How many Dubliners vote?
Picture of Ireland Ordnance Survey Ireland Licence EN 0063512. © Ordnance Survey Ireland/ Government of Ireland. Data source: Dublin city returning officer, Dr Adrian Kavanagh (NUIM). Produced by All-Island Research Observatory. Not to be reproduced without permission from Airo
The geography of voter turnout in Dublin city is shaped by a range of demographic and socioeconomic factors, particularly housing tenure, social class, age and levels of residential stability and mobility.
The turnout levels for last November’s children’s referendum in the capital’s constituencies reflected the general patterns of turnout that have been observed here in previous electoral contests. Turnout levels were generally highest in settled, owner-occupied areas in the inner suburbs, including Raheny, Clontarf, Drumcondra and Glasnevin, in the northern part of the city, and the areas beside Terenure in the south.
Lower turnout was associated with the “flatland areas” of Rathmines and some working-class areas, including Cherry Orchard, Ballymun and Darndale. The largest concentration of low turnout was found in the inner city (with percentage turnout levels in the teens in a number of inner-city electoral divisions).
The smaller of today’s maps, showing the change in turnout between the 2007 and 2011 general elections, shows that traditionally working-class areas exhibited the biggest improvement. The general trend was one of a marked improvement in turnout nationally, especially in the Dublin region, on those of the low turnout 2002 contest.
Within Dublin, turnout increase in the 2007 contest tended to be more marked in middle-class areas; the opposite trend was observed in 2011, when areas such as Ballyfermot, Finglas, Ballymun and Darndale saw higher-than-average increases in turnout. This may have played a role in the improved electoral performances of left-wing candidates in the Dublin region in 2011.
This column is based on an analysis of voter turnout figures made available from the Dublin city returning officer’s website, dublincity returningofficer.com.
You can find more detailed studies of Dublin turnout levels and other electoral themes at adriankavanaghelections.org.
View all the maps in this series at airomaps.nuim.ie/pictureofireland