FG five points ahead of FF after third of tally in Meath East

All boxes have now been opened and counting is continuing in the Meath East by-election.

FG five points ahead of FF after third of tally in Meath East

All boxes have now been opened and counting is continuing in the Meath East by-election.

It is looking increasingly likely that Fine Gael's Helen McEntee will retain the seat held by her late father after a battle with Fianna Fáil's Thomas Byrne.

Labour looks set to have a bad day, with early tallies putting the party in fifth place.

All 111 boxes from around the constituency have now been opened, though final tallies are still awaited.

The most recent tally is of just 33% of boxes has Fine Gael on 37%, Fianna Fáil on 32%, Sinn Féin on 12%, Direct Democracy Ireland on 8% and Labour on 4.3%.

McEntee has done well in the Southern end of the constituency and she will also do well in her heartland of the northern end.

Around Kells, Byrne has done very well as expected in his home spot, gaining about two thirds of votes there.

It is shaping up to be a bad day for Labour, currently just one in 20 voters seem to have marked the box, though that position is likely to improve and it will be a close call on fourth and fifth for the party with Direct Democracy Ireland.

A first count is expected to be declared by lunchtime and a result later in the afternoon.

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