A full recount is under way this morning in Dublin South-West as Fine Gael’s Anne-Marie Dermody desperately seeks to unseat Katherine Zappone, who was declared elected on Sunday morning.
Zappone (pictured above with Michael McDowell) won on the 16th count, taking the bulk of the 4,916 transfers available following the elimination of fellow Independent candidate Peter Fitzpatrick, reports the Irish Times.
The 16th and final count showed Ms Zappone ahead by some 152 votes but following two re-checks the gap narrowed to an estimated 120 votes.
Fine Gael’s legal adviser argued undermined that this discrepancy undermined the integrity of the entire count, though count officials indicated that the rechecked tallies would not have made a material difference to the outcome. “It would be unfair to me not to contest at this stage,” said Dermody. “We have uncovered errors. If there are votes coming back to me after two counts why wouldn’t I look for a full recount? I’d be a fool not to.”
Overall, ‘Others’ secured the highest number of first preference votes (24.99%), followed Fine Gael (21.92 %), Independents (17.99%), Fianna Fáil (14.34%), Sinn Féin (14.29%) and lastly, Labour (6.51%).
Zappone says she is “quietly confident” that she will secure the final seat.
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