Ming victory predicted in Midlands Northwest

Luke 'Ming' Flanagan

The counting of votes is to resume at 9am in the Midlands Northwest constituency – where four European Parliament candidates will be elected.

Experts are predicting a clear victory for Luke 'Ming' Flanagan, with Mairead McGuinness expected to take the second seat.

But with the with a first count not due to be completed until this afternoon, there will be a battle for the last two seats.

The vast constituency of Midlands North West stretches from Donegal to Laois and Louth to Mayo – taking in 15 counties.

The turnout here was over 50% and now the count staff here have to check, count and double check 670,000 ballot papers.

Sinn Fein’s Matt Carthy is tipped to take the third seat, but even the candidates themselves admit it will be a dogfight to take the fourth.

Sitting Independent Marian Harkin thinks she will be battling either of the Fianna Fáil candidates Pat 'The Cope' Gallagher or Thomas Byrne for the seat.

Even though his party leader Enda Kenny was ruling him out, Jim Higgins insists he is still in with a fighting chance.

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