Senior Fianna Fáil sources are upbeat that they can take three of the seven seats in the Lettekenny Electoral Area.
The first count at the Aura Leisure Centre in the town is expected in the early afternoon.
Cllr. Ciaran Brogan is set to top the poll with Fianna Fáil party colleague and newcomer Donal Coyle expected to take the second or third seat.
Businessman and well-known rally driver Manus Kelly will be in the battle for one of the subsequent seats (possibly the sixth of seventh seat).
Party sources are hopeful that he will gain sufficient transfers and he is seen as a transfer friendly candidate due largely to his relatively high profile.
Cllr. Michael McBride (Ind) and former Letterkenny Mayor Jimmy Kavanagh are both on course for re-election and little will separate them and Donal Coyle. The order in which they are elected could be influenced by the transfers from Cllr. Brogan who will be elected on the first count.
Cllr. McBride’s decision to switch from the Milford Electoral Area to Letterkenny has paid off.
But the real battle will be behind them with Sinn Féin facing a big challenge to hold its two seats.
Former Mayor Gerry McMonagle has polled well below expectations, and independent candidate Kevin Bradley, who is strongly placed to be elected, has been one of the beneficiaries.
Sinn Féin may well end up with one seat, but whether it will be Cllr. McMonagle or Cllr. Adrian Glackin is the big talking point. There may be just a handful of votes separating them after the first count.
Fine Gael’s Bernie Moran and Aontú’s Mary T. Sweeney are still in with an outside chance, but will need considerable transfers.
The transfers of the other candidates will be crucial, some of whom can be well pleased with their vote, including newcomer Thoiba Ahmed (Ind) who polled over 500 first preference votes.
The transfers from Charlie McClafferty (Ind), Finnian O’Donnell (Ind) and Cathal McGlynn (Ind) will be watched with interest.
A long day is in store, and it will be no surprise if the count continues on Monday.
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