Thursday 18 January 2018

Sitting MEP Phil Prendergast loses her seat

Phil Prendergast has lost her MEP seat
Phil Prendergast has lost her MEP seat
Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

LABOUR MEP Phil Prendergast lost her seat today after being eliminated on the 9th count in the Ireland South constituency.

The Clonmel-based politician had battled to recover from a disappointing first preference vote but heavy transfers from the Green's Grace O'Sullivan were not sufficient for her to overtake Independent and Ballyhea Anti-Bailout campaigner, Diarmuid O'Flynn.

She was 6,000 votes behind him after the ninth count and was eliminated.

Mr O'Flynn, a sports journalist, is proving the surprise package of the Ireland South count and has matched a good first preference vote with an incredible rate of transfers from other candidates.

Fianna Fail's Brian Crowley and Sinn Fein's Liadh ni Riada have already been elected to the sprawling constituency of over 1.2m people.

The final two seats are set to be fought out between Fine Gael's Simon Harris TD and Sen Deirdre Clune as well as Fianna Fail's Kieran Hartley and Mr O'Flynn.

FG strategists believe they will take fourth seat with the Brussels berth going to whichever FG candidate manages to get ahead of their rival.

Mr Harris was 745 votes ahead of Ms Clune after the ninth count.

The third seat will be taken by FG's outgoing MEP Sean Kelly who is almost 40,000 votes ahead of his nearest challenger.

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