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#Elections2019: Taoiseach congratulates Green Party on significant election win

#Elections2019: Taoiseach congratulates Green Party on significant election win
Green Party Leader Eamon Ryan speaks to the media as ballot boxes are opened and counting begins in the Local and European Elections and divorce referendum at the RDS in Dublin. (Niall Carson/PA Wire)

The Taoiseach has congratulated the Green Party on a significant election win but has admitted Fine Gael will not see the gains they had hoped for.

Leo Varadkar said midterm elections are "always difficult" for Government parties but he is still hopeful his party may see a small increase in seats at local level.

Fine Gael had hoped to gain between 30 and 50 extra council seats, however, Mr Varadkar has admitted that this will not happen.

"The results are still being counted, a lot of this will come down to transfers. It doesn't look like we are making the kind gains we had hoped for a few months ago. But if we do increase our number of council seats, which we may well do, we will be the first party in Government to do so in 20 years and that's not a small thing," said Mr Varadkar after arriving at Dublin's City West count centre.

Mr Varadkar was more hopeful about the European elections, claiming that Fine Gael could be in with a chance of five seats.

"We seem to have had a very good European election we have won the popular vote and our vote is up in all three constituencies so we definitely have three seats, possibly four, in with a shout for a fifth.

"In the local elections it's a more mixed picture, but I think overall we will increase our number of councillors," he said.

Results summary: Check out our Elections 2019 dashboard for a summary of results as we get them. Read more.

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