Coppinger in lead after third count in Dublin West
By Sean McCarthaigh
Socialist Party councillor Ruth Coppinger has taken over the lead in the race for the Dublin West bye-election from Sinn Féin’s Paul Donnelly after the results of the third count.
Coppinger, who hopes to join her party colleague Joe Higgins in the four-seater constituency, is now favourite to take over the seat vacated by Patrick Nulty following his shock resignation as TD earlier this year.
Trailing Donnelly by just eight votes after the previous count, Coppinger has now surged ahead after picking up a much higher number of transfers than her rival following the elimination of Labour’s Lorraine Higgins and the Green’s Roderic O’Gorman.
She added 632 votes to bring her latest total to 6,744 – 448 votes ahead of Donnelly who now stands at 6,296.
If Coppinger’s ability in the earlier counts to attract more transfers than the Sinn Féin candidate continues she should be comfortably elected.
Donnelly is also coming under pressure to stay ahead of Fianna Fáil’s David McGuinness who has now closed the gap on second place to just over 600 votes.
Fine Gael’s candidate, Senator Eamonn Coughlan is now eliminated with the transfer of his 4,693 votes now due to take place after failing to overtake independent, David Hall.
With the transfer of Coughlan’s votes, which is likely to be followed by Hall, McGuinness has a reasonable prospect of pushing the Sinn Fein candidate into third place.
All three candidates – Coppinger, Donnelly and McGuinness – were elected on the first count in the Mulhuddart local election area on Fingal County Council.