McEntee leads by 5% after first count; Labour below 4%

McEntee leads by 5% after first count; Labour below 4%

Fine Gael's Helen McEntee is on course this lunchtime to become the country's newest TD.

With a final tally now in, she is enough ahead to retain the seat held by her late father.

It is a bad day for Labour with the party being knocked in to fifth place.

With a final tally now completed, turnout in yesterday's by-election was just under 38%, down from 66% in this constituency in the General Election two years ago.

The seat is now all but Ms McEntee's, she has finished with 38.41% of the vote, not enough to elect her on the first count.

However, she is significantly ahead of Fianna Fáil's Thomas Byrne on 33.43% and he most likely will not secure enough transfers to overtake her.

Sinn Féin will finish third with 12.92% of the vote, that will be somewhat disappointing given the bad day for Labour.

It is Eamon Gilmore's party that will be licking its wounds after probably finishing fifth on just 3.9%, behind Ben Gilroy of Direct Democracy Ireland on 6.55%.

A final result is expected here later afternoon.

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