Live - Election Count

Wednesday 02 March 2011 09.49
Election count
Election count

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0841 The conclusion of the count in Galway West means that representation in the 31st Dáil will be: Fine Gael, 76 seats; the Labour Party, 37; Fianna Fáil, 20; Independents, 15; Sinn Féin, 14, Green Party, no seats and Others, 4.

0840 Fine Gael's Sean Kyne has been elected as the final TD of the 31st Dáil after a recount in Galway West.

0640 Éamon Ó Cuív has been deemed elected again, on the 8th count of the second recount in Galway West.

0530 Revised results of counts 1 and 2 have been announced in Galway West.

The results do not affect the outcome of eliminations in those rounds. Further results are expected to be announced shortly.

0345 We are still waiting on first revised results from Galway West.

We are now over 90 hours into the count process.

0200 A recount and re-examination of votes in Galway West has been completed but it will be a while before results are announced.

Returning Officer, Marian Chambers Higgins has announced that a number of errors have been found which will mean a slight change in the quota.

Count staff are now ammending the results. It's hoped that revised results for the first count will be announced at around 3am.

Revised results for the following twelve counts will be announced after that.

0106 We are still waiting on the results of the first revised count in Galway West.

The Returning Officer, deep in discussion with representatives of both Catherine Kelly and Seán Kyne:

0000 Galway West: The count has now entered its fifth day.

2332 Connolly and Kyne camps here say that, so far, no noticeable variation to the situation that pertained before recount.

2321 Talks between the Fine Gael and Labour Party negotiating teams concluded for the evening before 10pm.

They are due to resume tomorrow.

Neither side is commenting on the progress of the discussions.

2317 Watch Prime Time's look back on the winners and losers of the general election.

2158 Galway West: Recheck and recount ongoing. Revised first count result expected around 1am, to be followed by revised results for the other 12 counts.

Counters and tallymen going through votes, pic courtesy of @foxkehs:

2113 Jim Fahy says that there is no news on how the recount is going on, but Fine Gael’s Seán Kyne is very confident.

2110 The meeting of seven Independents to discuss the formation of a technical group went well, says David McCullagh. He expects the group to form.

2106 David McCullagh says there is no indication from Government Buildings on how the negotiations are going.

2046 Indications are that the result of the first count recount for Galway West is expected around 2am tomorrow.

Re-examination and recounting of all ballot papers is continuing at the count centre in Salthill.

The returning officer says the process will continue until it is completed.

2035 Coalition talks between Fine Gael and Labour Party negotiating teams resumed at 8pm this evening after a short meal break.

The talks, which are being held in Government Buildings, are expected to continue for some time tonight and to resume tomorrow.

It is understood that Government officials are providing information and assistance to the negotiating teams.

2027 Galway West: Recount of first count expected around 2am. Hoping for an overall conclusion to the process by 4am or 5am. Don't hold us to that though, says Pat McGrath.

2022 Galway West: Around 73 bundles, each with 50 ballots, of Labour’s Derek Nolan first preferences checked. That amounts to around half his first count total.

2013 Count staff work in pairs to check each ballot is stamped and marked. One announces ‘stamped’, the other ‘No 1’. Still checking first count.

1957 RTÉ's Pat McGrath has this picture of the Galway West recount 'tipping along'.

1905 Independent Noel Grealish has said he will be voting for Enda Kenny's nomination as Taoiseach when the Dail reconvenes on 9 March.

He said he had phoned Enda Kenny today and wished him well and told him he would be supporting his nomination.

He said it was great that a west of Ireland man was going to become Taoiseach and it would be a very significant development for the region.

1847 The sun sets over Galway Bay as the inhabitants of Leisureland dig in for what looks like it could be another long night of recounting.

1838 Seven Independent TDs met in Leinster House this evening to discuss the formation of a technical Group in the new Dáil.

Another TD expressed interest but was unable to attend.

The group is to contact all remaining TDs who are not members of recognised party groups to invite them to a further meeting next Tuesday.

A Technical Group needs a majority of the unaligned TDs, which in this Dáil means at least ten.

It seems certain that such a group will be formed, guaranteeing speaking rights in the Chamber.

It is understood that none of the Independents have been approached by Fine Gael to see if they would be prepared to support a minority government.

1730 Sean Kyne four days into the count at Galway West:

1720 Galway West: Fine Gael's Sean Kyne and Brian Walsh and Independents Noel Grealish and Catherine Connolly are all present at the count, which is now in progress over 80 hours.

1618 Fine Gael's Simon Coveney's election team made a time-lapse video of the Cork South Central count. View the YouTube video here.

