Monday 17 June 2019

Exit poll 'doesn't look good' for Fine Gael in Ireland South

All smiles: Fine Gael candidates Mairead McGuiness, Frances Fitzgerald, Maria Walsh and Seán Kelly at Tuar Árd Arts Centre, Moate, Co Westmeath, yesterday. Photo: Douglas O'Connor
All smiles: Fine Gael candidates Mairead McGuiness, Frances Fitzgerald, Maria Walsh and Seán Kelly at Tuar Árd Arts Centre, Moate, Co Westmeath, yesterday. Photo: Douglas O'Connor
Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

FINE Gael Senator Neale Richmond has admitted that the exit poll "doesn't look good" for his party in the Ireland South constituency where they hope to retain two European Parliament seats.

Former GAA president Seán Kelly, who is on 16pc in the poll looks set to keep his seat, but another outgoing MEP Deirdre Clune is in danger on 9pc. Junior minister Andrew Doyle was trailing on 4pc in the RTÉ/TG4/RedC poll.

Mr Richmond, Fine Gael's European Affairs spokesman also said: "It's five seater... when you've got three candidates and you get a strong vote you can't rule anything out," he added.

Elsewhere Mairead McGuinness is set to keep her seat in Midlands/North-West with an exit poll result of 25pc while her running mate, former Rose of Tralee Maria Walsh is on 10pc.

Mr Richmond reckons Ms Walsh is "very much in the hunt" to take a seat.

In Dublin Frances Fitzgerald is on 14pc and is likely to win a seat. Former SDLP leader Mark Durkan is on 5pc and has little hope of election.

Mr Richmond said he was surprised that Brexit - which was the focus of Mr Durkan's campaign - did not feature more heavily in the elections.

He said: "Based on the exit poll we're delighted to see that Fine Gael vote up in Dublin.

"They both ran a strong campaign. We'd give credit to the Greens. They tapped into an atmosphere there but ultimately having Frances Fitzgerald in the European Parliament post Brexit is something Dublin needs and I'm delighted they have recognised her experience, ability and energy."

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