The full tally from the Louth constituency is in and it makes for great reading for supporters of Sinn Féin as both party candidates look set to be elected to Dáil Éireann by a comfortable margin.
Sinn Féin’s increase in votes has been felt strongly across the country as the party looks set to play a huge part in the forming of a new Government. This surge in numbers has been equally felt in Louth where they already held two seats.
In 2016, Gerry Adams and Imelda Munster received 19,490 first preference votes between them. Today, Imelda Munster and first time candidate Ruairí Ó Murchú have garnered a total of 29,000 – a huge 41.42%.
Only Gerry Adams and Fergus O’Dowd in 2011 have ever received more first preference votes in the Louth constituency than both Munster and Ó Murchú have registered today.
Speaking to LouthNow.ie at the Carnbeg Hotel, Sinn Féin TD Imelda Munster spoke of her delight with her performance; “I’m very proud of the endorsement I received today. I didn’t expect it. I thought it would be a battle to get the two seats.”
Elsewhere, there is a close battle for the remaining three seats with no less than seven candidates in with a realistic chance of securing election.
Fine Gael’s Fergus O’Dowd currently lies third with 6,402 votes, with the now Independent candidate Peter Fitzpatrick closely behind with 5,951.
Just 288 votes separate Declan Breathnach (FF), Ged Nash (LAB) and Mark Dearey (GP), while Fine Gael’s John McGahon and Fianna Fáil’s James Byrne are a short distance behind in eighth and ninth place respectively.
— John Sheridan (@JohnSheridanFF) February 9, 2020
As things stand, all four candidates seeking re-election are on course to do so, with first time candidate Ó Murchú completing the five seats.
Transfers will prove vital for candidates as the evening progresses so the three seats are still very much up for grabs.
Keep up to date with all the action from the LouthNow.ie team, live at the Carnbeg Hotel.