1600 Galway West: A full recount in the constituency is to begin around now. 17 votes are separating Sean Kyne of Fine Gael and Independent candidate Catherine Connolly for the last seat.

1554 Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams has wished whom ever forms the next government well.

His party will be a positive, not a negative, presence in the new Dáil, he said.

Mr Adams said they wanted to see the incoming government produce a new budget and do away with the Universal Social Charge.

1543 Watch the videos showing how it all ended in the constituencies of Laois-Offaly and Wicklow.

1502 Galway West: A full recount is due to get under way at 4pm. Watch the report

Sean Kyne

1457 Sinn Féin has won its first seat in Laois-Offaly since 1923. Watch the report

1447 Former Green TD Eamon Ryan has told RTÉ's News At One that both he and John Gormley have decided to put their severance payments towards the party and funding green issues.

1402 The lawn at Leinster House was cut for the first time this year today. David McCullagh has also reported that a fresh lick of paint was being applied indoors.

1313 Hear the latest on political developments live now on RTÉ's News At One

1312 RTÉ's David McCullagh says while there are enough Independents to get Fine Gael into government on its own, it would be questionable how workable that would be.

1307 Nine new Independent TDs, including Mick Wallace & Luke 'Ming' Flanagan, will meet in Leinster House later to discuss forming a technical group.

Mick Wallace

1300 Galway West: A full recount will get under way in the constituency in three hours.

The recount was requested by Independent candidate Catherine Connolly, who is 17 votes behind Sean Kyne of Fine Gael.

They are both in contention for the last seat.

1255 The lawn outside Leinster House was being cut this morning for the first time since the winter. Inside, fresh paint is being applied in advance of the 31st Dáil meeting tomorrow week.

Those who lost out over the weekend, like Fianna Fáil's Peter Kelly, are clearing out their offices.

Labour's result has surpassed the Spring Tide of 1992. Party officials were this morning busy looking for a bigger room to hold this afternoon's first meeting of the Labour's biggest parliamentary party ever.

1252 It is understood the talks are taking place in Government Buildings. Earlier, Taoiseach Brian Cowen offered the parties facilities to help in the talks on forming a coalition.

1249 The Union of Students in Ireland says Third Level Fees must be a 'red line issue' during government negotiations.

In a statement, USI says during the election campaign Labour signed a pledge to 'oppose and campaign against any new form of third level fees including student loans, graduate taxes and any further increase in the student contribution.'

The union says these commitments must be honoured and it warned Labour that in the UK the Liberal Democrats are suffering the consequences of reneging on promises made about education.

1243 Fine Gael and Labour are meeting to discuss the possible formation of coalition. What do the two parties agree on and where do their policies differ? We examine some of the key issues.

1238 Talks between the Fine Gael and Labour negotiating teams began at 12pm, earlier than had been anticipated.

1203 Enda Kenny and Eamon Gilmore met for about an hour this morning to discuss the possible formation of a coalition government.

It is expected that negotiating teams from Fine Gael and Labour will start in depth discussions at some stage this afternoon.

A meeting of the new Labour parliamentary party is scheduled for 3pm.

Enda Kenny arrives for meeting with Eamon Gilmore

1201 Bryan Dobson: 166 seats declared, recount in Galway West. Time to move on or is it back to banks, bondholders and bondfires? The more things change....

1151 Get the details of what happened in your constituency here.

1142 Fine Gael's Simon Harris was elected in his constituency of Wicklow overnight. At 24 years of age, he will be the youngest TD in the 31st Dáil. Watch his interview

1135 As Fine Gael and Labour begin talks on forming a coalition, The Frontline asks: Will the people get what they voted for?

1103 Sinn Féin's Pearse Doherty said the party will co-operate with others 'where it is important to co-operate'.

Speaking on Today with Pat Kenny, he also said it would become clear in the weeks ahead that the EU/IMF deal is not sufficient to deal with Ireland's financial problems.

1100 Speaking on Today with Pat Kenny earlier, Richard Boyd Barrett of People Before Profit said Labour has no right to go into government with a party that will seek cuts and more austerity.

He also said that he did not accept the notion that Ireland has to answer to the IMF and the country has options.

0948 It is understood that Enda Kenny and Eamon Gilmore are meeting around now to continue discussions on the possible formation of a Fine Gael/Labour coalition.

It is likely that the negotiating teams from the two parties will begin talks later today.

A meeting of the new Labour parliamentary party is scheduled to take place this afternoon.

0700 Galway West: Counting of votes was suspended at 6am.

Five candidates had been deemed elected: Éamon Ó Cuív of Fianna Fáil, Derek Nolan of the Labour Party, Brian Walsh and Sean Kyne of Fine Gael, and Independent Noel Grealish.

