INDEPENDENT TD MICHAEL Lowry has topped the poll in Tipperary and won a seat on the first count.
This is Lowry’s eighth general election – his fifth as an independent candidate. Earlier this evening he told Pat Kenny on Newstalk that Tipperary “has had a love for me for over 28 years now”. He took
13,064 first preferences, exceeding the quota of 12,992.
“I did what Kilkenny couldn’t do – five in a row.”
Michael Lowry has now topped the poll in all five Dáil elections since 1997. His vote share has fallen from its peak of 2011, when he took 29.2% of first preferences, but his long record as one of the biggest vote-getters in the country is even more impressive this year, in the expanded Tipperary constituency.
He has a 100% record, being elected to the Dáil on every attempt since 1987, and has been a TD for the last 29 years.
Independent Mattie McGrath followed in second place – he has yet to take a seat but is close to the quota, with 11,237 first preferences.
Stirring the pot ahead of the first count results, Lowry earlier told RTÉ Radio 1 that Fine Gael’s Noel Coonan had been calling locally for transfers to Fianna Fáil’s Micheál Smith.
“I heard it with my own ears and I can’t believe it didn’t meet national publicity.”
When asked about the possibility of going into government with Enda Kenny he said:
“It was always irrelevant, I was amused at the amount of publicity it got, I predicted it would be irrelevant, other politicians were using me for their own purposes.”
“It’s been a very bad election for the government, Fine Gael made a major mistake in their strategy, they said they were a safe hand on the economy, but then in week one they went with auction politics and lost all credibility.”