European elections: Sinn Féin's Chris MacManus loses seat as vote count continues

European Elections: Sinn Féin's Chris Macmanus Loses Seat As Vote Count Continues
Despite days of counting votes, it is not yet clear whether Sinn Fein will increase its tally of MEPs. Photo: PA
Share this article

By Cillian Sherlock and Gráinne Ní Aodha, PA


Chris MacManus has lost his seat as an MEP in the Midlands-North-West constituency.


Mr MacManus was excluded after count 17.

Sinn Féin is hopeful that its leading candidate, Michelle Gildernew, will benefit favourably from his transfers to catch Ciaran Mullooly for the fifth seat in the constituency.

So far, no one has been deemed elected at the TF Royal Theatre in Castlebar, Co Mayo.

Independent Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan has a sizeable lead over Nina Carberry (Fine Gael), Barry Cowen (Fianna Fáil), and Maria Walsh (Fine Gael).


Sinn Féin candidates Chris MacManus and Michelle Gildernew at the TF Royal count centre in Castlebar, Co Mayo. Photo: PA

Speaking following his elimination, Mr MacManus said: “I left nothing on the pitch. Me and my team worked as hard as we could over the last number of weeks during the actual campaign.”

He added: “Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be for us today.

“But more importantly for me now, I’m hopeful my transfers will work to ensure that Michelle Gildernew is there right 'til the end and in the mix for a possible seat.”


Pressed on whether he believed his transfers would be enough, Mr MacManus said there were also more than 110,000 other votes which may be distributed if Aontu leader Peadar Toibin and Fianna Fail candidate Lisa Chambers were eliminated.

He added: “The numbers are maybe not in Michelle’s favour, but I wouldn’t be writing her off just yet.

“There’s at least another three counts to go.”

Asked if he would consider running in a general election, he said: “I don’t think it’s the last time you’ll see my MacManus name on a ballot paper.”



The days-long process of counting ballot papers continues as two constituencies are yet to elect all of their MEPs.

Voters headed to the polls last Friday to pick 949 local councillors, 14 members of the European Parliament and the country’s first directly elected mayor.

Results emerging from the three elections have been seen as a political boon for coalition partners Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil, while the largest opposition party, Sinn Féin, has initiated a review after performing well below its own expectations.


In the European elections, despite days of counting votes, it is not yet clear whether Sinn Féin will increase its tally of MEPs.

For the latest on the European election vote count, visit our dedicated results page

Marathon counts restarted in the Ireland South and Midlands–North-West constituencies at 9am on Thursday, with nine of the country’s 14 MEPs yet to be confirmed.

Sean Kelly celebrates with friends, family and supporters after becoming the first MEP to be elected in Ireland’s European elections
Sean Kelly celebrates with friends, family and supporters after becoming the first MEP to be elected in the European elections. Photo: Jonathan Brady/PA

Unpredictable transfers, which political commentators said were not following traditional patterns, are adding to the drama of who will claim the final seats.

In Ireland South, Fine Gael’s Sean Kelly was deemed elected after the first count on Monday – but it has taken days to fill the other positions.

Fianna Fáil’s Billy Kelleher is in prime position to take the second seat but the final three seats are considered too close to call.

Sinn Féin TD Kathleen Funchion leaped ahead of the chasing pack after attracting 60 per cent of her running mate’s transfers on Wednesday.

The question is whether she can stay ahead after the coming counts.

Billy Kelleher speaks to a member of An Garda Siochana as he awaits election count results
Billy Kelleher speaks to a member of An Garda Síochána as he awaits count results. Photo: Jonathan Brady/PA

Independent TD Michael McNamara is expected to jump ahead of Ms Funchion after transfers from anti-immigration candidate Derek Blighe, whose votes count staff began sorting through on Thursday morning.

The next candidate expected to be eliminated is Fine Gael’s John Mullins, who Fianna Fáil candidate and 1994 Eurovision host Cynthia Ní Mhurchú will be hoping to do well from.

Outgoing MEP Mick Wallace is also in contention, while Sinn Féin TD David Cullinane said if Grace O’Sullivan is eliminated, she could decide who takes the final seat.

A close-up of Mick Wallace
Mick Wallace. Photo: Jonathan Brady/PA

The Green Party’s Ms O’Sullivan voiced her concerns about Ireland’s representation in the European Parliament on climate issues without any Green Party MEP.

