Michelle Gildernew has a history of being the victor of a tight electoral battle but has conceded that she will not be the fifth and final MEP for the Midlands North West seat.

The now former Fermanagh South Tyrone MP told media she was “not optimistic” and was “probably resigned to the fact that Sinn Féin will not win the fifth seat”.

“It’s not over until the last count has been completed,” said Ms. Gildernew who previously won an election by a single vote.

She added: “We didn’t get the result we wanted, we’re still in the mix, but I’m not overly optimistic that I can overtake Ciaran Mullooly.”

Referencing the tragic passing of her nephew last weekend, she told the media: “This is a setback but it is definitely not a tragedy; I know what that feels like this week."

The Midlands-North-West constituency saw the first count conclude late on Monday night, as officials grappled with the arduous process of whittling down 27 candidates vying for five seats.

Independent incumbent MEP Luke “Ming” Flanagan emerged as the frontrunner after topping the poll.

He was still leading the pack when counting ended on Tuesday. Next was Fine Gael’s first-time candidate and former jockey Nina Carberry, who was narrowly ahead of Fianna Fail’s Barry Cowen.

If the race stays as it currently stands, Maria Walsh will also be returning to Strasbourg as an MEP for Fine Gael in the fourth seat.

Independent Ireland candidate and former RTE correspondent Ciaran Mullooly is the favourite for the fifth and final seat, meaning Ms. Gildernew, who was her party’s main hope of retaining a seat in the constituency, may miss out if she does not receive favourable transfers.