herald

Wednesday 18 October 2017

Dublin election counts are set to drag on for days

Independent Averil Power watches a recount of votes for Dublin Bay North at the RDS Photo: Damien Eagers
Independent Averil Power watches a recount of votes for Dublin Bay North at the RDS Photo: Damien Eagers

A recount in the "group of death" Dublin Bay North constituency will continue today and maybe even tomorrow as two other counts in the capital face court battles following the general election.

The agonising process, which began when senator Averil Power requested a recount late on Sunday night, ended with no clear resolution late last night.

Speaking shortly before the recount began yesterday, Ms Power said the recount needed to take "as long as necessary" to ensure it is fair and accurate.

Struggle

But she added that she was delighted to have got this far in what has been a highly competitive struggle for seats.

So far, only Richard Bruton has been elected to the five-seat constituency after he exceeded the quota of 12,271.

Meanwhile, PBP-AAA candidate John Lyons said he believed he would not win a seat.

"If things had fallen slightly differently, I think we would have been in with a very good chance, so it's disappointing in that respect," he said last night.

By the time the re-examination of Labour's Aodhan O Riordain votes began yesterday, it was presumed the count would continue into today.

In Dublin South Central, a legal challenge of disputed votes was not off the cards.

Catherine Ardagh (FF) was vying with AAA/PBP Brid Smith for the final seat in the constituency last night, following a recount.

Ms Ardagh called for the recount of votes after only 35 ballots separated her and Ms Smith.

"We'll have a look at the results and see how close it is and see from there," she said. "I'm not gunning to go to court, but if it's warranted I'll have to consider it."

Ms Smith, who was ahead in the race, said there were 160 disputed votes to be decided on by the returning officer.

Katherine Zappone took the final seat in Dublin South West following two days of re-checks and recounts.

"Politics is a tough game, even though I haven't been in it very long," she said.

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