Former independent TD in Clare, Dr Michael Harty has described the electoral performance of Sinn Féin’s Violet Anne Wynne as ‘stunning’.
At the count for the four seater Clare constituency at the Falls Hotel in Ennistymon, Dr Harty said: “I don’t think anyone saw Sinn Fein topping the poll here in the tally.”
The completed tally earlier has the first time out general election candidate on 15% of the vote.
Dr Harty – who opted not to contest the election to retain his seat – stated: “I wouldn’t have seen the national picture being reflected in Clare from a Sinn Fein point of view, but it has been.”
He stated: “It was a Mary Lou McDonald vote, it was a Sinn Féin vote – not necessarily a candidate vote.”
Dr Harty predicts for Clare that Fianna Fåil will secure two seats, Fine Gael to hold onto one of their two seats and Ms Wynne to battle it out with independent TD, Michael McNamara for the final seat.
Dr Harty stated: “Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael didn’t engage with the public and that is where they lost out. Sinn Fein did engage with the public."
Dr Harty stated that Ms Wynne was “a last gasp choice” by Sinn Fein and has come from nowhere to be in with a great chance of securing a seat in Clare.