Fianna Fáil’s Bobby Aylward is the country’s newest TD after winning the seat in the Carlow Kilkenny by-election.
The election was to fill the seat vacated by Phil Hogan, who took up the role of Europe’s Agriculture Commissioner last year.
It was a long day, and an even longer night, to find out what the tallies had known since morning, that Bobby Aylward was to take back the seat long considered FIanna Fáil’s.
In the end, after nine counts, the former TD from a well-known political family, romped home with 26,529 votes.
His nearest rival, Fine Gael’s David Fitzgerald was almost 5,000 votes behind on 21,632.
This by-election was seen as a litmus test ahead of the General election, and a test of Micheál Martin’s leadership of Fianna Fáil.
Sinn Féin’s Kathleen Funchion and Renua’s Patrick McKee who polled strongly, will surely have their eye on winning a seat in the impending General Election.