Incumbent MEP Seán Kelly has become the first candidate to be elected to the European Parliament from the Ireland South constituency, following the election on Friday, May 24.
It took four days and nine counts for a candidate to exceed the quota, but Kelly had always been the front runner.
Following the election, an RTE exit poll put Kelly top of the pile in Ireland South. He will now go back to Europe for his third term as an MEP since his first election in 2009.
I am so grateful to all of my supporters over the last decade, my family, my team, @FineGael, everyone who came out on the campaign trail to help. Thank you for re-electing me to the @Europarl_EN – you knew you could #CountOnKelly! Go raibh maith agaibh, ar aghaidh leis on obair! pic.twitter.com/MQuNqWDGK8
— Seán Kelly MEP (@SeanKellyMEP) May 28, 2019
Kelly is the fourth candidate to be declared elected from across the three constituencies since the count began. The others are Mairead McGuinness and Frances Fitzgerald, from Fine Gael, and Ciarán Cuffe, from the Green Party.
Outlining his election priories late last month, Kelly highlighted climate change and the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reforms.
“First of all, I want to see the establishment of a comprehensive EU Just Transition Plan, to ensure that we tackle climate change in a way that is fair for all, and that workers in carbon-intensive economic sectors are adequately supported,” he said.
Secondly, I will continue the fight against the budget cuts to the CAP until we ensure an adequately funded policy for all Irish farmers.
His other main policies, he outlined, are opening new trading markets for the EU and ensuring Irish communities “feel the benefit” of the EU’s €650 billion investment plan.