McEntee ahead in early tallies; Labour well down

Counting is underway in the Meath East by-election and early tallies have Fine Gael's Helen McEntee ahead with Labour way down in fifth position.

McEntee ahead in early tallies; Labour well down

Counting is underway in the Meath East by-election and early tallies have Fine Gael's Helen McEntee ahead with Labour way down in fifth position.

Very early tallies suggest a two-horse race between McEntee and Fianna Fáil's Thomas Byrne.

First tally predictions are expected to be made shortly at the count centre in Ashbourne but all seem agreed now that McEntee and Byrne will battle it out for this seat.

Early indications from boxes from the southern end of the constituency suggest McEntee is doing very well in what would not have been seen as her strongest area.

In contrast, Labour's Eoin Holmes is not doing well here with early tallies suggesting the party's vote is down by as much as 20%.

The big surprise here so far is the performance of Ben Gilroy of Direct Democracy Ireland - he could well push Labour into finishing fifth.

Up to 10% of the boxes have been opened and the tally is: FG 42%, FF 31%, SF 10%, Gilroy 6%, Labour 4%.

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