Marathon election count predicted

It could be early next week by the time Galway voters learn the full line-up of their representatives in Dail Eireann. With voters going to the polls across the three constituencies from dawn tomorrow (Friday ), the complexity of the counts could mean that the Galway TDs may not be fully confirmed until Monday at least.

Already Galway West/Mayo South is second favourite to be the last constituency to return its final count, because of the vast number of candidates and the keen battle for the final seats for which transfers will be so crucial.

The count in Galway West in 2011 went on for five days after several recounts and because of the closeness of the battle between Sean Kyne and Catherine Connolly. Polls carried out by the Galway Advertiser and TG4 have both emphasised the closeness of the battle for the final seats in Galway West South Mayo, meaning that every close call will be contested.

Returning officer Marian Chambers Higgins will oversee the count at the Bailey Allen Hall and with 19 candidates battling for the five seats, it is expected that the count to be held at may go on into the early hours of Monday morning at the very least.

Counting commences at 9pm on Saturday morning and pundits estimate that the first count will be announced sometime before 8pm, with counting to continue until late that night, and resuming at 9 on Sunday morning.

In Galway East, the battle for the three seats should be decided at the Community centre in New Inn by early Sunday morning; while the count for Roscommon/Galway will take place at the Hyde Centre in Roscommon and is expected to conclude early Sunday.

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