Sunday 25 February 2018

Group of death, the Independent republic, former future leaders - Six things to watch today

Alan Kelly TD pictured in Portroe. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Alan Kelly TD pictured in Portroe. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

AS counting resumes and Fine Gael and Labour count the cost of a bruising election, there are a number of areas to keep a very close eye on today:

*Dublin Bay North

It was billed as the 'Group of Death' so perhaps it's no surprise that the people counting the votes here are taking their time.

A few things are clear: Fine Gael Minister Richard Bruton is on his way back to Leinster House as is Sean Haughey (FF).

But when this gets down to the final seats the situation will get really interesting.

Finian McGrath (Ind), Aodhan O Riordain (Lab), Tommy Broughan (Ind), Averil Power (Ind) and Denise Smith (SF) are in a good old-fashion dogfight.

Ged Nash. Photo: Tom Burke
Ged Nash. Photo: Tom Burke

They are unlikely to push him this soon but watch for the language used by senior Fine Gael figures when asked about Enda Kenny's future.

Fine Gael are hurting but they will need to allow a suitable grieving period before making any big decisions.

*Ged Nash in Louth

Ged Nash appears to be a 'former future leader of the Labour Party'.

He hasn't conceded defeat but it looks certain.

Read more: The morning after the earthquake before – the summary so far

*James Reilly gets no thanks for those primary care centres

The deputy leader of Fine Gael is going to be one of the biggest casualties today.

His time as health minister damaged his image beyond repair in Dublin Fingal despite controversy over whether he showed them too much favour in his decision-making.

Read more: Analysis: Election 2016 Voter Turnout

*The 'independent' Republic of Tipperary

Tipperary looks set to elect three independent TDs (Michael Lowry, Mattie McGrath and Seamus Healy).

Fianna Fail are also set for one - but the real ding-dong will be whether Alan 'AK47' Kelly can survive. He'll need to take out a Fine Gael candidate so it's touch and go.

Read more: Gene Kerrigan: Welcome to slowly evolving change

*Sinn Fein in Donegal

Sinn Fein decided to run three candidates in Donegal when they were riding high in the polls last year - but the move has backfired.

They are now in a position where their vote has been spread too thinly and Padraig MacLochlainn could lose out.

Read more: Declan Lynch: For the politics junkies, this is the darkest day

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