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Feb. 27, 2016, 7:58 p.m.
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INDEPENDENT TD MICHAEL Lowry has topped the poll in Tipperary and won a seat on the first count.This is Lowry’s eighth general election – his fifth as an independent candidate. Earlier this evening he told Pat Kenny on Newstalk that Tipperary “has had a love for me for over 28 years now.” He took 13,064 first preferences, exceeding the quota of 12,992.Michael Lowry has now topped the poll in all five Dáil elections since 1997. His vote share has fallen from its peak of 2011, when he took 29.2% of first preferences, but his long record as one of the biggest vote-getters in the country is even more impressive this year, in the expanded Tipperary constituency.He has a 100% record, being elected to the Dáil on every attempt since 1987, and has been a TD for the last 29 years.Independent Mattie McGrath followed in second place – he has yet to take a seat but is close to the quota.
Source: RTEStirring the pot ahead of the first count results, Lowry earlier told RTÉ Radio 1 that Fine Gael’s Noel Coonan had been calling locally for transfers to Fianna Fáil’s Micheál Smith.“I heard it with my own ears and I can’t believe it didn’t meet national publicity.”When asked about the possibility of going into government with Enda Kenny he said:“It’s been a very bad election for the government, Fine Gael made a major mistake in their strategy, they said they were a safe hand on  the economy, but then in week one they went with auction politics and lost all credibility.”- With reporting by Cianan Brennan.