However, a request by Independent Catherine Connolly for a re-examination and recount of all ballot papers has been granted.

Counting will resume at 4pm.

0700 Laois-Offaly: This count was completed in the early hours of this morning. The 13th count saw Marcella Corcoran Kennedy of Fine Gael, two Fianna Fáil TDs - Barry Cowen and Sean Fleming - and Sinn Féin's Brian Stanley elected. Fine Gael's Charlie Flanagan was elected on Sunday.

Former government junior minister John Moloney was eliminated on the 11th count.

0700 Wicklow: Three Fine Gael TDs, one Labour TD and one Independent were declared elected after 19 counts.

Andrew Doyle of Fine Gael was the first candidate to secure a seat on the 16th count. He was followed by party colleagues Billy Timmins and Simon Harris.

Anne Ferris took the fourth seat for the Labour Party, with the last seat going to Independent Stephen Donnelly.

0627 So that's it. 161 of 166 seats have been filled in the 31st Dáil, with the final five TDs of Galway West deemed elected, but not yet declared.

With only 17 votes separating Connolly from Kyne she was always going to ask for a recount - it's set for 4pm today.

0616 Request for recount and re-examination of all ballots by Catherine Connolly has been acceeded to by Returning Officer.

Counting starts again at
at 4pm.

0614 Galway West: Count 13 Independent Catherine Connolly gained 12 votes to reach 9,100, Independent Noel Grealish gained 17 votes to reach 9,883 and Fine Gael's Sean Kyne awarded 87 votes to each 9,117.

0613 Figures show Kyne took 87 of colleague Walsh's surplus. No word yet on possible recount.

0606 Galway West: At the rare old time of 6.06am, Fine Gael's Seán Kyne and Independent Noel Grealish deemed elected on 13th count.

0600 Still no word on Galway West.

0519 We haven't gone away you know. Still waiting for Brian Walsh's 116 surplus to be distributed.

0451 Count 13 continuing in Galway West:

0448 Wicklow: Speaking following her election, Anne Ferris admitted that the Labour strategy of running three candidates might not have worked out as well as it could as there was not a good geographical spread between them.

But she defended the decision saying it was a strategy chosen at a time when more than three candidates wanted to run.

0446 58 votes separate Connolly and Kyne in battle for last seat in Galway West. Grealish will be elected without reaching the quota. Count 13 is continuing.

0431 Galway West: Talk from both Connolly and Kyne camps that this will come down to a handful of votes. We are probably looking at another recount.

0428 Fine Gael's Brian Walsh reacts to becoming the 31st Dáil's 164th TD:

0419 Independent Catherine Connolly is on 9,088 after 12th count - 58 ahead of Fine Gael's Sean Kyne.

Independent Noel Grealish is on 9,816 and will be elected without reaching the quota.

0418 Galway West: Fine Gael’s Brian Walsh elected on the 12th count with a surplus of 116 votes.

0409 Galway West: Expecting results of 12th count shortly.

0406 Wicklow: Independent Stephen Donnelly said he would use his position as a TD to try to make a difference.

He said the country was facing into a deep crisis and we need to deal with the economy and political reform and the health and education system.

He said he expects Fine Gael to form a government with Labour and without the need for Independents, but added that he would talk to other independents later today to see where they stand.

0403 Reacting to his election, Simon Harris said the result in Wicklow was a resounding success for Fine Gael.

He said that as the baby in the Dáil, aged 24, he would bring a fresh perspective to feed into government and represent a generation that all too often doesn't have a voice in the political system.

He said he wasn't daunted by the challenge he faces as he is going into the Dail with a party with plenty of experience.

0401 There is feverish activity around the count centre with supporters of Fine Gael's Sean Kyne and Independent Catherine Connolly pouring over each ballot paper in an effort to ascertain how Fidelma Healy Eames votes are being distributed.

Fine Gael strategists say that Brian Walsh may be elected to the third seat on this count, leaving a surplus to be distributed.

0354 Serious Fine Gael number crunching going on in Galway West:

0334 Fine Gael strategists in conference at Galway West count:

0319 After Wicklow's marathon 19 counts that leaves only the three remaining seats in Galway West to be filled.

0318 Wicklow: Request withdrawn! Doyle, Timmins, Harris, Ferris and Donnelly all formally elected.

0316 Wicklow: Sinn Féin's John Brady has requested a recount. It will only be of Counts 14-19 and begins at 3pm tomorrow.

0315 Wicklow: Fine Gael’s Simon Harris, Labour’s Anne Ferris and Independent Stephen Donnelly are deemed elected on 19th count.

0311 Wicklow result due any second...

0305 A relaxed-looking Noel Grealish awaits results in Galway West:

0301 Galway West: Connolly says that if there was a small margin separating her from Kyne after this count she would have to request a recount.

