As we head into Count 12 at the Longford/Westmeath constituency count centre in Kenagh there is mounting speculation that Longford may be left without a TD in the 32nd Dáil.
With three seats to be filled, Longford candidates James Bannon (FG) 5,436 and Connie Gerety-Quinn (FF) 4,764, rest in fifth and sixth place, respectively, of the six candidates still vying to cross the line.
James Morgan’s 4,339 votes are being distributed during Count 12 and both Bannon and Gerety-Quinn will be hoping a large chunk of these head their way to keep their slim Dáil ambitions alive.
Morgan’s Independent Alliance running mate in Westmeath, Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran, currently on 9,244, is still 1,812 votes shy of the 11,056 quota, and the Athlone-based councillor may have to wait for a further count before reaching the magical figure and celebrating his remarkable journey from fighting floods on the banks of the River Shannon to the corridors of Dáil Eireann.
The three other Westmeath candidates ahead of their Longford counterparts are Peter Burke (Fine Gael) 7,451, Paul Hogan (Sinn Féin) 6,110 and Willie Penrose (Labour) 6,041.
With Penrose enjoying a 605 votes lead over Bannon, it gives you an indication of the ground that the Longford duo have to make up.
Poll topper, Fianna Fáil’s Robert Troy was elected on the 1st Count, securing 11,655 first preferences, thereby exceeding the 11,056 quota by 599 votes.
Six candidates, including two outgoing Government TDs Willie Penrose and James Bannon - remain in the chase for the final three seats ;
Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran (Independent Alliance) 9,244
Peter Burke (Fine Gael) 7,451
Paul Hogan (Sinn Féin) 6,110
Willie Penrose (Labour) 6,041
James Bannon (Fine Gael) 5,436
Connie Gerety-Quinn (Fianna Fáil) 4,764
The eleven candidates eliminated are;
Count 11 - James Morgan (Independent Alliance)
Count 10 - Gabrielle McFadden (Fine Gael)
Count 9 - Mae Sexton (Independent)
Count 8 - Manchán Magan (Green Party)
Count 7 - Brian Fagan (Independent Alliance)
Count 6 - Noel McKervey (Catholic Democrats)
Count 5 - Dominic Parker (Anti Austerity Alliance / People Before Profit),
Count 4 - Barbara Smyth (Independent - Right2Change)
Count 3 - James Miller (Public Banking Alliance)
Count 2 - Stephanie Healy (Direct Democracy Ireland) & Donal Jackson (Independent).