Longford-Westmeath a 4-seat constituency plunk in the middle of the country and full of small towns and farmers. The local Fianna Fáil magnate Robert Troy was comfortably elected on the 1st Count. The minority interest candidates were eliminated in turn: Independent Donal Jackson scrabbled just 53 votes and Stephanie Healy [no relation!] of the DDI-woowah alliance got 132. More serious candidates went, one after the other, and their votes redistributed until only two 'Longford' candidates remained: one for each of the major parties and having less than 1% in the vote difference. It was eventually agreed that Connie Gerety-Quinn FF was Out and her votes sorted preferentially to James Bannon FG, despite the fact that he was from The Other Party. Voting local is more important in Ireland than voting for policy. Although everyone agrees that you can't slip a piece of toilet paper between the political policies of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael.
But poor Mr Bannon, on whose shoulders the hopes of Longford now exclusively
Note added in press: The point about the recount is that, under the Irish STV system, you have to eliminate the bottom candidate and redistribute their votes until their are no more candidates to eliminate. So the fight is between Bannon FG at 7077 and Penrose Lab at 7058. Rumour has it that Penrose is a handful ahead on the recount. But why should that count be privileged above the first one? Will it be like children in a playground where one asks "Best of three?". If Bannon is eliminated most of his transfers with go to party-pal Burke but the rest are more likely to go to softish-left Labour than hardish-left Sinn Féin and it just takes 5% to lift Penrose (Lab) above Hogan (SF)