Carberry (FG) and Maria Walsh (FG).

They have all polled over 70,000 votes and are 15,000 votes ahead of the next nearest rival, Ciaran Mullooly, and another 10,000 ahead of the next best placed.

That is your five MEPs in MWN already decided, in my opinion, though it will take more than 20 counts to finally decide the outcome.

Sinn Féin has collapsed in MWN, in what should be its strongest constituency and will not win a seat here. Lynn Boylan may just hang on in Dublin, while Kathleen Funchion is also in a bit battle to win a seat in Ireland South.

So who else looks likely to get elected. It is just too hard to predict. Niall Boylan, Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, Clare Daly and Ciarán Cuffe are in the mix with Lynn Boylan for the last two seats.

In Ireland South, Michael McNamara and the surprise package, Cynthia Ní Mhurchú, could be slightly ahead of rivals, with Grace O’Sullivan, Mick Wallace also in the mix. Ireland South, like Dublin, is very hard to call.

I’m signing off now until tomorrow. I will leave you to the most polished and coordinated celebration of a local election victory in the State. Where else but in Kerry?

Good night. Until tomorrow.

Oh, and if you wish a bit more of a fix before retiring, nothing is better than Election Daily, hosted by Hugh Linehan and starring members of our political team.


Only 20 seats of 949 to be filled in councils

The local election count is finally coming to an end with 929 of the 949 seats decided. The remaining seats to be filled are mostly subject to recounts and disputes but all should be settled tomorrow.

One recount was finished tonight. Maria O’Halloran reported that young Fine Gael candidate, Dan Carson was confirmed as winning the last seat in the Blackrock LEA of Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Coucnil

An interesting aspect is how close Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil are and the competition between them to be the leading party in local government. Earlier today Fine Gael looked like it would be top dog but there has been a late surge from its coalition partner.

As you can see from the Irish Times graphic in my tweet above, Fianna Fáil is now one seat to the good over Fine Gael.

Fianna Fáil director of local elections, Jack Chambers, issued a statement tonight: “I have been reviewing the counts and seat numbers all day and I now have growing confidence that Fianna Fáil will remain as the largest party of local government when all the votes are counted and the full democratic process has concluded.

“We are in a really strong position as the final seats are declared.”

Sinn Féin now has 100 seats which is an improvement on 2019 but that election was a disaster for it. Labour has consolidate and is close to its 2019 level of seats (56 seats now, 57 seats then).

The Social Democrats have been the big winners, pro rate with 35 seats, almost double its 2019 total.

There are four avowedly right-wing councillors and quite a few others who made migration an issue in their campaigns (if not the sole issue).

Otherwise, there was no significant breakthrough by right-wing parties or groups.

Follow all our election counts, county by count, here.


Some interesting developments in count for Dublin EU constituency

Dublin cycled very quickly through the counts before suspending after the 13th count.

We have full details of all 13 counts here.

Ten candidates out of the 23 now remain in the battle for the four seats with nobody close yet to the quota of 75,000, although Barry Andrews and Regina Doherty will not be overtaken.

The big mover in the early counts has been Niall Boylan. That is not surprising as some of the candidates have come from the right-wing and anti-migration camps. Boylan has added almost 10,000 votes to his first count total of 30,637 and now stands at 39,615 and is now lying in third position, ahead of Sinn Féin’s Lynn Boylan (37,847).

However, Daithí Doolan of Sinn Féin (11,822) has been eliminated and his transfers should take Lynn Boylan will above 40,000.

Niall Boylan could benefit from some of Aontu’s Aisling Considine’s transfers. She is currently just short of 14,000 votes.

However, after that the next candidates up are on the left. Sinéad Gibney of the Social Democrats (17,679) is likely to transfer mostly to Aodhán Ó Ríordáin of Labour (32,253) and outgoing MEP Ciarán Cuffe of the Greens (33,737). However, Bríd Smith (24,284), if she is next to be eliminated, is expected to transfer heavily to Clare Daly (29,759).

That could conceivably put her ahead of Ó Riordáin and Cuffe and whichever of the Green and Labour candidates is lagging behind would then be eliminated, putting the other person in a strong position to win a seat.

But there are number of scenarios that could play out, with Niall Boylan being eliminated, or Clare Daly being eliminated. All of those candidates are clustered close together but Lynn Boylan and possibly Aodhán Ó Riordáin could possibly emerge to win the last seats.


Fine Gael poised to win two seats in Midlands North West

The two Fine Gael candidates have each polled over 70,000 votes in the Midland North West constituency putting them in a strong position to win two seats in the constituency.

Sinn Féin is in danger of losing its seat in the constituency after its two candidates, Michelle Gildernew (45,808) and Chris MacManus (29,427), have performed poorly.

Nina Carbery has got 73,888 votes and her running mate, outgoing MEP Maria Walsh, has got 71,476 which puts them in a strong position to retain the party’s two seats.

Luke Ming Flanagan is the poll topper with 78,214. Fianna Fáil front-runner Barry Cowen has 73,908 votes and looks set to regain a seat for the party in the constituency in which it has not had an MEP for 10 years.

There is a gap of almost 15,000 votes between the first four and the next best placed, Ciarán Mullooly of Independent Ireland who has 57,297 votes. He is perhaps best poised to win the fifth seat.

However, neither of Barry Cowen’s Fianna Fáil running mates, Lisa Chambers (44,807) or Niall Blaney (30,387) look likely to be in contention for a final seat.

Peadar Tóibíin of Aontú has 40,792 votes and will have an uphill struggle to get into contention for a seat in later counts.


Cynthia Ní Mhurchú now a real contender to take second FF seat in Ireland South

The big surprise package in Ireland South is Cynthia Ní Mhurchú of Fianna Fáil. She has 55,209 votes, putting her in fourth place just behind Michael McNamara. With her running-mate Billy Kelleher’s election assured – he is on 91,077 votes – Ní Mhurchú is very much in the mix to take one of the last two seats in the constituency.

Sean Kelly, of course, is already home and hosed. His running mate John Mullins with 33,281 votes is too far behind his rivals to have a chance.

It’s a fascinating battle for the last two seats. Many candidates are clustered around 50,000 votes. Mick Wallace is at 52,803; Grace O’Sullivan is at 47,661, and Sinn Féin’s Kathleen Funchion is at 50,580.

Her running mate Paul Gavan (22,392 votes) will transfer heavily to her and make her slight favourite to win the final seat over the two outgoing MEPs, Wallace and O’Sullivan.


Sean Kelly exceeds quota on first count

Sean Kelly is the first MEP elected after getting 122,777 votes in first count in Ireland South constituency after exceeding the quota by 9,000.

Fianna Fáil’s lead candidate, outgoing MEP Billy Kelleher, is also expected to be elected after getting 91,077 votes.

