Murphy denies Hopkins in tight finish

Stunning vote for Naughten

Outgoing Independent TDs Denis Naughten and Michael Fitzmaurice, and Fianna Fáil councillor Eugene Murphy, have been elected to represent the Roscommon-Galway constituency in the Dáil for the next five years.

  They secured the three seats on offer in the new constituency, which includes all of Co. Roscommon and a large portion of east Galway, in last weekend’s General Election.

  There was a high turnout of 71.6 per cent, with 45,995 of the eligible electorate of 64,635 casting their votes. The total valid poll was 45,995, with 315 spoilt votes.

  Deputy Naughten was elected on the first count: he comfortably surpassed the quota of 11,421, securing 13,936 first preference votes.

  Deputy Fitzmaurice was elected on the sixth count. He amassed 9,750 first preference votes but, by the sixth count, his total had risen to 11,630.

  He was brought over the quota by transfers from Thomas D Fallon (Independent), Tony Coleman (Independent), Anne Farrell (Renua Ireland) and Eddie Conroy (People Before Profit-Anti-Austerity Alliance). The battle for the third seat was a much closer affair, however. After the first count, just one vote separated Fianna Fáil councillor Eugene Murphy and Fine Gael councillor Maura Hopkins, with 6,813 and 6,812 respectively.

  By the time the seventh count was declared, Cllr. Hopkins had built up a lead of 823 votes over Cllr. Murphy. The elimination at that point of Fianna Fáil’s Shane Curran and Sinn Féin’s Claire Kerrane proved crucial.

  Their elimination meant that 6,215 transfers were thrown into the mix. Cllr. Murphy secured the lion’s share of them – 2,539 to Cllr. Hopkins’ 925 – which saw him not only eliminate the deficit, but pull 791 ahead.

  That saw him elected, with 10,104, without reaching the quota, while Cllr. Hopkins finished with 9,313.

  Ultimately, Mr. Curran, his Fianna Fáil running mate, helped to propel Cllr. Murphy over the line. Fianna Fáil are saying that 1,599 of Mr. Curran’s 2,389 transfers went to him, while the remaining 940 came from Ms. Kerrane.