0254 Wicklow: Big huddle under way involving John Brady's Sinn Féin team and the returning officer. Will there be a request for a recount?

0241 Bad news for those out there (me included) who want to see this wrapped up soon - According to RTÉ's Correspondent in Galway West there are mixed views about the remaining duration of the count. Some agreement about a 4.30am conclusion.

Put the kettle on so.

0239 Wicklow: Fine Gael's Simon Harris of and Labour's Anne Ferris expected to claim the third and fourth seats.

Independent Stephen Donnelly looks set for the final seat. Margin may be small enough for Sinn Féin's John Brady to want a recount.

0238 Galway West: Transfers should give Walsh and Grealish the third and fourth seats. Too close to call how they'll fall for Kyne and Connolly.

0229 Galway West: Independent Catherine Connolly checks the figures. Expected to be in a very close fight for last seat.

0222 Wicklow: No candidate reached quota following 18th Count. Now redistributing Billy Timmins' surplus of 113.

0209 There are now three seats to be filled and four candidates in each of the counts yet to be completed - Galway West and Wicklow.

0203 Galway West: Fine Gael's Fidelma Healy Eames has been eliminated following the 11th count, which involved the distribution of Derek Nolan's surplus.

Her 7,024 votes are now being distributed.

Four candidates remain in the running for the last three seats. Independents Catherine Connolly and Noel Grealish, and Fine Gael's Sean Kyne and Brian Walsh.

Walsh and Grealish are expected to take the third and fourth seats.

0201 Wicklow: Fine Gael's Billy Timmins surplus over the quota was 113. Andrew Doyle's surplus of 240 is now being redistributed.

0156 Galway West: Labour's Derek Nolan surplus announcement on the way. Fine Gael's Fidelma Healy Eames has conceded she will be eliminated afterwards.

0153 Laois-Offaly: Victory speeches in Tullamore, pic courtesy of @RTElaoisOFFALY:

0150 Wicklow: Fine Gael's Billy Timmins has been elected on the 17th count.

0144 If your still up following the late-night drama, we have seven seats left to be filled - four in Wicklow and three in Galway West.

0132 Laois-Offaly: Fine Gael’s Marcella Corcoran Kennedy, Sinn Fein’s Brian Stanley, Fianna Fáil’s Barry Cowen and Sean Fleming all elected on 13th count. Count now complete.

0125 Wicklow: Independent Stephen Donnelly's camp looking very happy and very confident ahead of final results announcement. Sinn Féin John Brady's people much less so, according to RTÉ's Will Goodbody.

0113 Count staff back, supporters watching ballot papers ... The real action is back on in Galway West:

0109 Galway West: Fine Gael's Sean Kyne is 45 votes ahead of Fine Gael's Fidelma Healy Eames heading into Count 11. Gap was 56 before recount was requested at 4.30pm on Sunday.

0106 Andrew Doyle is congratulated in Wicklow:

0104 Galway West: Distribution of Labour's Derek Nolan surplus of 326 votes is under way in count 11.

0056 Galway West: Now on revised count ten.

0046 Laois-Offaly: Latest indications are Corcoran Kennedy, Cowen, Stanley & Fleming to be elected on 13th count in ten minutes.

0044 Wicklow: Update from RTÉ's Will Goodbody - As Andrew Doyle's surplus of 240 votes would not affect the outcome of the ballot, the Returning Officer decided against distributing it and instead proceeded to eliminate Fianna Fáil's Pat Fitzgerald.

His votes are now being distributed among the remaining candidates. Fine Gael's Simon Harris and Billy Timmins are expected to be the next to be elected.

It now looks increasingly likely that Labour's Anne Ferris will take the fourth seat.

The fifth will be taken by Sinn Féin's John Brady or Independent Stephen Donnelly. 57 votes separate the two candidates in Brady's favour.

0036 Laois-Offaly: Labour's John Whelan concedes defeat in and says next count will be the last.

0031 Wicklow: Fianna Fáil's Pat Fitzgerald was eliminated on the 15th count.

Labour's Anne Ferris received 2,530 transfers. Sinn Féin's John Brady ahead of Independent Stephen Donnelly by 57.

0020 Wicklow: Fine Gael's Andrew Doyle elected on the 15th Count.

0019 Éamon Ó Cuív has been elected in Galway West on the eighth revised count.

His surplus of 1,034 is now being distributed in the ninth count.

0018 Independent Joe Behan said he was disappointed to lose his seat.

He said the reality was that people thought when he voted for the last budget in the national interest, he was aligning himself in some way with Fianna Fáil.

He said he accepted the fact that that's the verdict the people have offered.