13 February 2020 No Comments by The Northern Standard

37 Seats in New Dáil as Discussions Start about Government Formation
Matt Carthy and Pauline Tully Elected in Cavan Monaghan

Michael Fisher reports from the count centre in Cavan “Things are never going to be the same. There is a huge demand for change.” A jubilant Matt Carthy summed up the mood of the Sinn Féin supporters as he topped the poll in Cavan Monaghan and was elected on the first count, soon to be followed by his party colleague Pauline Tully.

It was a brilliant election campaign by Sinn Féin locally and nationally. Under the guidance of former Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin, the strategy of having two strong candidates in the Cavan Monaghan constituency, one from each county, worked successfully when voters went to the polls on Saturday for the first time in the history of the state.

Carrickmacross based MEP Matt Carthy was the number one choice for party supporters in Co. Monaghan, with Pauline Tully seeking first preferences in Cavan and part of north Meath near Kingscourt, which had been added to the constituency to return it to a five-seater (there were four seats in 2016).

Previous attempts by Sinn Féin to take a second seat in 2011 and 2016 with a Cavan candidate were unsuccessful. They took 26% in first preference votes in 2011 and increased that by one point five years later. This time the Carthy-Tully combination secured a 36.7% share, considerably more than Fianna Fáil or Fine Gael, who…

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