[Updated] How are agri reps faring so far in General Election 2020?

Additional reporting by Claire Mc Cormack and Charles O’Donnell

The public’s votes are being counted from ballot boxes around the country as efforts continue to reveal the results of General Election 2020 – but how are the politicians best known to the Irish agricultural sector faring?

Michael Creed, the current Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine has been elected on the fifth count in the Cork North-West constituency.

After the first count in the ‘three-seater’ constituency earlier today, Minister Creed had the third highest number of first preference votes – 8,338 – behind two Fianna Fáil candidates, Aindrias Moynihan (who topped the first count) and Michael Moynihan.

Minister Creed secured 1,000 votes ahead of the next highest candidate, his Fine Gael colleague John Paul O’Shea.

Elsewhere, Sinn Féin agriculture spokesperson Brian Stanley has been elected in Laois-Offaly, taking the first of five seats there with 16,654 first preference votes – well above the quota of 11,571.

In the same constituency, Green Party agriculture spokesperson Pippa Hackett is struggling, after getting only the eighth-highest number of first preferences – 3,494.

Looking at other agriculture and rural-focused candidates, Fine Gael’s Pat Deering, the chair of outgoing Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine, could be in trouble there, achieving only the sixth highest number of first preferences in the ‘five-seater’ constituency – 5,929 (the quota here is 12,274).

While it will be quite a while before all first counts are announced, enough first preference votes have been tallied to gauge how election candidates with a high profile in the agri space are doing in their bids to be part of the next Dáil Éireann.

As it stands nationwide tallies suggest that Sinn Féin is in contention for up to 37 seats in the next Dáil, with the party on course to top the polls in a number of constituencies – including a number of Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil strongholds.

It is projected that Fianna Fáil is in line to achieve 41 seats and Fine Gael projected to secure up to 39 seats.

Meanwhile, independent candidates in rural constituencies are performing well.

According to election coverage from national broadcaster RTÉ, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture Andrew Doyle is in the mix for fifth place for the five-seat Wicklow constituency, battling his party colleague Billy Timmons for a seat, with each candidate on 7% of first preference votes after a full tally.

Meanwhile, in Co. Donegal, Fianna Fáil spokesperson for agriculture Charlie McConalogue is in line for the third seat with 11% of the vote, just ahead of party colleague Pat ‘the Cope’ Gallagher, who is on 10% following a full tally.

In the five-seat Tipperary constituency, in which all 301 boxes have been tallied, Fianna Fáil’s spokesperson for food and horticulture Jackie Cahill is battling it out for the fourth seat on 9% of the vote, or 7,940 first preferences, while independent TD Mattie McGrath is in a strong position in third place with 10% of the vote, or 9,321 votes.

Sinn Féin’s Matt Carthy has been elected after the first count in Cavan-Monaghan constituency, after surpassing the quota of first preference votes having secured more than 16,000 votes.

Former minister for agriculture Fianna Fáil’s Brendan Smith remains in contention for a seat with 10% of the vote.

Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice has been elected with a surplus of 1,600 votes in the Roscommon-Galway constituency, according to the latest reports, making him the first independent TD elected.

Former minister for communications Denis Naughten is also on course to retain his seat in the constituency.

Anne Rabbitte, in Galway East, has retained her seat, taking the third and final seat in the constituency.

Finally, in Kerry, independent candidate Michael Healy-Rae is well out in front on 21%, while his brother Danny is also doing well and looks like holding onto his seat in “the Kingdom”.

Stay tuned to AgriLand for the latest updates as the day progresses and more votes are counted…