Eighteen candidates went to post in the 2016 general election in Longford / Westmeath with the four seats on offer all being filled by Westmeath-based candidates - Robert Troy (Fianna Fáil, 11,653 1st preferences), Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran (Independent Alliance, 7,586), Peter Burke (Fine Gael, 5,681) and Willie Penrose (Labour, 4,817).
Fine Gael’s James Bannon went into the Friday, February 26, 2016 election as a sitting Longford-based TD but the 4,639 first preference votes he garnered - sixth highest of the 18 candidates - and subsequent transfers weren’t enough to help him retain his seat.
It left Longford as the ONLY county in the country without a sitting TD in the 32nd Dáil.
Interestingly, three Longford candidates found themselves lying in 6th Bannon (4,639), 7th Connie Gerety Quinn (FF, 3,943) and 8th James Morgan (IA, 3,329) in the poll after the first count four years ago.
That’s a cumulative first preference vote of 11,911 or 861 votes above the quota which stood at 11,050 in 2016, clearly demonstrating that there is a Longford seat up for grabs.