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SLIGO-LEITRIM Kenny elected for SF as three other candidates await their fate

Story by Damian McCarney

Sunday, 28th February, 2016 8:16pm

SLIGO-LEITRIM Kenny elected for SF as three other candidates await their fate

To a rousing chorus of A Nation Once Again greeted the declaration from the returning officer that Sinn Féin's Martin Kenny reached the quota.

On the 13th count the Leitrim man became the second deputy to be elected in Sligo-Leitrim, following Marc MacSharry of Fianna Fáil. He received an impressive 4,772 transfers from his running mate Chris MacManus.

Kenny's surplus of 1,594 vites is being currently being distributed between the remaining three candidates, Fine Gael's Tony McLaughlin (10,529), Gerry Reynolds (10,177), and Fianna Fáil's Eamon Scanlon (9,554).

McLaughlin is widely expected to be elected during this, the 14th count and then it will be a scrap between Scanlon and Reynolds for the fourth seat. If Fine Gael grab two seats from a first preference in Sligo-Leitrim of 27% compared to Fianna Fáil's 34%, it will prove quite a coup for the party. Speculation is rife that the votes of Scanlon and Reynolds will be too close to divide without a recount.

Meanwhile Sinn Féin's Martin Kenny gained one of four seats on a first prefernce vote of 12%. He told the Celt that the big Sinn Féin story from this constituency was that the party was more transfer friendly.

"We always knew that we would definitely take at least one seat and we worked our transfer very well. We divided our territory and we honoured the divisions, and we worked very well together. We also... transferred very well from other parties and from Independents, and we took a lot of votes everywhere across the board."

Indicating the strength of Sinn Féin's transfer, Deputy Kenny noted that his running mate Chris McManus wasn't eliminated from the race until the 13th count.

"No one would have seen that coming, and yet we have quite a low proportion of the original first preference vote."


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