As the tallies got underway Saturday morning, it quickly became evident that the status quo was going to remain the same in Laois.
Within this, the most noteworthy aspect was the huge and emphatic vote for Fianna Fail’s Sean Fleming.
The nature of what was going to happen was established early, and there was no deviation from this script thereafter.
The stats from 47 boxes told their own stories, with Sean Fleming leading the pack with 37.5 per cent, followed by Charlie Flanagan with 21 per cent and Brian Stanley on 20.7 per cent. John Whelan was recording a figure of 6.1 per cent while Sinead Moore was on 4 per cent.
Fianna Fail’s tally was completed at 12.45pm and it had Fleming on 12,908, Flanagan on 7,686, Stanley 7,251, Connell 3,965, Whelan 2,462 and Moore 1,432.
The first count bore this out at 4pm. With a quota of 9,718, Fleming was elected with a huge vote of 13,636. Flanagan was in second place with 8,370, Stanley 8,242, O’Connell 4,233, Whelan 2,800 and Moore, 1,541.
The second count was the distribution of Sean Fleming’s surplus of 3,908. The big beneficiary here was Brian Stanley, who received 1,320 to bring his total to 9,562.
Charlie Flanagan received 928, bringing him to 9,298. Sinead Moore got 620, leaving her at 2,161. John Whelan got 538, bringing him to 3,394 and Thomasina O’Connell received 502, leaving her at 4,735.
No candidate reached the quota and Sinead Moore was eliminated, and her 2,161 was up for distribution.
The third and final count came at 7pm.
The distribution of Sinead Moore’s votes put Brian Stanley over the line. He received 530, bringing him to 10,092.
John Whelan got 502, leaving his total at 3,896. Thomasina O’Connell got 405, bringing her to 5,140 and Charlie Flanagan got 227, leaving him at 9,525.
Charlie Flanagan was elected without reaching the quota.