European election counts under way; other EU countries go to polls

Monday 26 May 2014 00.10
1 of 3
A man steps out of a polling booth after voting for the European Parliament elections at a polling station in Athens
A man steps out of a polling booth after voting for the European Parliament elections at a polling station in Athens
The European count gets under way in Cork
The European count gets under way in Cork
An RTÉ exit poll showed that Independents and Others lead the way in the Euro elections
An RTÉ exit poll showed that Independents and Others lead the way in the Euro elections

Counts for the European Parliament elections are under way.

Sinn Fein's Lynn Boylan has been elected an MEP for the Dublin Constituency. She received just over 83,000 first preference votes, that was almost 30,000 ahead of the next best placed candidate Fine Gael's Brian Hayes. 

This was a resounding vote for the Sinn Féin candidate on a day when her party also made big gains in the local elections.

Evidence Sinn Féin say that its anti austerity message resonated with voters

The destination of the other seats in Dublin is less clear.

Fine Gael's Brian Hayes, Fianna Fáil's Mary Fitzpatrick, Eamon Ryan of the Green Party and Independent Nessa Childers look to be in the running for just two seats.

Counts in the other European Constituencies will resume at 9am

Sinn Féin's Lynn Boylan has topped the poll on the third count with 89,764 votes.

Brian Hayes of Fine Gael is in second place with a total of 55,656 after the first count.

Eamon Ryan of the Green Party is in third place with 47,256 votes.

Mary Fitzpatrick has a total of 45,779 votes.

Independent candidate Nessa Childers is on 41,787, with Paul Murphy of the Socialist Party on 39,313.

Sitting MEP Emer Costello of the Labour party has been eliminated after the third count.

All remaining candidates - Bríd Smith, Thomas Darcy, Raymond Patrick Whitehead, Jim Tallon and Damon Matthew Wise - have been eliminated after the first two counts.

Ireland South constituency count was suspended at 11pm without reaching a first count, with counting to resume at 9am tomorrow.

Counting in the Midlands North West constituency has been adjourned until 9am and it is expected that the first count results will not be announced until tomorrow afternoon.

The first candidate will likely be elected tomorrow night. At this stage, it is anticipated that the count will continue until Tuesday. 

RTÉ exit poll

An RTÉ exit poll suggests that Independents and Others lead the way in terms of national support for the European elections, with support standing at 27%.

The poll indicated support for both Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil was at 22%.

Sinn Féin support is indicated at 17%, while Labour's supports is suggested to have seen a collapse in support to 6%.

Green Party support is suggested to be at 6% and the Socialist Party and the People Before Profit Alliance are indicated to have a combined support of 3%.

The opinion poll surveyed 3,000 people and has a 2% margin of error.

The poll for the Dublin constituency suggested that Sinn Féin's Lynn Boylan was in pole position to win a seat with 24% support, reflective of Sinn Féin support nationally.

The remaining two seats in the constituency are indicated to  be between Fine Gael's Brian Hayes, Green Party leader and former TD Eamon Ryan, Independent Nessa Childers and Mary Fitzpatrick of Fianna Fáil.

Labour's Emer Costello, a sitting MEP, was predicted to have support of 8%.

The poll also suggested that Independent Luke Ming Flanagan on course for a seat in the Midlands North West constituency.

The poll indicates that Fine Gael's Mairead McGuinness and Matt Carthy of Sinn Féin are likely to win seats, although they may be more reliant on transfers.

The final seat in the constituency is suggested to be between the Fianna Fáil pair of Pat the Cope Gallagher and Thomas Byrne and sitting Independent MEP Marian Harkin.

The South constituency is also a four-seater, with one of those seats indicated to go to sitting Fianna Fáil MEP Brian Crowley.

Sinn Féin's Liadh Ní Riada is suggested also likely to win a seat, while Fine Gael's three candidates - sitting MEP Seán Kelly, Deirdre Clune and Simon Harris - all polled strongly, suggesting that they may take the remaining seats if transfers work as Fine Gael would hope.

All of the regional exit polls had a 3% margin of error and surveyed 1,000 people in each of the respective constituencies.

'Dogfight' expected in Midlands North West constituency

Combined tally figures for the Midlands North West constituency are suggesting that Independent Luke Ming Flanagan could top the poll at 18.6% in the European election. 

The next closest candidate, in terms of rough tally percentages, is Sinn Féin's Matt Carthy who is estimated to take 18.2% of first preferences. 

These figures, however, were collected when votes were sorted at other count centres throughout the euro constituency yesterday. 

Therefore, they come with a serious health warning as there is no complete tally at the Castlebar count centre today. 

In terms of these figures, Fine Gael's Mairead McGuinness is suggested to be in third place in the tallies with 14.8%.

Ms McGuinness is followed by Independent Marian Harkin at 10.7%, and Fianna Fáil candidates Pat the Cope Gallagher and Thomas Byrne are at 8.9% and 8.5% respectively. 

However, it is estimated from a sample of 40,000 votes at the count in Castlebar this morning that the elimination of Fine Gael's Jim Higgins could benefit Mairead McGuinness, Marian Harkin, and Pat 'The Cope' Gallagher. 

If Labour's Lorraine Higgins is eliminated, her votes could mainly feed through to Marian Harkin. 

The elimination of Ronan Mullen, some political pundits and party activist say, could go Pat 'the Cope' Gallagher's way.

However, some of these votes could also go to Marian Harkin. 

Before these eliminations can happen the breakdown of transfers from lesser candidates could be crucial in terms of who is in the shake up for the last seat. 

Tallymen are predicting a tiny percentage of votes from smaller independent candidates could impact who wins the final seat in the Midlands-North West constituency. 

They say votes from T.J Fay; Mark Fitzsimmons; Fis Nua's Cordelia NicFhearraigh; the Green Party's Mark Deary and Direct Democracy Ireland's Ben Gallagher could amount to four or five percent. 

Tallymen agree on one thing though, the battle for the last seat in the Midlands North West constituency will be a "dogfight".

That dogfight may possibly be between Marian Harkin and Pat the Cope Gallagher. 

With the first count not due until very late tonight or tomorrow it is a case of "wait and see".