Calling her comments “the swan song”, she said it was up to government parties to speak up on the need for action to tackle climate change.

Returning officer Martin Harvey said he expects the final results in Ireland South by Thursday afternoon, though this could be delayed if Mr Kelleher reaches the quota of 114,761.

Sinn Fein candidate Kathleen Funchion in the count centre
Sinn Féin candidate Kathleen Funchion in the count centre. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA

In Midlands–North-West, poll-topping Independent Luke “Ming” Flanagan predicted he would breach the quota to be re-elected to the Parliament.

He quickly emerged as the frontrunner of the field of 27 candidates, and as counting continued on Thursday, remained ahead of Fine Gael candidates Maria Walsh, who is seeking a return to Europe, and Nina Carberry, a former jockey.

If the race stays as it currently stands, Barry Cowen will be heading to Strasbourg as an MEP for Fianna Fáil in the fourth seat.

Independent Ireland candidate and former RTÉ correspondent Ciaran Mullooly is currently in line for the fifth seat.

Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan speaking at the TF Royal Theatre count centre in Castlebar, Co Mayo
Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan speaking at the TF Royal Theatre count centre in Castlebar, Co Mayo. Photo: Niall Carson/PA

However, Sinn Féin insists it still has a “fighting chance” for that final spot.

Its leading hopeful, Michelle Gildernew, will need to repeat Ms Funchion’s experience of in-party transfer support if she hopes to keep Chris MacManus’ seat following his expected elimination.

Observers predict the counting will wrap up on Thursday night or Friday morning.

Michelle Gildernew from Sinn Fein listens to the results at TF Royal Theatre in Castlebar
Michelle Gildernew from Sinn Féin listens to the results at the TF Royal Theatre in Castlebar. Photo: Niall Carson/PA

On Tuesday night, the four MEPs who will represent Dublin in the European Parliament were elected at the end of three days of counting.

Fine Gael’s Regina Doherty, Fianna Fáil’s Barry Andrews, Sinn Féin’s Lynn Boylan and Labour’s Aodhán Ó Ríordáin all confirmed their places on the continent.

While the European picture is incomplete, Fianna Fáil emerged as the largest party in local government after all seats in Ireland’s local election were filled.

Fianna Fail candidate Barry Andrews at the RDS count centre
Fianna Fáil candidate Barry Andrews was also elected at the RDS count centre. Photo: Gareth Chaney/PA

The party won out in the battle for the remaining seats, securing a total of 248 seats compared with Fine Gael’s 245.

In the local elections, both main Government parties attracted around 23 per cent of first preference votes, representing a drop on their 2019 result.

Lynn Boylan is carried aloft by a crowd with her hands in the air
Sinn Féin’s Lynn Boylan was elected in Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney/PA

Sinn Féin has 102 councillors, an increase on 81 council seats won in 2019, but party leader Mary Lou McDonald has admitted the result fell below their expectations.

The popular vote of 12 per cent is a dramatic turnaround in fortunes for the main opposition party which emerged from the 2020 general election on 24.5 per cent.

Meanwhile, the Labour Party is down one to 56 councillors, the Green Party’s support fell to 26 council seats while the Social Democrats’ share rose to 35.

The number of Independent councillors has also increased.

The results have fuelled speculation that the Government may look to call a general election earlier than the current projected timeline of spring 2025.

Fine Gael leader and Taoiseach Simon Harris with Regina Doherty and a crowd of people
Fine Gael leader and Taoiseach Simon Harris with Regina Doherty. Photo: Gareth Chaney/PA

However, the leaders of all three coalition parties – Taoiseach Simon Harris, Tánaiste Micheál Martin and Green Party leader Eamon Ryan – have all insisted they remain committed to the government going full term.

For her part, Sinn Féin leader Ms McDonald, who is facing questions over her stewardship of the party, has struck a defiant tone, urging Mr Harris to “bring it on” and call an early election.

With Mr Ó Ríordáin a sitting TD, and other TDs in contention for the remaining European seats, there will be a need for at least one by-election in the coming six months.

That has added to speculation that the Government may seek an earlier general election, rather than fighting several potential by-elections only months before the Dáil is dissolved.

Elsewhere, in a landmark poll in Limerick for the State’s first directly elected mayor, independent candidate John Moran secured victory late on Tuesday afternoon.

Read More

Message submitting... Thank you for waiting.

Want us to email you top stories each lunch time?

Download our Apps
© 2024, developed by Square1 and powered by