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#Elections2019: Mairead McGuinness first MEP to be elected

#Elections2019: Mairead McGuinness first MEP to be elected

Mairead McGuinness has been re-elected to the European Parliament on the first count after receiving 134,630 votes in the Midlands-North-West constituency.

The outgoing European Parliament Vice President was the only candidate to exceed the quota of 118,986 in the first count and is the first MEP to be elected in the country.

Her Fine Gael running mate Maria Walsh received 64,500 first preference votes.

Luke Ming Flanagan had the second highest first preference votes, with 85,034.

He is followed by Matt Carthy, who got 77,619 votes.

After her election, the Fine Gael MEP thanked the electorate for the "resounding mandate" she received.

Ms McGuinness said: “I am deeply honoured and humbled by the size of the mandate I have received,” she said.

“I feel a great sense of responsibility. I take it as a signal of approval for the work I have put in over the last five years, from agriculture and food, to the environment to my work on Brexit and a whole range of other issues.

“And I want to assure those who have voted for me, and the entire electorate, that there will be no let up on my efforts over the next five years.”

She said she was “quietly confident” that her colleague, Maria Walsh, would join her in the new Parliament. “That would mark a tremendous achievement for a new, energetic candidate who has a great political future ahead of her,” she said.

The first Vice-President of the European Parliament said in the next couple of days the shape of the new European Parliament will emerge and will determine how effectively the Parliament can be in the years ahead.

She said that Brexit has become more complicated and worrying in the last week.

“We remain committed to the withdrawal agreement and expect the incoming leadership of the Conservative Party to show real leadership and chart a course for the UK out of this impasse.

“The art of compromise, an essential ingredient for successful politics, has unfortunately been downgraded and viewed as a sign of weakness rather than a sign of strength in the current disruptive political environment, and that will be an even deeper challenge than heretofore,” she said.

“And an early and critically important issue for the new Parliament will be to successfully complete negotiations for the new Common Agriculture Policy for the period beyond 2020.”

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