The Independent candidate Michael McNamara, a TD for Clare, has also performed well and his total of 56,339 puts him in a strong position to win the third seat in the five seat constituency.

Sinn Féin’s Kathleen Funchion will be disappointed with her total of 50,580 but she is still in the mix to win a seat.

Outgoing MEP Grace O’Sullivan of the Greens (47,661 votes) will be in a battle to retain her seat with Funchion, with the independent MEP Mick Wallace (52,803 votes) and with Fianna Fáil’s second candidate Cynthia Ní Mhurchú who also polled strongly with 55,209.

The second Fine Gael candidate, John Mullins, has garnered 33,281 votes while Paul Gavan of Sinn Féin has 22,392 votes.



The word “imminent” has been much used and much abused over the past few days. It means anytime between now and some indeterminate point in the future. Both the Ireland South and MWN first counts are “imminent” and have been for the past hour.

We will update you, erm, imminently.


We have all the details of the results on The Irish Times website:


Ireland South

Limerick Mayor

You can also follow the counts on our dedicated page for Midland North West as soon as the first count is declared in Castlebar.


Dublin suspending counting at 9pm

Dublin has completed its 11th count, with the distribution of the 5,329 votes of Umar Al-Qadri. The were distributed widely with Barry Andrews of Fianna Fáil, Ciarán Cuffe and Lynn Boylan getting the greatest share. Philip Dwyer, the far-right anti-migrant campaigner is now being eliminated for Count 12. His votes could see another anti-migrant candidate (and new Dublin city councillor) Malachy Steenson leapfrog above Sinn Féin’s Daithí Doolan.

But Count 13 will take place tomorrow. It will be interesting to see where Aontú's Aisling Considine’s votes will go. I don’t think they will favour any one candidate but will certainly favour centrist and right-of-centre candidates.


Dublin Euro Election now going through Count 11

While we await the two counts in Ireland South and Midlands North West, returning officer Fergus Gallagher and his team have been flying through the counts in the RDS. Count 10 has been completed.

Here is the state of play:

So to survive Niall Boylan will need to pick up a lot of transfers from the two remaining anti-migrant candidates and there is no evidence that that is happening at a large rate. Boylan has gone in advance of Aodhán Ó Riordáin but would need to also pick up a lot of votes from Aontú's Aisling Considine, who has done well.

Clare Daly’s best hope of election lies with picking up a majority of transfers from Bríd Smith. She is showing herself to be relatively transfer friendly but needs to get in advance of her rivals – she is between 3,000 and 5,000 shy of them at the moment. Lynn Boylan will need most of running mate Daithi Doolan’s transfer as she needs to be in the mid to high 40 thousands to survive. Sinn Féin have not been picking up as many transfers in this election as it did in 2020.

Aodhán Ó Riordáin and Ciaran Cuffe will be seeking transfers from Sinéad Gibney. But will it be enough for one or both to keep in advance of each other, but also in advance of Daly.


McDonald is bullish that Sinn Féin will elect three MEPS despite bruising weekend

Jack White writes

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald remains confident that the party will have one MEP for each constituency despite “a bruising weekend.”

Speaking to reporters at the RDS, McDonald said she would welcome a general election “at the earliest possible date” and refuted the idea of a change in leadership following the local elections.

“I am the leader of Sinn Féin, and I will lead the party into the next general election,” she said.

McDonald played down the Government parties’ success in the local elections, saying they have lost “dozens and dozens of seats” but conceded it was “obvious” that the party ran too many candidates.

“We will now reflect and figure out how to win back the support of people who may have come out for us in 2020 and, for whatever reason, made a different choice.”

Candidates have a “whole range of views” on the party’s shortcomings, she said, which include “organisational issues” and “how we pitched our message in some cases”.

“Sinn Féin has positions, and of course, we can always get better at articulating them with clarity,” she said.

McDonald admitted that the party needs to be clear on all of its policies, insisting its position on immigration has not changed.

“We are a party that is absolutely anti-racist, we believe in human rights, dignity and respect for every human being.

“We believe in having a system that is efficient where decisions are made quickly, that is marked by fairness for the applicant people and for the community where you have a transparent rule book and where the rules are enforced and that has always been our position,” she said.

“I’m very aware that we have to reflect, we need to regroup and then we need to come back at this again with vigour and with energy,” she said.

Despite the need to reflect and regroup, McDonald said she would welcome a “long overdue” general election at the earliest date possible.

“We’ll be ready whenever it happens, bring it on,” she said.


Breaking News from the RDS, Chapter 2


Breaking News from the RDS, Chapter 1


First count expected in Midlands North West around 8pm

Candidates have been told to be at the County Centre in Castlebar for 8pm. But given the logistics of this constituency and the big slate of candidates, it could be later before the first count is announced.


Sinn Féin not afraid of an early election says Carthy

Fiachra Gallagher writes from Castlebar

Sinn Féin, despite a disappointing showing in the local elections, is “not afraid” of an early general election, its spokesman on foreign affairs, Matt Carthy, has said.

“We want to learn the lessons from this election really quickly and get down to brass tacks, but every single day that Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael are in Government, the worse the housing crisis is gonna get, so I’m impatient for a general election to get an opportunity to kick them out,” he said.

The is still party is still hopeful that they will return an MEP to Brussels following the outcome of the Midlands-North-West count, Mr Carthy added.


Boxer Moran scores big win in Westmeath as Greens lose both seats on council

From Robbie Kindregan

Sinn Féin and Independent candidates made gains in the election to Westmeath County Council, as the expense of the Green Party mainly, which lost both its seats on the local authority.

Twenty seats have been filled across four electoral areas, with Fianna Fáil emerging as the largest party once again by holding on to its nine seats, in advance of Fine Gael (four), Independents (three), Sinn Féin (two) and Labour (two).

The big shock in Westmeath was the level of support for former Minister of State Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran who received 3,725 first preference votes in Athlone and has confirmed his intention to run in the next general election after losing his seat in 2020.

“I am 100% running for the Dáil; I’ve always said that and that’s what I’ve been telling people on the doors,” he said.

“We all make mistakes in public life. But in this case, we’re righting a wrong now with a very strong vote.”

The Green Party have lost their two seats in Westmeath. Hazel Smyth and Louise Heavin, both of whom have served as district mayor during the last term, represented Mullingar and Athlone respectively.

After Moran’s more than 2,000 surplus votes were divided on Sunday, Fianna Fáil’s Aengus O’Rourke and Frankie Keena retained their seats on Westmeath County Council.

Fellow incumbents John Dolan (Fine Gael) and Paul Hogan (Independent Ireland) filled the remaining seats in the Athlone electoral area, where counting finished at 3pm on Monday.

Independent Mick Dollard secured his position as Westmeath’s longest-serving councillor, with 40 years experience behind him, after being elected on the first quota in the six-seater Mullingar electoral area at 2.40pm on Sunday and was followed by Fianna Fáil’s Ken Glynn who was elected on the second count for his fifth term.

