New Ross Standard - - FRONT PAGE -

in the run-up to the elec­tion about the Trav­el­ling com­mu­nity and Ire­land’s wel­fare sys­tem seem­ingly help­ing rather than hin­der­ing his bid.

The run­ner-up in the 2011 cam­paign, Sean Gal­lagher, an­other Dragon’s Den judge, was next with 7.18% of the vote. Gal­lagher had been en­dorsed by Wex­ford County Coun­cil back in Septem­ber but his cam­paign failed to at­tract the back­ing he had had in the 2011 cam­paign un­til The Front Line de­bate that de­railed his bid.

Sinn Féin can­di­date Li­adh Ni Ri­ada took 6.03% of the vote, Pi­eta House founder Joan Free­man re­ceived 4.66% and the third Dragon of the pack, Gavin Duffy brought up the rear with a vote of 2.38%. It was, in par­tic­u­lar, a bad re­sult for Sinn Féin who would have hoped that their party opin­ion polls might have re­sulted in a higher polling fig­ure for their can­di­date but those votes went else­where.

There were, as al­ways, some spoiled votes - 581 in to­tal. In a St Se­nan’s box from En­nis­cor­thy, two pa­pers bran­dished a big X across the six candidates with ‘Vote Gemma O’Do­herty’ writ­ten un­der­neath. An­other pa­per fea­tured no mark in any of the can­di­date boxes but the words ‘Christ Is King’ was scrib­bled across the page in­stead.

While ev­ery­thing is set to stay the same in the Áras, there was one no­table ge­o­graph­i­cal change in Wex­ford this year - the use of Coláiste Bríde as a count cen­tre and it com­fort­ably housed the pro­ceed­ings.

It is the first time, for many years, that such an event hasn’t taken place in St Joseph’s Com­mu­nity Cen­tre in Wex­ford which was un­avail­able.

Mem­bers of po­lit­i­cal par­ties fil­tered through the count cen­tre at the sec­ondary school through­out the morn­ing but there was a gen­eral sense of ap­a­thy in the room as the exit poll the night be­fore had made clear the in­evitable re­sult.

Tal­ly­men from po­lit­i­cal par­ties were watch­ing for trends in their party votes rather than the, usu­ally, all im­por­tant num­bers.

With lo­cal elec­tions the next sched­uled event, many will be analysing the re­sults of the vot­ing in the var­i­ous ar­eas as they set out their stall for the 2019 elec­tion.

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