Monday 15 July 2019

Marathon four-way fight in South for final two European positions

 

Close call: Mick Wallace is battling to take a seat
Close call: Mick Wallace is battling to take a seat

Ralph Riegel

Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil, Independent Mick Wallace and the Greens are battling for the final two berths in the European Parliament election in the sprawling Ireland South constituency.

Experts warned that without detailed tallies and with a first count not expected before today, it is impossible to predict the destination of the final two seats.

However, sitting MEP Deirdre Clune faces an uphill battle to defend the Strasbourg berth she won in 2014.

Early indications are that sitting MEPs Seán Kelly and Liadh Ní Riada, as well as Billy Kelleher TD of Fianna Fáil, are poised to take the first three seats.

Mr Kelly, a former GAA president, is expected to top the poll for Fine Gael.

One count source said the destination of the fifth and final seat may not be determined until Thursday.

The fourth and fifth seats are set to be decided in a tight transfer battle between Fine Gael's Deirdre Clune, the Green Party's Grace O'Sullivan, Independent Mick Wallace and Fianna Fáil's Malcolm Byrne. Labour's Sheila Nunan has polled well but faces a challenge to stay in the hunt for the final two seats.

A limited tally indicated the Green Party's Grace O'Sullivan is set to benefit from being "transfer friendly" with other parties - and will benefit further from her Waterford base attracting south east transfers. "I am hopeful. But there is a long way to go," Ms O'Sullivan said as she visited the Cork count centre.

Irish Independent

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