‘The Siege of Kenagh’ is how people have begun referring to the ongoing general election count for the Longford Westmeath constituency, now is its fifth day.
There’s a growing sense not just of frustration but of exasperation, as there has been no official indication of a likely time for an announcement of the outcome of the second recount, currently underway.
The centre reopened at 2.30 pm and party members and observers arrived in to learn that what was happening was the continuation of work on finalisation of the second recount, called on Monday by James Bannon as the distribution of Kevin “Boxer” Moran’s surplus of 71 votes got underway.
General count staff are only now, however, at 6 pm, taking up duty and joining the senior count team behind the barriers, where the counting takes place.
At stake is a place in the race for either of two sitting TDs, Willie Penrose and James Bannon. One of them is set to be eliminated at the end of this count.
“We’re not getting enough information,” one former public representative told The Westmeath Examiner, pointing out that the quota declared after the first count in the election, altered after the first recount.
The first quota declared was 11,056, and following the first recount, it became 11,049. The quota appears to have reduced because of an additional find of invalid votes.
The view from the floor is that the figures should have been given in greater detail.
All of yesterday (Tuesday), people were trading snippets of information in the hope of building up an accurate picture as to the extent of the gap separating James Bannon and Willie Penrose. While the gap was believed to be – and is still believed to be – three or four, there is no absolute certainty due to the fact that details of the allocation of Kevin Boxer Moran’s surplus of 71 has not been made.
PETER BURKE AND PAUL HOGAN
Meanwhile, Cllr Peter Burke, who is currently at the head of the poll with 7,877 votes, is poised to take the third seat.
However, no progress will take place until the current recount is completed, and either Penrose or Bannon is eliminated.
The race then is for the fourth seat, which will be between Paul Hogan and the winner of the Penrose/Bannon impasse.
WHERE THINGS ARE AT
In summary, counting started on Saturday morning, and at around 9pm on Saturday night, Robert Troy was elected with a surplus of 599.
Count 2: Troy’s 599 surplus was distributed, but brought no-one up to quota. Therefore, the two lowest candidates, Don Jackson and Stephanie Healy were eliminated.
Count 3: Jackson’s 53 and Healy’s 133 were distributed. Eliminated on this count was James Miller.
Count 4: Miller’s 232 votes were distributed. Eliminated was Barbara Smyth.
Count 5: Smyth’s 312 votes were distributed. Eliminated was Dom Parker.
Count 6: Parker’s 591 votes were distributed. Eliminated was Noel McKervey.
Count 7: McKervey’s 686 votes were distributed. Eliminated was Brian Fagan.
Count 8: Fagan’s 1053 votes were distributed. Eliminated was Manchán Magan.
Count 9: Magan’s 1395 votes were distributed. Eliminated was Mae Sexton.
Count 10: Sexton’s 1895 votes. Eliminated was Gabrielle McFadden.
Count 11: McFadden’s 3025 votes were distributed. Eliminated was James Morgan.
Count 12: Morgan’s 4,339 votes were distributed. Eliminated was Connie Gerety Quinn.
First Recount: Connie Gerety Quinn called for a recount, which began at 9.40 pm on Sunday night.
The recount still saw Mrs Gerety-Quinn eliminated. The recheck also reduced her vote by 10, and knocked a handful of votes off other candidates.
Count 13: Distribution of Connie Gerety-Quinn’s 11049. That led to the election of Kevin Boxer Moran.
That left the candidates rankings as: Burke 7877; Hogan 7370; Bannon 7077 and Penrose 7058.
The distribution of Kevin Boxer Moran’s surplus of 71 was not announced, as the second recount was called for by James Bannon. That began on Monday evening.
All of Tuesday was taken up with the continuation of the second recount.
The second recount continues.
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