WITH an average poll turnout in the region of 60 per cent, the next few days in political spheres are set to be very interesting as the major political parties look to form the next Government.
But before all of that, the count begins in earnest this Saturday morning at the University of Limerick Sports Arena for the two Limerick constituencies as the earliest national exit poll suggested that the current coalition have fallen short of a majority as Fianna Fáil and Sinn Fein improve on their 2011 returns.
Michael Noonan (FG) is more than likely set to retain the Fine Gael seat in Limerick along with Fianna Fail’s Willie O’Dea.
Kieran O’Donnell (FG) will be in the mix for the third and final seat along with Sinn Fein local Councillor Maurice Quinlivan.
Strong indications show that the coalition’s minor party, Labour, have fallen from their 19 per cent return at the last General Election to just 7 per cent meaning that the party’s Limerick city TD Jan O’Sullivan will be in a “dog fight” for the last seat.
Independents throughout the country would seem to have taken some 16 per cent of the votes cast.
This could be evident in the Limerick County constituency as the supporters of Pallaskenry man Emmett O’Brien hope to return their Independent candidate to become one of the country’s newest Dail representatives.
Fiann Fail’s Niall Collins is set to retain his seat and top the poll with Patrick O’Donovan listed as the third favourite with bookies to head back to the Dail.
FG Tom Neville will also look to fight for a seat which was previously held by his father Dan, but a late surge also came from James Heffernan SD.
However, as the ballot boxes are opened and until all the votes are counted and shared, nothing is certain only that this Saturday and Sunday will reveal all locally for those who ventured looking for your #1.