Updated: 27/04/18 : 06:51:06
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Seanad by-election votes to be counted today

The counting of votes in the two Seanad (Senate) by-elections will begin this morning.

The elections are taking place to fill seats left vacate following the resignations of Labour's Denis Landy and Independent Trevor Ó Clochartaigh, who was formerly a Sinn Fein representative.

RTÉ reports that TDs and Senators are only eligible to vote in the by-elections for these two seats on different sub panels of the Agriculture panel in the Seanad.

Voting takes place up to 11am and a result is expected early this afternoon.

There are ten candidates on the ballot papers.

Six are contesting for one seat and the unionist Ian Marshall, a former president of the Ulster Farmers' Union and an opponent of Brexit, is the favourite to take the seat.

He is running as an independent after being first approached by the Taoiseach to contest the election.

He is also being supported by Sinn Féin.

Although four candidates are on the ballot paper for the other seat, two Fianna Fáil councilors have withdrawn their names.

This leaves a straight contest between the former Fine Gael Kildare North TD Anthony Lawlor and the former Fianna Fail Donegal North East TD Niall Blaney.