Fianna Fáil’s Robert Troy stormed the polls to be elected on the first count in Kenagh, Longford, last Friday evening.
The writing was on the wall from early on as tallies showed huge support for Troy. When the final tally was delivered on Friday afternoon it was already clear that the Mullingar man’s election was a certainty.
Troy polled well in both Longford and Westmeath. Despite honouring a pact he made with running partner Connie Gerety-Quinn not to canvass in Longford, Deputy Troy still harvested more than 1,700 votes from the county. This undoubtedly had an effect on Gerety-Quinn’s ability to reach the quota.
An analysis of the figures indicates that the people of Longford have lost faith in long-serving Fine Gael TD James Bannon, and also that those people see Robert Troy and Fianna Fáil as a viable alternative. Party loyalties, while not totally resigned to history, seemed to have played less of a role in this election than in previous ones.
Speaking prior to having his seat ratified, Deputy Troy spoke of the “great honour” bestowed on him by the people of Longford-Westmeath. He expressed his gratitude to those who voted and canvassed for him, and to his family and friends for supporting him throughout the process.
When pushed on the possibility of Fianna Fáil forming a coalition Government with Fine Gael, Troy gave an elusive but telling answer. He said Fianna Fáil and the other parties will sit down next week and decide on the best course of action going forward.
He said he hopes his party are in a position at the end of the election “to lead an alternative Government” as that is the best way to ensure that the party’s policies, ones Troy believes are in the best interest of the people of Ireland, are implemented.
Troy promised that whatever decision is come to will be made with “the best interests of the people of the nation” in mind. A jubilant Troy posed with his proud parents as his election was confirmed on Friday evening.