ELECTIONS 2019: First tallies in, see how the parties and candidates are faring
COUNTING is well underway and the first tallies for Kilkenny’s four electoral areas have come in.
The final picture, of course, won’t be known until the final votes and transfers are in and there may still be a few twists in the 2019 local election tale.
But we are seeing a broad picture emerging, and on the evidence so far there doesn’t seem to be any major change in the status quo as far as these local elections are concerned.
Fianna Fáil look set to be the biggest party in the city and county and are on course to capture up to 10 out of the 24 places on the next Kilkenny County Council.
They’re followed by Fine Gael, who are likely to capture up to eight seats. Sinn Féin are having a desperately poor election locally and find themselves in a battle to cling onto a single council seat after David Kennedy all but conceded defeat in Callan-Thomastown.
Labour are likely to retain two seats, with the Greens’ Malcolm Noonan and Independents Eugene McGuinness and Breda Gardner current favourites to make up the rest of the numbers.
In Kilkenny, impressive performances from Andrew McGuinness and Joe Malone – and with John Coonan also likely to win a seat – means Fianna Fáil are in rude health in the city. They are set to be joined by Malcolm Noonan (Greens), David Fitzgerald (FG) and whoever emerges in the battle between Sean Tyrrell (SF) and Martin Brett (FF) for the last seat.
In Callan-Thomastown, the two big parties again dominate, with Peter ‘Chap’ Cleere, Matt Doran (both FF) and three FG candidates (Pat O’Neill, Michael Doyle and Joe Lyons) and Independent Breda Gardner currently looking the best bets for the six seats in the electoral area.
And it’s a similar looking story in Castlecomer where Pat Fitzpatrick (FF) topped the poll. According to tallies, he’s likely to be joined by two of his party colleagues, Michael McCarthy and Michael Delaney. Fine Gael’s Mary Hilda Kavanagh and John Brennan are also polled strongly, as has Labour’s Denis Hynes, who is looking to take Pat Shortall’s vacant seat on the council.
The two main parties are likely to take four out of the five seats in Piltown. As things stand, Tomás Breathnach (Labour), Eamon Aylward (FF), Fidelis Doherty (FG), Pat Dunphy (FG) and Ger Frisby (FF) look to be the favourites to win seats. There will be disappointment for former Sinn Féin and now Independent councillor Melissa O’Neill, who looks likely to lose out.
However, the final results are not done and dusted yet and transfers could very well throw up a few surprises before the final results are known.
Nationally, the Green Party has made huge gains with an exit poll showing them at nine per cent support in the locals and on course to take three European seats.
Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael will fight it out to be the biggest party in local government while Sinn Féin, as it has in Kilkenny, has had a disappointing turnout with just 12% of the vote nationally.
The European constituencies are showing tough battles for the final seats with sitting MEPs Lynn Boylan, Luke Ming Flanagan and Deirdre Clune all in danger of losing their seats.
Meanwhile, the divorce referendum was passed by a large majority, in Kilkenny and across the country.
More updates to follow.