Ireland Local Election results LIVE as councillors elected and clock ticks towards Europe results

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In Midlands-North-West, there are 27 candidates fighting for five seats in the massive electoral region which spans 15 counties. Because of a rising population in Ireland, the constituency’s boundaries have been expanded and its voters will elect one more MEP compared with 2019.

The current four MEPs are independent Luke “Ming” Flanagan, Fine Gael’s Colm Markey and Maria Walsh, and Sinn Fein’s Chris MacManus. Mr McManus and Mr Markey were co-opted to their seats when Matt Carthy became a TD and when Mairead McGuinness became a European commissioner.

Last time round, Fine Gael was the big winner, largely driven by a massive result for Ms McGuinness.
However, Mr Markey was withdrawn and Fine Gael has selected Irish Grand National-winning jockey Nina Carberry in his stead – a move seen as a celebrity candidature.

She will compete among the 27 total runners and riders in the contest, including unsuccessful presidential election candidate and entrepreneur Peter Casey and former RTE correspondent Ciaran Mullooly.
Sinn Fein is also fielding its former MP Michelle Gildernew, who is among the candidates saying they will be a voice for Northern Ireland in a post-Brexit European Parliament.

Elsewhere, the Fianna Fail campaign has been marred by infighting, as border-region hopeful Niall Blaney accused the party leadership of throwing him and Mayo representative Lisa Chambers “overboard” in favour of Barry Cowen, who brings strong name recognition to the table.

While initial projections suggest Mr Flanagan will retake his seat, the independent candidate said he was still “in the dark” about the whole race because of significant gaps in the unofficial tallies for large parts of the constituency.

Asked if he was confident at this stage, he said: “I wouldn’t want to say that – I’ll be confident if I take the seat.”
Speaking to reporters at the count centre in Castlebar on Sunday, Mr Flanagan also said he expects the count to last a number of days.

He said: “There’s quite a lot of candidates here who are going to get a significant amount of votes and I think it’s nearly odds on that we’re going to have some sort of a recount – and potentially a recount at the end because I think it’s going to be close.

“So I predict – all I know is we booked a place to stay for the next week in Castlebar.”
Mr Flanagan predicted that Mr McManus may be in difficulty to regain his seat with Sinn Fein.
Mr Flanagan said: “They’re going to struggle to take a seat in this constituency, which is extraordinary when you look at some of the opinion polls from just over a year ago.

“They were up in this area around 40% and now we’re looking at tallies from Galway – and if the tallies are correct in Galway – I’m getting two and a half times the vote up or to their candidates put together.
“So that would have to be a significant worry for them.”

Elsewhere, Mr Flanagan also said he would “not rule out” Fine Gael securing two seats in the constituency.
Asked if this was evidence that picking celebrities as candidates is a successful strategy, Mr Flanagan said: “Apparently it does. And not only that, hiding a candidate during a campaign works if Nina Carberry gets elected – because I have never ever in my life met Nina Carberry.”

Mr Flanagan said it was a “pity” that the candidates likely to be elected do not have more experience in the European Parliament.

He said: “Chris MacManus, sadly – because I like the guy – it looks like he’s not going to make it so it is going to be all change. And that will be a little bit of a worry because I can tell you from my own perspective, when you initially get elected to the European Parliament, there is no book out there or no instruction manual on how to do the job correctly, or how exactly it works. So it is going to take you two to three years to work it out.”

Mr Flanagan, who sits with the Left in the European Parliament, said there was a “lurch to the right” across Europe during the election campaign. He accused European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen of “cosying up” to hard-right Italian prime minister Georgia Meloni.

“That was definitely an attempt to outflank the far right. But we see what happened in the general election in the Netherlands when you try and outflank the far right, you just make them more popular, you make them more acceptable.”

Predicting that there will be more right-wing candidates elected to Strasbourg, he added: “For me, the best thing to do to get rid of the far right is to make sure that people have plenty of food in their bellies, plenty of money in their pocket, and a place to stay that doesn’t actually break the bank – and then the far right go away.”

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Publish date : 2024-06-09 12:14:56

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Author : love-europe

Publish date : 2024-06-09 14:13:52

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