Mixed fortunes for Sinn Féin as counting continues

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Counting is taking place in elections in the North and South of Ireland today, with Martina Anderson’s performance in the Six Counties a highlight for Sinn Fein.

In an election heavily influenced by Brexit, Ms Anderson topped the poll with 126,951 votes, narrowly ahead of the DUP’s Diane Dodds with 124,991.

Counting showed that the traditional unionist parties have shed one in five of their votes in the Euro election. These went mostly to the more cross-community Alliance Party, which avidly opposes Brexit. Alliance leader Naomi Long’s tally of 105,928 is the party’s highest ever in a European election and she has more than doubled her party’s support since 2014.

Long is now tipped to take the third and final EU seat from the Ulster Unionist Party in what are seeing as a significant shift in northern politics. Alongside Anderson, the Six Counties is now expected to return two MEPs opposed to Brexit to one who is in favour -- Dodds, now the only Unionist MEP as such.

In the 26 Counties, counting is progressing in Dublin. Sinn Fein’s Lynn Boylan is in difficulty in the constituency and may lose her seat to prominent left-wing independent Clare Daly. The party is more hopeful in the South, where a first count is due this evening, and Midlands/North/West, where a first count has the sitting Sinn Fein MEP Matt Carthy in third place in the four-seater.

However, Sinn Fein continues to suffer local election losses. Deputy leader Pearse Doherty told RTÉ radio it was a disappointing election for his party.

“There’s no doubt about it, this has been a blow to Sinn Féin, that being said, we’re still the third largest party at local government level, we still have representation across the island of Ireland at that level, our people will be dusting themselves down, that’s what we will be doing, dusting ourselves down collectively,” he said.

“We need to look at what went wrong and where, we can see that our vote didn’t come out. It’s our job to learn lessons from this election ... this was a disappointing election from us, we would rather have done a lot better.”

 

The following are the first counts in the European elections available so far:

 

Dublin

Cuffe (Green) 17.5%
Fitzgerald (FG) 16.2%
Andrews (FF) 14.1%
Daly (Ind.) 11.6%
Boylan (SF) 10.8%
Gannon (SocDem) 5.6%
White (Labour) 5.0%
Durkan (FG) 4.5%
Brien (S-PBP) 3.0%
Higgins (Ind.) 3.0%
Gilroy (Ind.) 2.15
O’Doherty (Ind.) 1.8%
Harrod (S-PBP) 1.4%
Ryan (WP) 1.0%

 

Midlands/North/West

McGuinness (FG) 22.6%
Ming Flanagan (Ind) 14.3%
Carthy (SF) 13.0%
Walsh (FG) 10.8%
Casey (Ind) 9.5%
McHugh (Green) 8.6%
Smith (FF) 7.2%
Rabbitte (FF) 5.1%

 

Six Counties (Party % compared to 2014)

Anderson (SF) 22.2% (-2.3)
Dodds (DUP) 21.8% (+0.9)
Long (Alliance) 18.5% (+11.4)
Eastwood (SDLP) 13.7% (+0.7)
Allister (TUV) 10.8% (-1.3)
Kennedy (UUP) 9.3% (-4.0)
Bailey (Green) 2.2% (+0.5)

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