Sinn Féin candidate for Kildare South Patricia Ryan at Punchestown this morning.
The political landscape in Kildare looks set to change dramatically, early tallies from today's general election count at Punchestown indicate.
Both Sinn Féin candidates, Réada Cronin in Kildare North and Patricia Ryan in Kildare South, have performed strongly, boxes already tallied indicate.
With 10% of the boxes tallied in Kildare South, Ryan leads the voting on almost 25%, followed by the two sitting TDs - Fine Gael's Martin Heydon at 19% and Fiona O'Loughlin of Fianna Fáil at 13%.
Labour hopeful, sitting councillor Mark Wall is on 12% of first preferences, while Independent Cathal Berry, who campaigned on an army pay and conditions reform platform, is fifth at just over 9%. Sitting Fianna Fáil councillor Suzanne Doyle is sixth on 7%, followed by Independent Fiona McLoughlin Healy on 5%.
Patricia Ryan, a sitting councillor from Monasterevin, said that she was happy with the result. " I'm not complacent, we'll wait and see what happens later. I'm proud to be a member of Sinn Féin," she said.
Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl is automatically returned to the constituency; but the three-seater has been expanded to a four-seater, incorporating Portarlington and some parts of Laois, since the last election - so there is in essence an 'extra' seat to play for.
In North Kildare, a four-seater, with 35% of boxes tallied, Social Democrats TD Catherine Murphy is topping the tally on 20%, with Sinn Féin's Reada Cronin second on 18.6%.
Sitting TDs, Frank O'Rourke of Fianna Fáil is running in third of 15% with Fine Gael's TD Bernard Durkan in fourth in 11.7%.
Sitting TD, James Lawless of Fianna Fáil is in fifth on 10% of the first preferences, ahead of first-time Green Party candidate Vincent P Martin on 8%.
Emmet Stagg of Labour is at 6.7%.
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