There was late drama in the Mullingar area on Sunday night when a recount was called after just five votes separated Fine Gael’s Gerard Heery and Sinn Féin’s Julie McCourt.

Ms McCourt was elected at 6pm on Monday to become Sinn Féin’s first councillor in Mullingar since Sorca Clarke in 2019, who she now works with as a parliamentary assistant, and joined two sitting councillors from Fianna Fáil and one from Fine Gael to fill the remaining seats.

In Kinnegad, the retirement of three councillors at the end of the last term meant a long ballot paper of 16 candidates running for five seats and a lengthy counting process.

It took until count 10 at 11pm on Saturday for Labour’s Denis Leonard to take the first seat and he was followed by Sinn Féin’s David Jones on count 10, a parliamentary assistant to Deputy Johnny Guirke, and Fianna Fáil newcomer Alfie Devine.

Westmeath’s youngest candidate, Niall Gaffney (FF), a barrister who turned 28 on polling day, was elected on count 11 along with incumbent Emily Wallace (FG) who took the final seat.


Eleven new councillors out of 39 on Galway County Council

John Fallon writes

Galway County Council has returned 28 of the councillors who served on the last council after 79 candidates went to post looking for the 39 seats available across seven electoral areas.

Three outgoing councillors – Fianna Fáil’s Shelly Herterich Quinn and Daithí Ó Cualain, along with Alastair McKinstry of the Green Party – have failed to retain their seats.

There are eleven new councillors, although Peter Feeney (FG) and Shaun Cunniffe (II), have served on previous councils. The gender breakdown remains the same, 33 men and six women.

It has been a good election for Fine Gael even though their first preference vote has dropped marginally by less than one per cent to 29.4% they have increased their seats from eleven to 13 and are now the largest party in Galway County Council.

Their vote management was evident in Tuam where Headford-based Andrew Reddington and Abbeyknockmoy’s Peter Roche sailed home in the first count and then brought their third candidate, Galway Bay FM sports editor Ollie Turner, across the line at the first attempt.

Donagh Killilea, a third generation politician elected in Tuam, aired some dissatisfaction with Fianna Fáil leadership after their seats dropped from 15 to eleven, with first preference share dropping from 32.8% to 27.3%.

The resignation of two of their councillors after a winter of discontent over accommodation for refugees in the Oughterard area contributed to this. Seamus Walsh and Noel Thomas left the party after a bitter row. Both stood as Independents and both increased their vote with Cllr Thomas topping the poll in Connemara South and Cllr Walsh coming second in Connemara North.

Independent Tom Welby topped the poll in Connemara North and, as he did in 2019, had the honour of being the first councillor elected in the country.

Sinn Féin doubled its seats from one to two, the Green Party lost their only seat and Galway County Council remains without any representatives from Labour, Social Democrats and SPBP, with the number of independents increasing from eleven to 13.


First count in Ireland South now expected at 9pm with Sean Kelly expected to lead the poll

Barry Roche writes

The latest word from count staff at Nemo Rangers GAA Club is that there may not be a first count for the sprawling five seat Ireland South constituency until 9pm tonight with the estimated 713,000 votes cast taking much longer to count than first predicted.

The 250 counting staff under returning officer, Martin Harvey and count manager, Tim Healy have currently, as of 6pm, approximately 80pc of the votes sorted and counted but by the time paperwork is completed it may be 9pm before Mr Harvey in a position to make a declaration.

However the pattern of voting is continuing along the same lines as yesterday and earlier today and while there are no official or organised tallies, the piling of votes in stacks of 3,000 in some cases and 4,000 in others, allows some estimates to be made.

Fine Gael’s Sean Kelly is expected to top the poll and exceed the estimated quota of around 110,000 by a couple of thousand votes, perhaps as many 8,000 on the first count to be followed home by Fianna Fáil’s Billy Kelleher who will be a comfortable second but shy of the quota.

After that, things start to get a little less predictable with Independent Michael McNamara leading the remaining runners with around 56,000, in advance of Mick Wallace who is on 52,000 and Sinn Féin’s Kathleen Funcheon on an estimated 47,000.

Sitting Green MEP Grace O’Sullivan is on an estimated 35,000 or so but complicating the picture in terms of the destination of the last three seats is that Fianna Fáil Cynthia Ni Mhurchu may be as high as 40,000 but is distinctly in advance of Fine Gael’s second candidate, John Mullins.

Sinn Féin’s Paul Gavan, who is estimated to have about 14,000 votes, will also have a say in terms of transfers that will determine the destination of the last three seats. So will Ireland First Derek Blighe whose anti-immigrant stance has struck a chord with around 24,000 voters at the moment and still rising. Independent Eddie Punch is estimated to be on about 21,000.

Other candidates whose votes will play a part in deciding who is returning to Strasbourg are Niamh Hourigan of Labour, Susan Doyle of Soc Dems, Cian Prendiville of People Before Profit Solidarity and Patrick Murphy of Aontú as well as some nine other backmarkers.

Interestingly, count staff estimated that up 22,000 votes have been deemed to be spoilt and invalid and while that might seem a huge number on first glance, it is actually fewer than in 2019 when over 30,000 votes were deemed invalid.


Two councillors elected in Killiney-Shankill

Marie O’Halloran writes

Green Party Cllr Lauren Tuite and People Before Profit’s Dave O’Keeffe have been deemed elected in the Killiney-Shankill electoral area of Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown, without reaching the quota.

On the 11th and final count Ms Tuite had 1,614 votes while six votes separated Mr O’Keeffe (1,166) and Sinn Féin candidate Roland Kennedy (1,160). One vote had separated the two candidates and the gap rose slightly after an error in the distribution of an earlier surplus was recalibrated.

Sinn Féin has challenged the result and a recheck of all counts will take place tomorrow morning.

The election of Cllr Tuite means that the Green Party will keep all six of their seats on the council, despite a lower vote.


Moran tops poll in Limerick mayoral election

Independent candidate John Moran has topped the poll in the Limerick mayoral election with 18,308 votes, more than 5,000 in advance of his nearest rival.

The former secretary general of the Department of Finance is considerably in advance of another Independent candidate Helen O’Donnell who has 12,903 votes, with Fianna Fáil’s Dee Ryan in third place.

Daniel Butler of Fine Gael lies in fourth place with 10,190 followed by Maurice Quinlivan, the Sinn Féin TD for Limerick, in fifth place, with 8,331 votes.

Green Party TD Brian Leddin will be disappointed with his performance, garnering only 2,303 votes.

While there are many candidates, Moran has won almost 23 per cent of the vote and will be difficult to overtake in the successive counts. O’Donnell won 16 per cent of the vote.


