Update: Prendergast eliminated in 'too close to call' Ireland South

By Claire O'Sullivan

With the ninth count in the Ireland South election count just finished, there were less than 1,000 votes between Fine Gael's Deirdre Clune and Simon Harris.

Most of Green candidate, Grace O'Sullivan's transfers went to fellow south-eastern candidate, and woman, Phil Prendergast who moved up 7,274 to 42,213 but was still eliminated at the end of the count.

If this trend to send transfers to another south-eastern candidate continues, it could see Harris move ahead of Clune significantly. At present, Harris is on 59,056 and Clune on 58,311. However, if the female factor is more important, it could be Clune who jumps ahead.

O'Sullivan was eliminated in the eighth count and a geographic and woman's vote has been evident in the transfers from the Tramore-based O'Sullivan.

Deirdre Clune and fellow Fine Gael candidate, Simon Harris continue to vye for the fourth seat.

However, tallymen also point to the Fine Gael's continuing transfer repellancy in this Ireland South count and we could see independent, Diarmuid O'Flynn and Fianna Fáil's Kieran Hartley further build their vote from Prendergast transfers.

O'Flynn is about 12,000 votes behind Harris, but has also emerged as the most transfer friendly.

He only started campaigning two weeks ago with a very low budget and he says he is thrilled to have made it this far.

Two days after the count began at Nemo Rangers in Cork, it's still all to play for.

Update 12.20pm

Ninth count

Sean Kelly - FG - + 2,910....98,646

Simon Harris - FG - + 2,318 ...59,056

Deirdre Clune - FG - + 2,971.... 58,311

Kieran Hartley - FF - + 2,187...56,746

Diarmuid O'Flynn - Ind - 4,102...48,125

Phil Prendergast - Lab - + 7,274...42,213

Prendergast eliminated

***

By Eoin English

The race for the fourth seat in Ireland South is too close to call, as the gap between Fine Gael TD Simon Harris and Senator Deirdre Clune remained unchanged overnight.

Harris went in to the eighth count at 2am this morning 1,398 votes ahead of Clune before counting was suspended.

They came out of the eighth count just after 9am with 47 transfers each from the distribution of the Ni Riadha surplus.

Tally men say it is still too close to call at this stage.

Sitting MEP Sean Kelly is poised to take the third seat with 95,736 votes after the eighth count which saw Green candidate Grace O'Sullivan eliminated.

However, as the ninth count continues this morning Fine Gael appears to be transfer toxic.

But the party is hopeful that it will pick up some transfers from O'Sullivan given her family connections to the party - her sister is a Fine Gael councillor - and may also benefit from the female vote.

Fianna Fáil candidate Kieran Hartley is still in the mix with 54,559.

'Burn the bondholders' campaigner, Independent candidate Diarmuid O'Flynn, is benefitting most from the transfers, picking up 395 in count eight.

The results of ninth count are expected before noon with Labour MEP Phil Prendergast set to be eliminated.

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