The tally is well underway in the Carlow-Kilkenny by-election and already a clear trend has emerged with Carlow boxes only opened.
David Fitzgerald (FG) is polling well. Either he or Bobby Aylward (FF) will top the poll. Sinn Fein’s Kathleen Funchion is performing better than expected in rural Carlow. At the moment it is too close to call and the seat will be decided on transfers with no clear frontrunner emerging.
Good news too for Renua’s candidate, Patrick McKee who has been polling steadily in both Carlow and Kilkenny and should be the fourth highest candidate at the end of the first count.
Carlow tally so far and this comes with a strong health warning: FF 21%; FG 18%; SF 16%; RN 8%
The first boxes from Kilkenny are just being opened, This is the tally from Gathabawn in the north; Alyward 98; Fitzgerald 75; McKee 43; Funchion 36; Gardner 21.
Tally from Gowran; Aylward 101; Fitzgerald 54; Funchion 47; Mckee 37; Gardner 11; MacLiam 9
Sinn Fein are not too far off second spot overall and are expected to receive more transfers from the lower placed candidates who will be eliminated early.
It should be either Fitzgerald or Alyward but Funchion is not out of it.
Carlow-Kilkenny will pass the same sex marriage referendum with ease and already it is yes 60% No 40% and that gap appears to be widening.
As we speak some of the official tellers are going for tea and it will be some time before the official counting gets underway at Cillin Hill, Kilkenny..