Mullooly says he will be battling with Sinn Féin and Aontú for seat in MNW

Fiachra Gallagher in Castlebar writes

Ciaran Mullooly (Independent Ireland) believes that Sinn Féin’s Michelle Gildernew and Aontú leader Peadar Tóibín will be his closest rivals in the fight for a seat in the Midlands-North-West (MNW) constituency.

“I want to see Michelle Gildernew’s final bundle before I believe the Sinn Féin vote has gone, or anything like that, or fallen off the cliff, I don’t believe it has,” he said.

He also said that Mr Toibín had run a very good campaign. “It’s crucial that I stay in advance of him.”

A former RTÉ correspondent, Mr Mullooly said that deliberately stayed away from the count centre in Castlebar the last two days: “I hate election counts. I have done for years. Particularly going back to places like St Joseph’s Hall in Portlaoise, when we went on for four or five days with Laois-Offaly on more than one occasion.”

He ruled out of running for general election in the future. He said he ran for Europe because of his campaigning on issues such as agriculture: “If you’re on the agriculture committee for the European Parliament, you’re more powerful that the Minister for Agriculture in the Dáil at this stage.”

He complimented party colleague Niall Boylan’s strong showing in the Dublin constituency. He noted that Mr Boylan ran his campaign on issues like immigration – which, conversely, was not a big talking point on doors in Midlands-North-West, Mr Mullooly said.



Richard Boyd Barrett on speculation about an early election

Marie O’Halloran writes

Left-wing parties and candidates need to create a clear alternative and a united front going into a general election, according to People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett.

As speculation amounts about an election being called before the Government runs its full term, Mr Boyd Barrett said that “a lot of the disillusionment with Government has gone to Independents and it’s actually helped the Government”.

He believed the “the Left’s failure to offer a clear united front has been a problem.

“I would hope that people will learn from this. That independent vote is a vote of disillusionment with the Establishment but it is lacking a home.

“And I think many of those Independents will end up propping up a Fianna Fáil/Fine Gael government which I doubt, is what the people who voted for those Independents want.”

People Before Profit are currently in a battle for the final seat in Killiney-Shankill and are waiting to find out if they or Sinn Féin will win in a closely fought contest, where an error in the distribution of votes in an earlier count is being corrected and recounted.

Mr Boyd Barrett, who speculated that the Government would call an election in October, said he would prefer an early contest. “Get it done earlier – why would you wait until March.”

He added however that whenever it is called, “unless the Left offer those people a clear choice and can articulate their aspirations then the Left isn’t going to be the challenger. We need that clear united front from the Left and that clear alternatives to Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael.”

The Dún Laoghaire TD said Fine Gael’s success in the local elections, with even more seats now in Dún Laoghaire Rathdown than in the last administration, is not really a surprise. “The focus on immigration has favoured the Government”, he said.

“It’s taken the pressure off them on housing, health, public services. It’s focused on ‘it’s the immigrants who are actually to blame’ and I think that has actually helped them. And I would see that as a classic instance of divide and conquer.”


Last three elected in Longford LEA of Longford County Council

Our reporter Jessica Thomposon captured the scenes at the Longford County centre as Fine Gael’s Niall Gannon, and Fianna Fáil’s Uruemu Adejinmi and Kevin Hussey were elected without reaching the quota.


And good afternoon for a third day running. We are very close to the end of the local elections. As of now only 67 of the 949 seats remain to be filled.

As you can see the two big parties are well into the 200s with Fine Gael on its 2019 total at this moment.

The Social Democrats have had a really impressive local election almost doubling its representations. So has Labour. It’s close to its 2019 total right now with a few other seats potentially.

Most of the counts now are recounts in Kerry, Longford, Wexford, and in Dún Laoghaire.

The other big news right now is that a first county in the Limerick mayoral election is imminent!


And that’s it from me for today. Harry McGee will be manning this story for the rest of the day and hopefully by the end of it we will all be much closer to the finishing line.


NEWS SNAP: The remaining three seats on Galway City Council have been filled with outgoing Fianna Fáil councillors John Connolly (13th count) and Peter Keane (14th count), along with Labour’s Niall McNelis (14th count) all being elected in Galway City West.

Independent Donal Lyons topped the poll with outgoing councillors Clodagh Higgins (FG) and Alan Curran of the Soc Dems, who had switched from Galway City East, both re-elected earlier on Monday.

All 18 seats on Galway City Council have now been filled.


NEWS SNAP: The Green Party have lost their two seats in Westmeath, Hazel Smyth and Louise Heavin, both of whom have served as district mayor during the last term, in Mullingar and Athlone respectively.

Anyone hoping for a quick turnaround in the Midlands North West will despair when they see our man there’s tweet/post on X.


NEWS SNAP: John Burtchaell of People Before Profit elected for the Blanchardstown/Mulhuddart area in Fingal.


NEWS SNAP: The Athlone electoral area has now finished with independent Ireland’s Paul Hogan taking the fifth and final seat.


NEWS SNAP: All 40 seats have now been filled on South Dublin County Council. Fine Gael’s Lynn McCrave and David McManus, Fianna Fáil’s Yvonne Collins and the Social Democrats’ Justin Sinnott were all elected on the 11th count for Rathfarnham-Templeogue on Monday afternoon.

Independent candidates have won the largest number of seats (10) on the council while Fine Gael has emerged as the biggest party (9 seats) followed by Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin (both 5), People Before Profit (4), Labour (3) and the Social Democrats (2).

The Green Party lost all of its four seats on the local authority. Glen Moore of the Irish Freedom Party was elected for Palmerstown-Fonthill while Linda De Courcy was elected for Independent Ireland in Clondalkin.


NEWS SNAP: Patrick Quinlan has elected for the National Party in Fingal along with JK Onwumereh of Fianna Fáil and Mary McCamley of the Labour Party.


NEWS SNAP: After much delay, there is finally some movement in Co Offaly, with a new councillor elected for the Birr area, writes Ellen O’Riordan. John Clendennen’s re-election sees Fine Gael match its 2019 result of four representatives for Offaly. The party’s fifth and final candidate, newcomer Hugh Egan, looks in with a strong chance of gaining a seat in Birr.


In case anyone has found themselves wondering why the ballot papers for the local and European elections could not have been put in separate boxes at polling stations to save count centre staff hours separating them – I know I was – I have news on that score.

I put that query to the Department of Housing and Local Government this morning and have been told there was no segregation of ballot papers because “the count for a poll cannot proceed until all ballot papers for that poll are accounted for and all ballot papers are at the count centre in question.

“As the European and local elections’ counts take place in different places – and often at great distances given the size of a European Parliament constituency – if ballot papers for one election were found in the wrong ballot box (eg local election ballot paper found in European election ballot box; likely due to human error), the logistics of transporting the ballot paper to the right count centre would cause delays to the commencement of the count.”


Election before budget measures fully implemented ‘irresponsible’ McGrath says

More from Barry Roche in Cork.

