Hartley bows out of Ireland South running after 11th count

Fianna Fáil’s Kieran Hartley has been eliminated after the 11th count in the Ireland South European election constituency.

Hartley, on 59,722, managed to get 4,635 transfers from Independent candidate and Ballyhea Says No campaigner Diarmuid O'Flynn who was eliminated in the 10th count, but where his votes will go is not clear but strategists suggest they may favour Cork-based Deirdre Clune who will then likely take the fourth seat in Ireland South.

Fine Gael's Sean Kelly did well in the 11th count with the transfer of 7,243 votes from Diarmuid O'Flynn suggesting a GAA vote.

Kelly, who has not yet been elected, has currently 113,311 votes compared to Clune's 69,009 and Harris' 66,061.

The second Fine Gael seat in Ireland South was still in the balance until the tenth count. Nearly 14,000 transfers from Labour candidate, Phil Prendergast pushed the three Fine Gael candidates onwards at the expense of Fianna Fails' Kieran Hartley and Ballyhea Says No campaigner, Diarmuid O'Flynn who was eliminated.

However by the time Prendergast's votes were distributed, the second Fine Gael seat was a certainty.

There was a strong transfer rate from Prendergast to the Fine Gael candidates and in particular a potential 'woman vote' to Clune who picked up 6,578 votes from Prendergasts 42,213 votes.

The 12th count is expected at around 7pm.

Standings after 11th count:

Sean Kelly - FG - + 7,243...113,311

Deirdre Clune - FG - + 4,120...69,009

Simon Harris - FG - + 2,524...66,061

Kieran Hartley - FF - + 4,635...64,357

Hartley eliminated.

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