A resurgent Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil stop the Sinn Féin advance…

From RTÉ News:

More than 86% of the seats have been filled as the counting continues across the country in local elections, with Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael leading the way.

They remain the dominant parties in local government as both received around 23% of first preference votes.

At 5am, with more than 820 seats filled nationwide, Fine Gael was in the lead with 214 councillors, just ahead of 204 for Fianna Fáil.

Ballina is the only local electoral area not to return a first count as of yet.

Independents have performed well in the election with more than 160 so far.

Sinn Féin has more than 91 councillors returned as they pull well clear of Labour, with 52, to be the third largest party in local government.

Mary Lou McDonald conceded that it has been a disappointing result for Sinn Féin

Sinn Féin is likely to finish with more councillors than in 2019 – but with fewer than the party envisioned at the start of campaigning this time around.

Speaking at the RDS count centre yesterday, Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald said the party will reflect, learn, and regroup.

A year ago, Sinn Féin seemed unstoppable, but now things are a lot less certain. Is this the ‘Harris Bounce’ in action? There are now calls for Harris to capitalise on the momentum and call an early general election. It is also interesting that the far right swing did not materialise, proving once again that the internet is not real life.

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