When asked about the timing of the general election the Minister for Finance Michael McGrath said that although it is the Taoiseach’s prerogative, it should be a joint consultation between all three party leaders.

“There are risks around whatever decision you make about the timing of an election,” he said.

“But I do think the public want stability and I believe that when you commit to doing a job you should see it through and you should complete the job and fulfil your mandate.”

“Given my role as Minister for Finance I think it is vital that we do have a budget for 2025 and that it happens in the normal time frame of the autumn.”

“That not only do we announce it but that we legislate for it and we implement it. I have heard some suggestions that we should announce a budget and then go to the country on the back of that budget.”

“But I think that would be irresponsible. I think it is vital that going into 2025 we have a budget that has been legislated for and that can be fully implemented.”

“Because who knows how long it will take to form a Government after the next general election – it could be many weeks, it could actually be months and given the importance of political stability as a contributor to economic stability it is important from my perspective that we have a budget, we announce it, we legislate for it and we implement it.”

“That is certainly what I will be advocating when it comes to making a contribution to that decision. It is a matter for the Taoiseach (Simon Harris) – (but) I do think the decision in the end should be by agreement. While it is the Constitutional prerogative of the Taoiseach, he has made it very clear he will consult and engage with the Tánaiste (Micheál Martin) and with (Green Party leader) Minister Eamon Ryan.”

“I think it is important that the term of the Government ends well and that relationships at the end are as strong as they have been right the way through. So I think the final date to be selected for the general election should be by agreement with the three party leaders while respecting the Taoiseach’s prerogative.”


An “unscientific” update from the West.


Cormac McQuinn has this from the Dublin count centre.

Fianna Fáil is “on track” to win at least one seat in each of the three European Parliament constituencies and is “competitive” for as second one in Ireland South, according to Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien.

Speaking alongside Dublin candidate Barry Andrews – who topped the poll in the capital and is expected to be elected, Mr O’Brien said he is “absolutely delighted” with the results of the European Election campaign.

Mr O’Brien, who was the party’s director of elections for the European Election, praised Mr Andrews saying he is “a pro-European MEP standing on his delivery on what he’s actually done for the last five years.”

On his expectations on the outcome elsewhere Mr O’Brien said: “whilst the numbers coming out in the other constituencies are not complete we’re certainly looking good in Ireland South where we certainly will win one and we’re competitive for another based on the information I have.”

In the South Billy Kelleher is expected to retain his seat while Cynthia Ní Mhurchú is the other Fianna Fáil candidate in the constituency.

“And in Midlands Northwest as well where we’re polling very well and we’re on track to win at least one seat there.”

Fianna Fáil ran three candidates there – Barry Cowen, Lisa Chambers and Niall Blaney – a high risk strategy in a constituency where it has not returned a MEP in the last two elections.

Mr O’Brien said: “Coming in as a party in this European Election with two MEPs we’re coming back with at least three and ensuring that we have Fianna Fáil representatives in each of the European constituencies.”


NEWS SNAP: National Party seem set to win seat on Fingal Council for the Blanchardstown/Mulhuddart area. Declaration due shortly after request for recount withdrawn.


That Michael McGrath doorstep ...


It has taken more than two days but the first counts in all the local election areas across the State are now complete.


Michael McGrath is at the count centre in the Nemo Rangers GAA club in Cork and has been talking to Barry Roche.

Asked if the results in both the locals and Europeans put to bed any criticism of Micheál Martin’s leadership by the likes of John McGuinness and Willie O’Dea, Mr McGrath he said he did not think there “was ever an issue about the leadership of Micheál Martin, I think he is the party’s greatest asset and I think that has been borne out again by these results and he will certainly lead us into the next general election.”

He said the Tánaiste had “provided very strong and effective leadership for the country at a time when it was needed – he is doing an excellent job as Tánaiste as well so that issue in my mind never arose but for anybody who thought it was, these results knock that on the head – his position is absolutely secure and based on these results there is no question of leadership.”


More shoulder lifting, courtesy of our friends in the Examiner.

NEWS SNAP: We have a first count – the final first count – from Ballina LEA. Mark Duffy Independent and John O’Hara Fine Gael have been elected.


Less drama in Longford but progress there too, writes Jessica Thompson.

The 11th and 12th counts in Longford LEA have run pretty much as expected with the redistribution of 155 votes from Gareth McKendry (IP) in count 11, and 237 votes from Mujjahid Manzoor in count 12.

In the latest count, the results are as follows:

  • Uruemu Adejinmi (FF): 642 (+25)
  • Sadia Athar (Ind): 347 (+90)
  • James Donnelly (SF): 484 (+2)
  • Niall Gannon (FG): 786 (+7)
  • Kevin Hussy (FF): 615 (+5)
  • James Quinn (Ind): 258 (+4)

As no candidate was elected, James Quinn will now be eliminated and his 258 votes redistributed.

As it stands, Fine Gael’s Niall Gannon is just 68 votes away from being elected, with Uruemu Adejinmi and Kevin Hussy – both of Fianna Fáil – next in line for a seat.


More from Marie O’Halloran who is covering the DLR counts that remain on a knife edge.

A new wrinkle has been added to the Shankill-Killiney counting process where just a single vote remains between Sinn Féin candidate Roland Kennedy and People Before Profit former cllr Dave O’Keeffe.

An error in an earlier count on the distribution of the surplus of Independent Cllr Hugh Lewis has resulted in a recheck of three counts. It is expected that the rechecks will give both candidates extra votes.

Both parties anticipate the result will flip-flop and that Cllr Lewis’s surplus, formerly a People Before Profit councillor, will favour the party.

As a consequence the one vote advantage Sinn Féin had, is expected to become a one-vote advantage for People Before Profit. Either way a full recount/recheck is deemed likely.


Barry Roche in Cork has been crunching some numbers, although not the numbers you might expect.

A total of 713,000 ballot papers were cast in Ireland South. “If you laid them out end to end, it works out at 456 kilometres - which is just shy of your journey from Malin to Mizen - if you were a crow and were taking the direct route!”


A month ago Romanian woman Lumi Panaite Fahey went to Fine Gael TD Bernard Durkan with a complaint about antisocial behaviour in the estate in Celbridge where she lives.

On Saturday she was elected as a Fine Gael councillor for the Celbridge local electoral area on the third count – the first councillor for the party in the town for 20 years.

This is, by any measure, a remarkable story from Ronan McGreevy.


Have you found yourself wondering over the last few days exactly how the proportional representation system works? Well Marie O’Halloran has all the answers.


NEWS SNAP: The Trim count in Meath has been concluded after Former Minister Noel Dempsey’s daughter Aisling reached the quota for FF and retained her seat, reports Louise Walsh Ferriter.

