Counting is well underway in the Laois-Offaly constituency in Portlaoise with boxes being opened from around the constituency.
It has been a long-held contention that South Offaly may well decide the final seat with Carol Nolan, Marcella Corcoran Kennedy, John Leahy and Peter Ormond vying for the spot.
Early tallies show Ormond doing well in his stronghold, all but monopolising the vote in Shinrone boxes and holding favour in Roscomroe and Coolderry.
Brian Stanley may well top the poll as the Sinn Féin man is breaching county bounds to pick up significant votes in both Tullamore and Edenderry. He was also on a par with home favourite Barry Cowen in one Tullamore box opened this morning.
Carol Nolan is also doing better than expected and is now well in the hunt to save her seat despite leaving Sinn Féin during the last term of the Dáil. She is picking up votes in South and West Offaly boxes beyond expectation, surpassing Leahy and Corcoran Kennedy in many.
Corcoran Kennedy is behind in early South Offaly boxes but is picking up a portion of the Edenderry votes seemingly going spare without a town candidate. Barry Cowen is also tallying strongly in Edenderry, as is Brian Stanley. Nolan, Smollen and Hackett are vying for the scraps early on.
Party officials from all sides are saying it is far too early to tell but at this stage, John Leahy and Marcella Corcoran Kennedy look vulnerable but the final seat still looks set for a dogfight with Carol Nolan rallying well to get into contention against Peter Ormond. It will all come down to transfers.
Keep up to date with everything from the Laois-Offaly count here on the Offaly Express LIVE BLOG.
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