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Hello, Mary Lou - but where was your SF running mate?

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Sinn Fein’s Sean Crowe was elected in Dublin South-West

Sinn Fein’s Sean Crowe was elected in Dublin South-West

Sinn Fein’s Sean Crowe was elected in Dublin South-West

Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald will rue not having a running mate after she retained her seat with enough surplus votes to help another candidate over the line.

Ms McDonald was elected on the first count in Dublin Central with 11,223 first preferences.

Her surplus of 4,935 represented more than the total number of first preferences won by the next best candidate.

In Dublin South-West, Sinn Fein's Sean Crowe topped the polls with nearly 30pc and was elected on the first count with 20,072 votes, 8,811 over the quota.

Sinn Fein's Dessie Ellis topped the poll in Dublin North-West, exceeding the quota by more than 6,000 votes.

Change

Mr Ellis, who was first elected to the Dail in 2011, said there is "an appetite for change" as he was elected with 14,375 first preferences.

Sinn Fein's Louise O'Reilly was re-elected with close to 25pc of votes in Fingal, pointing to housing as the single biggest reason voters backed her.

Ms O'Reilly, who has been a TD in the constituency since 2016, received 15,792 votes in the north Co Dublin constituency.

It was a landslide victory for Sinn Fein's Aengus O Snod-aigh, who secured a seat for Dublin South-Central on the first count.

Mr O Snodaigh got 17,015 votes with a surplus of 8,356 to be transferred.

He said he regretted Sinn Fein had not run two candidates. The party had taken senator Maire Devine off the ticket to secure a seat.

"Hindsight is a wonderful thing, as I've said before," he said.

When asked if the party should have run more candidates nationally, party leader Ms McDonald said: "I should have had a running mate in my own constituency, that's for sure.

"We could certainly have fielded more candidates, but hindsight is a wonderful thing."

Behind Ms McDonald, Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe looked capable of retaining his seat. He had the second-highest number of first preferences with 4,181.

It was a landslide for Sinn Fein in Dublin Mid-West as candidates Eoin O Broin and Mark Ward secured two seats for their party.

Winning a total of 11,842 first preference votes, Mr O Broin said his party was ready for government.

"We've said throughout our campaign that we want to be in government in order to deliver real change on all of the key issues we highlighted," he said.

"But once we start contacting the parties, we'd be looking to discuss with all of them around restoring the pension age to 65, building 100,000 houses, proper investment in universal healthcare and obviously progressing towards a referendum on Irish unity."

His running mate Mr Ward was the only candidate elected in the second count with 9,808 votes.

After the cheers, Mr Ward told the Herald it was "a good day to be a Shinner".

"It's hard to take it all in, but it's clear that the country wants change," he said.

"I think Fianna Fail and Fine Gael never dreamed this day would come, so they must be petrified right now."

With nearly 21,000 first preferences in Dublin Bay North, Sinn Fein's Denise Mitchell was assured election on the first count to return to Dail Eireann, with nearly four times the votes she attracted in 2016.

Ms Mitchell's performance left Climate Action Minister Richard Bruton in second place, but very close to the quota and with Fine Gael's share of the overall vote up slightly on 2016.