It’s the party’s first seat on MCC. Three councillors were elected without reaching the quota. Ronan Moore, Social Democrats, Padraig Coffey, FF and Dave Boyne secured a second seat on the council for Aontú.


Ireland may only put one person forward for Commission – Martin

The Tánaiste Micheál Martin has indicated that the Government may not supply two names – a man and a woman – for the post of Ireland’s European Commissioner, as previously requested by Ursula von der Leyen, writes Political Editor Pat Leahy

Asked about the Government’s nominee – which will be a matter for Fianna Fáil to decide – Mr Martin said, “I’ll make my own decision on that and will consult will members of the party on the next commissionership.”

He said that “strategic considerations for the country are far more important than electoral considerations” in making the choice.

When asked if he would be supplying two names, as Ms von der Leyen had requested previously to help achieve a gender balance on the Commission, Mr Martin replied: “We can although part of me would say that the fundamental rules in terms of national decision-making should not be unduly undermined.

“That would be a traditionalist view of mine – it’s a decision for each member state. We did do it on the last occasion although it was done in a way that the outcome still became fairly, you know ... so I think we need to be clear in demarcation lines as to the responsibilities. In this instance it’s the responsibilities of the national governments.”

Mr Martin was speaking at the RDS this morning where he joined Barry Andrews for the resumption of the European election count.


We have now had four counts completed in the Dublin constituency and Fianna Fáil’s Barry Andrews remains in pole position with 62,298 votes. Fine Gael’s Regina Doherty is in secord with 61,447 votes. Lynn Boylan of Sinn Féin is in third but a long way adrift on 35,535 votes while Ciaran Cuff is on 32,265. Aodhán Ó Ríordan (30,844) and Niall Boylan (30,881) are in fifth and sixth respectively while Clare Daly is on 27,056. There is a long way to go yet.


Tense times in Co Dublin

Democracy and the PR system of voting does not come any more detailed than in Dún Laoghaire Rathdown, where the contest between Sinn Féin’s Roland Kennedy and People Before Profit Dave O’Keeffe remains on a knife edge with just one vote still between the two candidates after another count, writes Marie O’Halloran.

In the Killiney-Shankill electoral area, first time candidate Roland Kennedy a Fórsa trade union organiser and cafe owner and former Cllr Dave O’Keeffe are battling it out for every single vote.

Count 11 and the distribution of Fine Gael Cllr Jim Gildea’s surplus resulted in one vote each for both candidates and one for Green Party Cllr Lauren Tuite who is expected to cross the line eventually.

The next stage is to distribute the four-vote surplus of Fine Gael Cllr Frank McNamara.


And in case you are keeping track, there are just under 120 council seats of the 949 that were up for grabs yet to be filled. The first count in the Limerick mayoral election is likely to be with us within the next two hours and the counting of the votes in the European Parliament election is ongoing with the final seats in all three constituencies still very much in play.


NEWS SNAP: There has been some progress in Connemara South as Pádraig Mac an Iomaire of FG takes the second seat on the eighth count. Three more seats to go, writes John Fallon. In Galway City West Clodagh Higgins of FG looks set to retain her seat – she has been inching towards the 1,250 quota and heading into the ninth count is just three votes short.


No more Green shoots in South Dublin

The Labour Party’s Ciarán Ahern has been elected for Rathfarnham-Templeogue following the ninth count, with four seats left to fill on South Dublin County Council, reports Sarah Burns.

The latest count saw the Green Party’s Mark Lynch excluded, meaning the party will have no elected representatives on the council. The Green Party won four seats on South Dublin County Council in the 2019 local elections, which included Francis Noel Duffy, who went on to become a TD for Dublin South West in 2020.

Labour has now secured three seats on the local authority with Pamela Kearns topping the poll in Rathfarnham-Templeogue and Joanna Duffy elected in Lucan.


One vote, two votes ... Recount

Local elections really can be small margin affairs as this new update from Marie O’Halloran shows.

In Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown there is just a single vote between Sinn Féin first-time candidate Roland Kennedy (1,140) and People Before Profit former councillor Dave O’Keeffe (1,139) following the distribution of the surplus of Fine Gael Cllr Jacqueline Burke, on the 10th country in Killiney-Shankill.

Green Party Cllr Lauren Tuite is on course to be re-elected without reaching the quota with 1, 529 votes. The next stage is to distribute the 5-vote surplus of Cllr Jim Gildea from the sixth count. But a recount is seen as almost certain.

A full recount is under way in Blackrock after Independent commentator Cormac Lucey lost out by just two votes to first time candidate and student Dan Carson on the 11th count which also saw Labour Cllr Martha Fanning and Fine Gael Cllr Maurice Dockrell elected without reaching the quota.


Interesting read with the benefit of hindsight.


It’s not just the count staff and the journalists who might be tired today. Hard not to have sympathy for anyone enduring the counts over recent days.


Late night counts followed by early morning start in Longford

There’s no rest for the wicked or for Jessica Thompson who has filed this report from Longford.

After a marathon count session, which ran until after 5am, it’s a go here again in the Longford count centre with a full recount under way for Ballymahon LEA.

Yesterday, Fine Gael’s Paul Ross was first past the post, with 1,300 votes, which saw him elected on the first count.

By count number four, Francesca Pawelczyk (Ind), Mandy Larkin (IP) and Niall Dowler (Ind) had all been eliminated and their votes redistributed among the other candidates.

However, Independent candidate Gerald Farrell was the candidate with the least number of votes (627), coming in just one vote behind his nearest competitor, Fianna Fáil’s Sean Mimnagh (628 votes).

After being eliminated on the fourth count, Farrell called for a full recount of the votes, and that got under way this morning.

There was drama in Granard into the wee hours of the morning, with the count running through until all five seats were filled.

Outgoing councillors Garry Murtagh (FG), Turlough ‘Pott’ McGovern (Ind) and Paraic Brady (FG) were all elected on the first count, and there were no other candidates elected until count seven, when the remaining seats were filled.

On the seventh count, Pádraig McNamara (FG) was elected with 1,113 votes and, in a surprise surge of transfers, David Cassidy (FF) was also deemed elected with 1,071 votes.

However, outgoing councillor Colin Dalton (FG) was just four votes behind his Fianna Fáil rival, with 1,071 votes.

The count finished up shortly after 5am. A full recount has been called for and will commence at 2pm.

Meanwhile, in Longford, things are moving along steadily. Outgoing councillors Gerry Hagan (FG), Martin Monaghan (FF), Seamus Butler (FF) and Peggy Nolan (FG) were all deemed elected on the first count.

No other candidate has been elected in Longford LEA since, with candidates Alicia Carberry (Ind), Maura Greene-Casey (Ind), Catherine Joseph (GP), Tony Reilly (Ind), Dwain Schouten (Ind) and Dave Smyth (PBP-SOL) all being eliminated over the course of ten counts.

