Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael will together command a majority of seats in the 26th Seanad if they form a Dáil coalition.
The parties have taken 27 of the 49 seats available in this week’s counts, with the other 11 to be nominated by the incoming taoiseach.
While the issue of Seanad nominations hasn’t yet been raised in government formation talks, with a rotating taoiseach, insiders say it is likely each party would take five, and the last nomination be given to whichever other party joins the grand coalition. That would ensure the likely government has a strong majority in the upper chamber and can avoid some delays to its legislative agenda.
Counting in the Seanad elections has been ongoing all week, with yesterday’s count of the Administrative Panel the last. On that panel, Fianna Fáil’s Mark Daly, Diarmuid Wilson, and Fiona O’Loughlin took seats, with Fine Gael’s Martin Conway joining them with his party colleague Garret Ahearn and Labour’s Rebecca Moynihan.
Both college panels — NUI and Trinity — returned their outgoing senators, with Rónán Mullen, Alice Mary Higgins, and Michael McDowell; and David Norris, Ivana Bacik, and Lynn Ruane respectively holding onto their seats.
On the Agriculture Panel, Independent Victor Boyhan topped the poll, while Fianna Fáil picked up four of the 11 seats and Fine Gael three. Sinn Féin, Labour, and the Green Party each took a seat.
Fianna Fáil also took four seats and Fine Gael three on the Labour Panel, joined by Independent Gerard Craughwell and one each from Sinn Féin, Labour, and Greens.
The five seats on the Cultural and Educational panel were filled by three ex-TDs, an outgoing senator, and a county councillor, two each from Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, and one from Sinn Féin. The Industrial and Commercial Panel will be represented by two Fine Gael candidates, three Fianna Fáil, two Independents, and one each from Sinn Féin and Labour.