A prominent senior counsel has said that if legal action is launched over the result of the count in Longford Westmeath, the constituency would likely be left without any TD until the matter is resolved.
He predicts too that it could affect the process of electing a Taoiseach.
“The Dáil will sit on March 10 and I don’t see how they can elect a Taoiseach in the absence of TDs from here,” Joe Revington SC, an elections expert, who has been at the count centre in Kenagh for much of the 2nd recount, says.
A candidate wishing to bring the issue before the High Court would have 14 days to lodge the petition, he says. Once lodged, it would mean the entire count results would be in abeyance until the court ruled on the issue.
“But the High Court would hear the application immediately,” he says.
The most likely remedies that the High Court could recommend if it found grounds for intervention, would either involve a recount, or a rechecking of all the papers individually.
While talk in the count centre is of the possibility of a scenario in which the papers might have to be “tossed in the air” – which would more than likely affect the transfers ratio – Mr Revington thinks this unlikely. He says that that sort of solution would be more likely in a disputed local election situation.