FG and FF both set to lose seats in Donegal Electoral Area

County House Lifford

Sitting Fine Gael Councillors Barry O'Neill and John Boyle face a tense few hours at the Donegal Electoral Area count in the St John Bosco Centre in Donegal Town, with suggestions that the final outcome will be three independents, and one each from Fianna Fail, Sinn Fein and Fine Gael.

Who takes that Fine Gael seat is the question. With a tally of 1056 votes, Barry O'Neill is ahead of his party colleague by around 200 votes, but transfer patterns will be vital. Fine Gael's third candidate John Mc Nulty has around 800 votes, and may transfer more to Boyle than O'Neill.

There is another option, the nightmare for Fine Gael. Fianna Fail's Brendan Byrne is currently at around 1,028, and is in danger of losing his seat. His difficulty will be attracting transfers, but if he can do, he could sneak that last seat, leaving Fine Gael without a seat. That, however, is seen as unlikely, and Fine Gael should take the last seat. Who takes it is another question, which at the moment is too close to call.