Early tallies suggest McFadden to take sister's seat
GABRIELLE McFadden looks set to take the Dail seat previously held by her sister Nicky in Longford/Westmeath
The final tallies from Longford Westmeath, based on 83pc of boxes opened.
Gabrielle McFadden (FG) is leading at 25pc, followed by Aengus O'Rourke (FF, 19pc), Paul Hogan (SF, 15pc), Kevin Boxer Moran (Independent, 12pc) and James Morgan (Ind, 11pc).
A result is not expected before 7pm tonight. The quota is expected to be around 20,630, meaning five or six counts are likely.
Labour's sitting TD in Longford-Westmeath, Willie Penrose, says the poor showing of the party is a clear message that people are tired of austerity.
Tallies suggest the candidate in the bye-election, Denis Leonard, polled just 7pc of the vote - reflecting the national position.
"We never thought we'd win the seat, but I'm somewhat disappointed with the showing," Mr Penrose said.
"Nationally it's a bad day. It's a significant protest vote. People are using local and European elections to send a clear and focused and comprehensive message to the Government that's there's nothing else left to give.
"The pips are squeaking, there's no more left to give. You can't take blood out of a turnip. The people have given enough. If there's no blip in the growth rate, it's time to start handing back."
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