Labour leader Brendan Howlin has been elected in Wexford after reaching the quota on the eighth count.
There was a relatively subdued reaction to Mr Howlin’s election just before 11am this morning. He was expected to be returned late last night but failed to reach the quota before counting was adjourned.
Mr Howlin got 12,930 votes after transfers. The quota was 12,513.
Speaking afterwards, he said he was honoured to be elected but conceded it was a bad election for the Labour Party nationally. Mr Howlin is the second Labour candidate to be returned after the election of its TD Sean Sherlock in Cork on Monday morning.
Asked about a potential coalition, he said Labour’s director of elections has been talking to Sinn Féin director of elections this morning but that a broad left-wing coalition “doesn’t make sense numerically”.
Mr Howlin said he is not thinking about his future as Labour leader at the moment and is instead concentrating on getting as many colleagues across the line today.
“Then we’ll have a period of reflection and see what the future holds and see how we’re going to shape a resurgence in the party.”
Counting is continuing in Wexford with James Browne of Fianna Fáil expected to be the next candidate returned followed by Independent Verona Murphy.