With the election of Marc MacSharry for Fianna Fáil and the exclusion of Sinn Fein's Chris MacManus, the endgame has arrived for the Sligo-Leitrim constituency. The exhausting two-day election count has proven as unwieldy as as the four county, two province constituency, with 18 candidates to whittle down to four.
Clarity however has begun to emerge with the MacSharry's election leaving only three seats up for the remaining four candidates to wearily make a grab.
The Sligo man's running mate Eamon Scanlon (FF) now stands on 9,145 after getting 1,323 transfer from his running mate O'Rourke. Amazingly, Sinn Féin's Martin Kenny also got the exact same number of transfers from the Fianna Fáil man, proving geography is as important as party in this constituency. Kenny has 9,294 votes, but with MacManus's redistribution (7,093; 1st pref 4,747) to come in the next count, he should be confident of securing enough to make up the 800 gap between him and his nearest FG opponent.
Fine Gael have done amazingly well to have two candidates in contention to win two of four seats when they picked up only 27% of first preferences in the constituency.
Sligo based Tony McLoughlin (FG) is on 10,167 and his running mate Gerry Reynolds from Leitrim is on 10,092. How many realistically can they expect from Sinn Féin transfers? We'll find out within the next hour or two.