Byelections 2019: Fianna Fáil's Padraig O'Sullivan elected to Dáil in Cork North-Central

Latest: Senator Colm Burke was eliminated in the ninth count of the Cork North-Central by-election.

Byelections 2019: Fianna Fáil's Padraig O'Sullivan elected to Dáil in Cork North-Central

Latest: Fianna Fail's Padraig O'Sullivan claimed the seat in the Cork North-Central by-election on the tenth count.

Mr O'Sullivan had been the early frontrunner, claiming 27.6% of the first preference votes and he never relinquished that lead.

He fills the seat vacated by party colleague Billy Kelleher earlier this year. Kelleher had been a TD in Cork North-Central for more than two decades before his election to the European Parliament.

O'Sullivan did not reach the quota of 12,784 but was elected once all other candidates were eliminated.

In the end, Mr O'Sullivan proved a strong magnet for Colm Burke's transfers, picking up 2976 votes.

Latest 6.10pm: Senator Colm Burke was eliminated in the ninth count of the Cork North-Central by-election.

It now leaves Cllr Padraig O'Sullivan and Cllr Thomas Gould vying to take the seat vacated by Fianna Fail's Billy Kelleher.

O'Sullivan remains in a strong position with 8,657 votes to Gould's 7,130.

The count involved the distribution of John Maher's 3,866 votes, with Gould picking up more than 900 as he continued to be transfer-friendly.

Speaking early in the day, Burke had accepted that he was unlikely to catch the early pace-setter in O'Sullivan but he was happy with his performance.

He pointed out that Fine Gael had built on their performance in the 2016 General Election and said he was confident ahead of 2020.

"It was a great team effort by Fine Gael to get here," he said.

"In the last General Election, we came in third. We have improved our percentage. We got over a quota. We must go out and continue to deliver."

Latest 5.15pm: Labour's John Maher was eliminated on the eighth count.

He picked up some 919 transfers from Oliver Moran of the Green Party but it wasn't enough to keep him in the race.

However, Maher said he is proud of what he achieved and that it puts him in a strong position

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"We're at a 10% vote, we're transfer-friendly and we're in the game whenever the General Election is so bring it on," he said.

Maher's 3866 votes will now be shared between Colm Burke, Thomas Gould and Padraig O'Sullivan in a bid to separate the candidates.

O'Sullivan maintains a healthy lead on 7878 votes, with Burke and Gould split by just 66 votes.

Latest 4.30pm: Green Party Councillor Oliver Moran was upbeat about his performance despite his eliminated on the seventh count.

Moran's 2537 votes are now being shared among the remaining candidates.

The first-term Councillor said that his result puts him in a great position ahead of the General Election next year, placing fifth in the vote this time around.

"This is what we were aiming for: between five and ten percent," he said.

"We more than doubled our vote since 2016. Green issues are still on people's minds and it gives us a great platform to build on.

"It reflects our position in Cork: the Green Party is a growing force for politics here."

The seventh count involved the distribution of Solidarity candidate Fiona Ryan's vote.

Almost one-third of her 1,534 votes transferred to Sinn Féin's Thomas Gould, pushing Mr Gould ahead of Colm Burke into second place.

Fianna Fail's Padraig O'Sullivan remains ahead of the pack with 7,544 votes.

The quota is 12,784.

Meanwhile, Fine Gael's Colm Burke is

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The Senator trails Fianna Fail's Padraig O'Sullivan in the Cork North-Central race and has now slipped behind Sinn Féin's Thomas Gould too.

Latest: 3.50pm Solidarity councillor Fiona Ryan has been eliminated on the sixth count.

Her 1534 votes will now be distributed among the remaining candidates with speciation rife about how much of an impact she could have on the battle between Thomas Gould and Colm Burke for second place.

Ms Ryan said she was proud of the vote she secured, picking up more than 4% of first preference votes.

She said the low turnout is "no big surprise" due to the looming general election.

"The mood is annoyed; this is a government that has not done much for Cork North-Central and the Dara Murphy situation is proof of that," she said.

Pádraig O'Sullivan is still in the lead with 7,451 votes ahead of the next count. Colm Burke (5,593) and Thomas Gould (5,479) are still in contention.

    After count 6
  • O'Sullivan - FF - 7,451
  • Burke - FG - 5,593
  • Gould - SF - 5,479
  • Maher - Lab - 2,750
  • Moran - Green - 2,195
  • Ryan - Sol-PBP - eliminated

Earlier - 3.13pm: Aontu's Finian Toomey has been eliminated on the fifth count of Cork North-Central.

His 1098 votes will now be shared among the other candidates.

There is no change at the top with Padraig O'Sullivan (FF) still on course to secure the seat.

It looks set to be a close run thing between Thomas Gould (SF) and Colm Burke (FG) for second place, though, with just 101 votes in it at present.

Update - 2.15pm: On the third count, non-party candidates James Coughlan and Martin Condon were eliminated.

The count involved the distribution of Thomas Kiely's 248 votes, with Mr Condon picking up 53 of these.

However, he was eliminated with 347. Mr Coughlan was eliminated with 290 votes and counting now resumes on the distribution of their votes.

There has been no change at the top, with Fianna Fáil's Pádraig O'Sullivan still in the lead with more than 7,000 votes.

He remains some way off the quota of 12,784, though.

Colm Burke is in second place on 5,398 votes and Thomas Gould (Sinn Féin) is on 5,077.

Sinead Halpin of the Social Democrats was eliminated on the fourth count.

The count involved the distribution of the 637 votes of James Coughlan and Martin Condon, with Sinn Féin's Thomas Gould picking up 198 of these.

Those votes now leave Mr Gould just 156 behind Senator Colm Burke of Fine Gael in the race for second place. Fianna Fail candidate Padraig O'Sullivan remains top of the pile, picking up 25 transfers to put him on 7,202.

The quota is 12,784.

Earlier: The result of the first count in Cork North-Central has positioned Fianna Fáil's Pádraig O'Sullivan clearly in the lead.

He secured 27.6% of the first count with 7,148 votes.

Fine Gael's Colm Burke is in second with 5,385 and Sinn Féin's Thomas Gould in third on 5,041 in a tight race.

Labour's John Maher polled strongly too, with 2,482 votes, with many in the Labour pleased that it puts them in a strong position ahead of a General Election next year.

Non-party candidate Charlie Keddy, who is running in all four by-elections, was eliminated in the first count with just 49 votes, which will now be spread among the other candidates.

The electorate was 85,524, with a total poll of just 25,854 or 30.2%.

There were 287 invalid votes and returning officer Martin Harvey confirmed a quota of 12,784.

The second round results came almost immediately afte5r, with Charlie Keddy's 49 votes split among the candidates.

The largest slice went to fellow non-party candidate Thomas Kiely, who picked up 14, but found himself eliminated at the second count.

His 248 votes are now being distributed.

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