Michael Ring has been elected to the Dáil for the sixth time after transfers from Dr Jerry Cowley pushed him over the quota of 12,730 on the ninth count in Mayo.
Ring received 1,115 of Cowley’s distribution, which gave him a total of 13,149, taking him 419 votes over the quota. Lisa Chambers, at the age of 29, looks set to become the youngest candidate to be elected in Mayo since Enda Kenny after transfers put her 603 votes ahead of Michelle Mulherin.
Michael Ring, who was Minister of State for Tourism and Sport in the last government, returns to the Dáil having been elected at every general election since he first entered Dáil Éireann following a by-election victory in 1994.
He polled 9,328 first-preference votes, coming second in the poll behind his party leader, Enda Kenny, who was elected on the first count. This left him 3,402 votes short of the quota, and it needed the distribution of Dr Jerry Cowley’s vote on the ninth count to elect the Westport-based TD, much to the jubilation of his loyal supporters in the count centre.
Unsurprisingly, Ring was the main benefactor of Cowley’s votes, receiving 1,115 votes, with Sinn Féin’s Rose Conway-Walsh receiving 831, followed by Lisa Chambers with 785 votes, Dara Calleary with 492, and 404 votes going to the sitting TD Michelle Mulherin.
Following the distribution of the vote, Rose Conway-Walsh was eliminated, and the distribution of her vote will now decide which candidates will join Kenny and Ring in the next Dáil.
Dara Calleary will be the next elected following the count, and it is expected that Lisa Chambers will have enough votes to fend off Mulherin. There is a strong possibility that the last two candidates to be elected will do so without reaching the quota.