#Elections2019: Long wait expected before Ireland South first count results announced

A first round result in the Ireland South elections is not expected until at least midnight with the lengthy ballot papers causing significant delays.

#Elections2019: Long wait expected before Ireland South first count results announced

A first round result in the Ireland South elections is not expected until at least midnight with the lengthy ballot papers causing significant delays.

A 2ft long paper meant that counters were tasked with sub-dividing the large piles of ballots into two based on first preferences before getting onto the actual counting of votes.

Returning officer Martin Harvey said the process is already two to three hours behind schedule due to the extended ballot papers.

There are no tallies coming from the count centre in Cork's Nemo Rangers GAA club, however an RTÉ exit poll predicted that Fine Gael's Sean Kelly will top the poll with 16% of first preferences, followed by Sinn Féin's Liadh Ní Riada and Fianna Fáil's Billy Kelleher both on 13%, while Grace O'Sullivan of the Green Party had 12% of first preference votes.

However, in all of the three European constituencies transfers will be crucial and could see Mick Wallace, Malcolm Byrne or Deirdre Clune leap-frog other candidates.

Speaking after the count got underway, Mr Harvey said it could be Wednesday before all five seats are filled in the constituency.

"We are doing a subsort of the papers on the tables and that's delaying the matter somewhat, and that's accepted in all constituencies," he said.

"We would be aiming hopefully for first count result maybe around midnight or thereabouts and if there is an end in sight for a first count we would keep going until around 1am, but if there is not we won't," he said.

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