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SLIGO-LEITRIM: And then there were six...

Sunday, 28th February, 2016 4:52pm

Story by Damian McCarney
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SLIGO-LEITRIM: And then there were six...

The MacSharry clan at this evening's count.

SLIGO-LEITRIM: And then there were six...

The MacSharry clan at this evening's count.

After 11 counts the Sligo-Leitrim field of candidates has slowly whittled down from 18 to six. It's delicately poised with two Fianna Fail, two Fine Gael, and two Sinn Féin still in the race. 

As it stands Marc MacSharry has been in a storng position to take a seat for Fianna Fáil with the highest first preference votes, but given the proliferation of left leaning independents has been treading water for many of the counts, save for the 848 he got from Labour's Susan O'Keefe. That should all change with the distribution of fellow Fianna Fáiler O'Rourke's transfers. Ahead of count 12, MacSharry is over 2,000 votes shy. 

Sinn Féin's Chris MacManus is likely to exit after the count as he lags 900 votes off his running mate Martin Kenny and some 700 votes behind Fianna Fáil's Eamon Scanlon. It would be antcipated that O'Rourke's transfers are more likely to favour his party colleague Scanlon and fellow Leitrim man Kenny.

MacManus's imminent exclusion, Kenny will hope to get enough to ensure he's elected, even though he will be unlikely to hit the quota of 12,468. If not, it leaves the door open for Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil to share the spoils with two seats each. Of the Fine Gael team, Tony McLoughlin is in the best position (10,555) having benefitted from John Perry's transfers to the tune of 1,837 votes. It looks as if his Leitrim based colleague Gerry Reynolds (8,921), Scanlon (7822) and Martin will all be tussling for the last two seats. Still too close to call, but the discipline of the Sinn Féin vote will be crucial.




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