Social Democrat election candidate, Niall Ó Tuathail said he was very proud of the campaign he ran, which involved over 100 people, and that the party can build on its result.
Speaking at the count centre in the Bailey Allen Hall in NUI Galway, he said, “We ran an amazing campaign especially considering that it was a three-week election period, the shortest in the history of the state.”
He added if they had a longer lead-in time, things may have been different. “If we had five weeks, we might have had a better chance of getting a seat. But we didn’t have that in our control.”
The software designer added that his team knocked on over 20,000 doors. “We got great reaction at the doors and we can build from there.” When the first count came through, the SD candidate received 3,455, an impressive number of first preferences for a first time candidate holding 5.38% of the vote.
His final vote tally was 5,278, just 336 votes behind Fianna Fáil candidate John Connolly before being eliminated on the 11th count.
“I’m thankful to the 3,000 people who have given us their number one. Hopefully we can build on this and go on.”
The candidate added that the way forward is to build a centre left party “that can lead a government one day. We have seen the appetite for it. All three of our leaders have topped the poll in their constituencies.”
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