Niall Gannon (FG), Uruemu Adejinmi (FF) and Kevin Hussey (FF) are all in the running for the final three seats.

But considering how quickly David Cassidy shot above Colin Dalton in Granard, thanks to transfers, it’s anyone’s guess what could happen with seven candidates still in the race.

The Longford count is due to recommence at 12pm.


‘Normal parties of Europe’ to come together offering stability – Donohoe

A “stable coalition” can be formed in Europe despite gains made by far right candidates, Minister for Expenditure Paschal Donohoe has said

Speaking to journalists – including our Jade Wilson – this morning, Mr Donohoe said “we have seen the far right make some gains within the European Parliament, but on the other hand we have seen [centrist] parties which Fine Gael are members of make gains”.

Ultra-conservative and far right parties are on course to top the polls in several EU countries such as France, Italy and Austria, while coming second in others in a backlash against mainstream political parties and driven in part by anti-immigrant sentiment.

French president Emmanuel Macron called a snap parliamentary election after his centrist coalition was heavily defeated by Marine Le Pen’s National Rally, and Belgium’s prime minister, Alexander De Croo, has announced he will resign.

However, Mr Donohoe said he was “very confident that when the European Parliament is formed in a few weeks time, the big, normal parties of Europe will be able to come together and form a stable coalition”.

“Even here in Ireland, while we have seen a few candidates get elected of what I would describe as the far right, we’ve also seen so many of the political parties here in Ireland who are against that tradition hold their own or make gains and see many great people elected,” he said.

Asked for his thoughts on who might serve as Ireland’s next European Commissioner, Donohoe said he was not certain and it was an appointment “for others to determine”.


Counting has recommenced at Weston Airport this morning for South Dublin County Council, with five seats left to be filled, all in the Rathfarnham-Templeogue ward, reports Sarah Burns.

The Irish Freedom Party’s Glen Moore was elected in the early hours of Monday for Palmerstown-Fonthill, alongside People Before Profit’s Madeline Johansson.

People Before Profit will be pleased with its performance after it secured four seats on the local authority, including Jess Spear for Tallaght Central. She is the partner of TD Paul Murphy.

Sinn Féin, which ran 21 candidates across the seven electoral areas, has only managed to win five seats. Former UFC fighter Patrick Holohan was elected in both Tallaght Central and Tallaght South as an Independent candidate. Independent Ireland’s Linda De Courcy was elected in Clondalkin.

Votes being sorted in Limerick before counting gets under way on Monday in the historic Directly Elected Mayor contest. Photograph: David Raleigh


‘A bit peculiar to be dragging this thing out over Christmas’

Veteran Fianna Fáil TD Willie O’Dea has told Cormac McQuinn that he reckons the next general election should happen in the autumn.

“I don’t think there should be an immediate election but certainly after the budget – we’ll say in October,” he said.

“I think that would be an appropriate time to go because I think that there’s an expectation really that, more or less, the Government will have done everything it can do in its own lifetime by October, and it seems a bit peculiar to be dragging this thing out over Christmas. The election has to be called anyway in February”.

He said he would favour an election “immediately after the budget. I think it’s time to wrap it up and look for a fresh mandate”.

He said Fianna Fáil’s results in the local elections were “pleasantly surprising” and he noticed during the campaign the Sinn Féin support had “slipped quite dramatically”.

Mr O’Dea confirmed that he plans to run to retain his Limerick City Dáil seat in the general election.

On Sunday former Fine Gael minister Michael Ring also said the general election should be in October.

Taoiseach Simon Harris said he wants the Government to run its full term and that this has not changed in the wake of the local and European elections.


From rodents and sparklers trapped in ballot boxes to candidates actively canvassing for people NOT to vote for them, Fiachra Gallagher has a wrap of some of the lighter moments from the weekend just past.

Sitting Ireland South MEPs Billy Kelleher and Sean Kelly holding his granddaughter, Hannah Rose Kelly, home from Australia at the Nemo Count Centre on Monday. Photograph: Barry Roche


Counting in the Midlands-North-West constituency is trucking along again in Castlebar. First preference votes for 10 of the 27 candidates are being sorted into bundles of 50, and then stacked in shelves at the back of the count centre at the TF Royal Hotel. According to senior count staff, we’ll have a better idea of when we might have a first count result around 5pm. Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan continues to keep a watchful eye on the count. Hermann Kelly (Irish Freedom Party) has also made it West to the TF Royal Hotel. Maria Walsh (Fine Gael) and Barry Cowen (Fianna Fáil) are expected at the count centre later on.


Tánaiste and grassroots support behind FF success – Kelleher

Irish Times Southern Correspondent Barry Roche is in the Ireland South count centre at Nemo in Cork, and he asked soon-to-be Fianna Fáil MEP Billy Kelleher what it was it about Fianna Fáil’s message this time out that appeared to stem any significant fall in support from what was quite a haul in the last election?

“First and foremost we have to acknowledge that we have a huge number of decent, hardworking councillors and candidates right across the communities of Ireland, and that was very evident to me when I went around Ireland South campaigning,” Mr Kelleher said. “They are deeply embedded in their communities, they are part of their communities so we have that strength in depth across the entirety of Ireland.”

He also said “Micheál Martin has performed exceptionally well not just during the weeks of the campaign but right through the entirety of this Government both as Taoiseach and as Tánaiste, dealing with some very, very challenging issues such as the Covid pandemic, for example.”

Mr Kelleher concluded by saying “Micheál Martin’s leadership coupled with the strength of our organisation and the strength and effort of our public representatives in Ireland [led to these results]” .

He also described it as “a very interesting election because there was a debate surrounding the extremes on both the right and left”.

He suggested that people “looked at the alternatives and wanted to go back to the centre for stability – to make sure there was sound and decent politics as well as politics that was proactive in terms of engagement with Europe”.


And we’re off again in Fingal where there are three recounts under way – for the Castleknock, Howth/Malahide and Blanchardstown areas. According to our man on the ground, Martin Wall, one to watch will be the performance of the National Party, which is in the hunt for a seat in Blanchardstown. A total of 33 of the 40 seats on Fingal Council have now been filled.


And we have news from Barry Roche in Cork.

Seasoned election watchers at Nemo estimate the quota in Ireland South on a turnout of around 713,000 will be between 110,000 and 115,000 depending on the number of spoiled ballots.

They estimate Seán Kelly will be approximately 10,000 over the quota to be elected on the first count with Billy Kelleher in second place but shy of the quota on the first count

Again today as yesterday, count staff are reporting large numbers of voters going literally to the centre of the ballot paper and voting No 1 Kelly and No 2 Kelleher or vice versa.


They’re checking them once, they’re checking them twice ...


Has Orban arrived at his Waterloo?

Widening the lens for a moment, it has been a bad weekend for Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban. His Fidesz party is on track for its worst result in a national or EU vote in nearly two decades.

