Sinn Féin candidate Padraig MacLochlainn said this party’s strength in the polls is a sign that the electorate wants real change.
MacLochlainn will take the second seat in the Donegal constituency as his party colleague Pearse Doherty tops the poll.
The final tally shows Doherty with 27.1% (20,909) and MacLochlainn with 17.9% (13,804) of the votes. The Sinn Féin candidates have a 45% share of the total votes in Donegal.
A delighted MacLochlainn said the appetite for change is palpable.
He said his party wants to be in government and are “deadly serious” about implementing their policies. His preference is to work with progressive parties over Fine Gael or Fianna Fáil.
“I feel this is a chance, for the first time in the history of the State, for the progressive side of Irish politics to make sure the next programme for government is the most progressive,” Mac Lochlainn said.
The exit poll last night showed Sinn Fein was the most popular party among every age group up to 65.
Mac Lochlainn said he was encouraged by the support from young people and the working generations:
“You can clearly see the people of Ireland and the younger generations want a progressive form of government.
“That means we would have strong public services, that people have houses, a roof over their head, that people are not on trollies, not on waiting lists for years and we have a health service that we are actually proud of.”
Today’s results represent a major shift in voter sentiment after Sinn Féin’s disappointing outcome in Donegal in 2016. MacLochlainn lost out on a seat by 184 votes, with Independent Thomas Pringle taking the fifth seat in the election shocker.
The Sinn Féin team effort has clearly paid off this time.
“I am so proud of our team that we came back stronger and better and I am overjoyed for them,” MacLochlainn said.Tags: