Michelle Gildernew concedes European Parliament seat

Sitting Fermanagh-South Tyrone MP lags behind former RTÉ correspondent

Michelle Gildernew
Sinn Féin's Michelle Gildernew. PICTURE: BRIAN LAWLESS (Brian Lawless/PA)

Former Stormomt minister Michelle Gildernew has conceded that Sinn Féin is unlikely to retain its Midlands-North West seat in the European Parliament.

The sitting Fermanagh-South Tyrone MP was a surprise choice to contest the five-seat constituency alongside party colleague and MEP Chris McManus.

Sinn Féin has selected nursing union boss Pat Cullen to defend the Fermanagh-South Tyrone seat in July 4′s Westminster election.

Ciaran Mullooly at the Midlands-North-West count centre in Castlebar
Ciaran Mullooly at the Midlands-North-West count centre in Castlebar

Ms Gildernew secured 46,050 first preference votes, while Mr McManus polled 29,606.

Independent sitting MEP Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan topped the poll with 78,214 first preference votes.

On Tuesday afternoon, the former Stormont agriculture minister Sinn Féin said the party “won’t win the fifth seat” in Midlands North West.

“We’re still in the mix but I’m probably not overly optimistic that I can overtake Ciaran Mullooly at this stage,” she said.

“I think he’s probably going to scrape the last seat – I think we have probably resigned to the fact at this stage that we won’t win the fifth seat.”

Mr Mullooly, a former RTÉ correspondent, is standing as an independent.

The remaining seats are expected to go to Fianna Fáil’s Barry Cowen, Fine Gael’s Maria Walsh and her party colleague Nina Carberry.