According to Reuters, the projections are that Fidesz and its small Christian Democrat allies will secure 11 seats in the European Parliament with 44.2 per cent of votes, down from a combined 13 seats in the last parliament.

The tally showed Peter Magyar’s right-of-centre Tisza coming second with seven seats and 30 per cent of votes, more than all other Opposition parties combined and a better outcome than any of the polls leading up to the election forecast.

Speaking to supporters, Mr Orban said the results showed Hungarian democracy was alive and well, declaring victory at Sunday’s elections.

“In a war situation and in a difficult battle, we have scored important victories,” he told supporters, adding the results affirmed his government’s policy course.

A political newcomer, Mr Magyar swooped into Hungarian politics earlier this year, promising to root out corruption and revive democratic checks and balances in Hungary.

His party has capitalised on widespread frustration among voters with Hungary’s Opposition parties, who have failed to mount a credible challenge to Orban during his 14-year rule, with the next national election due in 2026.

“This result is the Waterloo of Orban’s factory of power. The beginning of the end,” Mr Magyar told supporters. “What happened is a political landslide.”


Final seats still in play in DLR

A full recount of the Blackrock electoral area votes will start this morning after Independent Cormac Lucey came in just two votes behind Fine Gael newcomer Dan Carson for the sixth and last seat, reports Marie O’Halloran.

Mr Lucey, an accountant and commentator, called for the recount when Labour’s Martha Fanning, Fine Gael’s Maurice Dockrell and Mr Carson were elected on the 10th count without reaching the quota.

Counting also continues today in seven-seater Killiney-Shankill to fill the final two seats.

The surplus of Fine Gael’s Jacqueline Burke will be distributed, but indications are that it will leave just four votes between Sinn Féin’s Roland Kennedy and People Before Profit’s Dave O’Keeffe, with the possibility of a recount in this electoral area also.


NEWS SNAP: We have John Fallon in Galway with an update on the state of play. There are still five of the six seats to be filled in Galway City West, with four of five seats to be filled in Connemara South.

Counting will resume in the next hour or so.

A recount in Athenry-Oranmore has seen no change so these are confirmed elected: Albert Dolan (FF), Tomas Grealish (Ind), David Collins (FG), James Charity (Ind), Peter Feeney (FG), Louis O’Hara (SF) and Cillian Keane (FF).


“Elections are not on our mind’ says FG’s Naughton

Another Minister dampening down election expectations as Government Chief Whip Hildegarde Naughton of Fine Gael says the public’s desire is for “stability”.

“That’s the strong message that we’re getting. So we really do have a lot of work to do in relation to this and elections are not on our mind,” she told RTÉ Radio 1.

The TD for Galway West added: “We have a programme for government that we need to deliver, a huge amount has been delivered to date.

“But a lot of this legislation does take time to get over the line, and we have such an amount of Bills to get through right up to mid-July and also when we are back in the Dáil in September. So we really need to finish off that work.”


A budget before an election, suggests McGrath

Minister for Finance Michael McGrath is not getting “carried away” and is planning for an autumn budget as he played down speculation of an early general election.

Speaking on Morning Ireland he warned it “would take perhaps many weeks, and who knows maybe even months, after a general election before we have a new government, and I think we should not take the risk of going into 2025 without having a budget legislated for and fully implemented because economic stability comes from political stability.

“And that’s why I believe we should have a budget. We should legislate for the budget and we should implement it and then go to the people based on our record.

“We’re not getting carried away for a moment,” he said. “We are not saying that this is a predictor of a general election. We want to improve on the number of seats we have in the next general election, and there’s a lot of work left to do – but this does demonstrate that our vote is resilient.”

Mr McGrath said Fianna Fáil is likely to end up with three seats in Europe, but that “there is a lot of counting still to do”, and he said his party and Fine Gael would be the dominant parties in local government. “I think this is a significant achievement.”


We also heard from Jessica Thompson in Longford where counting continued until just after 5am. A recount will commence in Granard LEA at 2pm, the Longford LEA count will continue at 12pm while the Ballymahon LEA recount will kick off at 9am.


The first news we have this morning is that after 23 hours of counting, they have just finished up in Co Louth. Shauna Bowers is there. James Byrne (FF), Paddy McQuillan (Ind) and Ejiro O’Hare Stratton (FG) were all elected on the 16th count in the Drogheda Urban LEA (local electoral area) so that is that for Louth.


European election results in Ireland are only as far as one count in one constituency, but across the Continent, results are breaking in interesting ways, Jack Power reports from Brussels.

In France, most notably, Marine Le Pen’s far right, anti-immigrant National Rally topped the polls with twice the vote of Emmanuel Macron’s centrist bloc – which the president took as his cue to call a snap general election.

The nationalist right did well in Italy and elsewhere too, but not as well as had been expected in many places, including Germany where the centre-left appears to have caught up with AfD in second place.


Miriam Lord was at the RDS for the counts on Sunday, observing the mood among Sinn Féin’s luminaries – and their rivals – as results rolled in.

“It has not been our day but we will have our day ... we clearly have lessons to learn,” Mary Lou McDonald said. “We’ve literally been on thousands, probably tens of thousands of doorsteps.”

Sure, what more can they do after that?

“At this point in time I want to listen to people.”

Good results for Government parties in the locals gave their backers a more jubilant mood.

“Her own back garden, literally,” gasped one Fine Gael supporter when he saw the figures for Cabra-Glasnevin. “Two seats! Cabrafadabra!”


Good morning and welcome to day three of election results brought to you live through the day. I’m Conor Pope and I will be at the helm for the morning, with Harry McGee taking over for the evening as the European picture (hopefully) becomes clear.

So, where are we now?

It has been a good weekend for the Government parties in the local elections and that somewhat unexpected turn of events has inevitably lead to calls for an early general election with Sinn Féin’s worse-than-expected performance giving Fine Gael folk a sense of opportunity. Taoiseach Simon Harris is resisting those calls, Political Editor Pat Leahy reports.

“My position in relation to the next general election remains the same,” Mr Harris told The Irish Times Inside Politics podcast. “I think the Government going full term is important, and I look forward to continuing that.”

As dawn broke this morning, almost 830 of the 949 council seats across the country were filled so there is still a ways to go there and you’d have to feel sorry for the poor count centre staff, many of whom were working late into the night and will be back in this morning for another shift at the trestle tables and cubbyholes.

Meanwhile counting in the third vote, the race for Limerick’s directly elected mayor, will also get under way.

We’ll also get first counts in Ireland South and Midlands North West, while the chasing pack in Dublin behind poll-topper Barry Andrews (FF) and Regina Doherty (FG) will begin to see which way transfers break for the remaining seats, with Sinn Féin’s Lynn Boylan, Green Ciarán Cuffe, Labour’s Aodhán Ó Riordáin, Niall Boylan and Clare Daly in the hunt.