Fianna Fail asks for Sinn Fein by-election transfers
FIANNA Fail is asking Sinn Fein voters to give them their transfers in order to defeat the Government in next week's by-election in Meath East.
Its candidate Thomas Byrne has asked Sinn Fein voters to give him their second preference - but didn't tell his voters to transfer to Sinn Fein candidate Darren O Rourke.
Next week's election is widely seen as a two-horse race between Mr Byrne and Fine Gael's Helen McEntee, and Fianna Fail's chances will be hugely boosted by Sinn Fein transfers.
Mr Byrne says Mr O Rourke's supporters should "absolutely" give him their second preference.
"If they're committed to Sinn Fein I'd be very grateful for their number two but I'd ask them to look seriously at the choice that's here," My Byrne said on the canvass in Ashbourne this afternoon.
"What everybody seems to be saying, all the analysis is that it's between me and Fine Gael and I'd ask people to look seriously at whether they want the Government to have another backbencher, whether they want an endorsement of the Government policies, if Fine Gael or indeed Labour were to win this seat and I'd ask them to look at that carefully."
But when it came to Fianna Fail voters, he said: "I am giving no instructions, I hope that it will only be the number ones that count for me at the end of the day."