Bray People - - ELECTION 2011 - ES­THER HAY­DEN

AF­TER A GRU­ELLING COUNT which went into a fourth day, Wick­low fi­nally elected its five deputies within three hours of each other in the early hours of Tues­day. With the wind in their sails na­tion­ally it came as no sur­prise that Fine Gael took a 40 per cent share of the vote lo­cally and re­turned three TDs, Andrew Doyle, Billy Tim­mins and 24-year-old Si­mon Har­ris.

The can­di­dates took the first, sec­ond and third seat re­spec­tively which was a ma­jor coup for the party, and must surely give leader Enda Kenny pause for thought when he is dish­ing out se­nior po­si­tions.

De­spite a swing to Labour, the Wick­low camp only barely in­creased their vote from 2007 de­spite run­ning an ad­di­tional can­di­date and be­tween them they polled lit­tle more than a quota in the first count with Anne Fer­ris look­ing the most likely con­tender for a seat. There had been spec­u­la­tion that due to in-house fight­ing Labour were in dan­ger of los­ing their seat if all three can­di­dates re­ceived a first pref­er­ence vote of around 4,000 each. How­ever, it was not the case as Anne Fer­ris pulled clear of run­ning mates Conal Ka­vanagh and Tom For­tune from the get-go. The elec­tion was a disas­ter for Fianna Fáil.

Sinn Féin's John Brady was one of the suc­cess sto­ries al­though he failed to win the fi­nal seat los­ing out to In­de­pen­dent can­di­date Stephen Don­nelly.

Be­side Don­nelly the only other In­de­pen­dent can­di­date to break through was Joe Be­han but he didn't trans­fer well un­til the fi­nal few counts be­fore his elim­i­na­tion. Fís Nua, the Green Party and the rest of the In­de­pen­dents failed to make any im­pact in the hunt for the five seats.

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