General Election Count Special – A Current Affair: Episode 178

As the posters start to come down and it’s now, once again, safe to answer the door without being asked for a vote for one person or another we’re closing off our General Election coverage with a look inside the count centre.

We’re chatting to some of the candidates as they watch the mountains of votes be counted and double checked before pronouncements on whether they will spend the next five years as a member of the 33rd Dáil or to face into another period planning their next appeal to the voting public whenever that may arise.

From the Sligo Park Hotel, we hear Martin Kenny’s thoughts ahead of his resounding re-election on the first count on Sunday evening as part of the tide of Sinn Fein which was reflected across the entire country where 37 of the 42 candidates standing for the party romped home.

Green Party candidate Blaithin Gallagher discusses her emotions as she watches her transfers from Kenny’s surplus being counted just a few feet from where we were standing and chatting.

Former TD & MEP Marian Harkin talks about the swings of the proportional representation system where vote preferences can have a major effect with every additional count after the elimination of each candidate.

Frankie Feighan joins us, a few hours before his fate is confirmed, to discuss his prospects and how the remaining counts will play out and what permutations are needed to get him across the line.

Independent candidate James Conway talks about his first journey into the world of politics and he is already planning his route to the next general election which he believes will possibly be inside the next six months.

Outgoing TD Eamon Scanlon also previews his prospects a few hours before an expected result. He talks about the tough campaign he faced and how his experience of scraping into the last seat helps him deal with his current situation.

Breifne also speak to Chris McManus, a Sligo councillor with Sinn Fein who had been nominated on the ticket but had withdrawn in favour of Martin Kenny. He speaks about his personal feelings about how the election evolved and how delighted he is with the trend towards Sinn Fein.

We hear from the Assistant Returning Officer, Paraic O’Grady, as he announces the election of the four successful candidates. Martin Kenny (SF), Marian Harkin (IND), Marc MacSharry (FF), Frankie Feighan (FG).

Finally we speak to elected TD Marc MacSharry about what happens now in terms of the formation of a government in the coming months.

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