| 8.9°C Belfast

No candidates elected on first day of counting in Seanad elections

There are five seats on the first vocational panel being filled.

Close

Staff begin to count votes at the count centre, at the Printworks, Dublin Castle.

Staff begin to count votes at the count centre, at the Printworks, Dublin Castle.

Staff begin to count votes at the count centre, at the Printworks, Dublin Castle.

No candidates have been elected after the first day of counting in the election for the first batch of seats in the new Seanad.

Five seats are up for grabs on the upper chamber’s Cultural and Educational panel.

Sinn Fein senator Fintan Warfield topped the poll and looks set to retain his seat.

Former Fine Gael TD Sean Kyne was out in front after 13th rounds of counting on Monday.

Former Fianna Fail TD Lisa Chambers and Fine Gael county councillor John McGahon are also well placed to secure seats.

Green Party candidate Saoirse McHugh and former Fianna Fail TDs Malcolm Byrne and Margaret Murphy O’Mahony are also still in the race.

With no one reaching the quota after 13 rounds, counting was suspended just before midnight and was due to resume again on Tuesday morning.

Seanad election
Mr. Martin Groves, the Seanad Returning Officer, at the count centre at Dublin Castle (Maxwells/PA)

The five vocational panels compromise 43 of the Seanad’s 60 seats.

There are 118 candidates seeking election to the panels.

In addition to the Cultural and Educational panel, the other four panels are: Agricultural, Labour, Industrial and Commercial, and Administrative.

Votes for each panel had been due to be counted on successive days through the week.

The counts for the two University panels – for six seats, three each from National University of Ireland colleges and Trinity College – will start on Tuesday.

The final 11 senators to make up the next Seanad will be announced by the taoiseach of the next government.

Outgoing Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is not able to nominate the final 11 senators, putting pressure on politicians for a new government to be formed.

The contest for the Seanad has been heavily impacted by the Coronavirus outbreak.

Candidates had to stop campaigning early in order to comply with social distancing measures.

Access to the count centre at Dublin Castle on Monday was strictly limited, with even candidates urged not to attend.

PA