Despite trailing Fianna Fáil candidate Ivan Connaughton by 1,114 votes after the first count, Michael Fitzmaurice (Independent) leads the Roscommon South Leitrim by-election after the fifth count.
The Galway man, backed by Luke Ming Flanagan, now stands on 9,211 votes, compared to 8,863 for Connaughton.
Sinn Féin's Martin Kenny has been eliminated, and his votes will now be distributed.
Earlier, Mr Connaughton admitted that transfers were not in his favour.
“I was very happy that I headed the poll here and the situation is that it’s going down to transfers as we’re speaking at the moment,” he said.
“It’s down to that and if I’m being honest, I don’t think they’re going my way.”