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Wednesday 16 October 2019

Battle for Sinn Fein's Boylan to keep seat as party support falls

Lynn Boylan faces a battle
Lynn Boylan faces a battle

Sinn Fein's Lynn Boylan was facing a battle to retain her seat as an MEP as counting continued in the European elections last night.

Support for the Green Party went beyond Dublin and into Europe with Ciaran Cuffe set to take a seat in the European Parliament in Brussels.

It means Mr Cuffe, who was elected to Dublin City Council on the first count in the North Inner City on Saturday, will have his local seat co-opted to another member of the party.

dictating

Of the three sprawling European election constituencies in Ireland only Dublin was able to return a first preference result at 10pm last night - and no new Irish MEP had as yet been confirmed.

The Green Party's Ciaran Cuffe topped the poll with 63,849 first preferences in Dublin, but did not make the quota of 72,790.

On the second count, Mr Cuffe was at 63,895.

However, he is expected to get over the line early today, while two of his party colleagues are in the running to take seats in Ireland's other two constituencies.

In Dublin, Mr Cuffe was followed closely by Fine Gael's Frances Fitzgerald with 59,067 first preferences. On the second count, she stood at 59,089.

Barry Andrews took 51,420 first preferences and will be hopeful of getting the third seat in the four-seat constituency.

The Fianna Fail candidate stood at 51,446 in the second count.

European election counts only got under way yesterday, despite voting taking place two days earlier because of European rules dictating that a result cannot be declared until voting has closed across the continent.

Drop

The rule is designed to ensure that voting and results in one country do not influence voters who have yet to cast their ballot in other EU member states.

While voting took place in some countries on Thursday and in Ireland on Friday, people only took to the polls in Latvia and Slovakia on Saturday.

Another 20 EU member states only started casting ballots yesterday.

Nonetheless, it was clear from early on Friday that Mr Cuffe was going to be elected to the European Parliament following a huge boost in support for the Green Party.

This spelled bad news for sitting MEP Ms Boylan.

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