Bacik ‘over the moon’ as she wins Dublin Bay South byelection

Fine Gael’s James Geoghegan polls second and Sinn Féin’s Lynn Boylan takes third

Labour's Ivana Bacik has won the Dublin Bay South byelection, after being elected on the ninth count with 13,382 votes.

The Labour Senator was elected after receiving an overwhelming majority of transfers from Sinn Féin's Lynn Boylan and the Green Party's Claire Byrne.

Ms Bacik’s total vote haul was 13,382, meaning she missed the quota of 13,442.

Fine Gael's James Geoghegan came second with a total of 9,235 in the ninth count.


Ms Bacik received 3,908 transfers from the two candidates compared with 970 for Mr Geoghegan.

Ms Bacik waited with her husband Alan Saul, brother Max Bacik and daughters Cyan and Louie for the final declaration on the ninth count, which makes her Labour’s seventh and only female TD.

The Senator earlier said she was “overwhelmed and over the moon” to have topped the poll in the byelection.

As the count continued at the RDS, before her clear victory was declared, the Labour Senator paid tribute to her party colleagues and all those who had worked with her.

“I’m just so deeply honoured and so grateful to have received such overwhelming support from across my home constituency.”

She said the party had emphasised its core message on the need to change housing policy, eldercare and childcare provision, community services and climate justice.

The message her victory sent to the Government parties was “loud and clear throughout the campaign the need for change that people wanted to see”

Ms Boylan came third, and was eliminated on the eighth count with 5,237 votes.

Ms Byrne was also eliminated on the eighth count, with 2,985 votes.

Fianna Fáil’s Deirdre Conroy was a distant fifth and was eliminated after the seventh count with 1,402 votes.

Social Democrats’ Sarah Durcan was eliminated on the sixth count with 1,111 votes, while Independent Cllr Mannix Flynn was eliminated on the seventh count with 1,181 votes.

Fianna Fáil knew victory was unlikely but had hoped their candidate would poll a reasonable 10 per cent.

The result is a setback for Tánaiste Leo Varadkar as Fine Gael had expectations of holding on to the seat left vacant after the resignation of former Fine Gael TD Eoghan Murphy.

Labour director of elections Duncan Smith said voters in the constituency recognised the work Senator Bacik had done over the years.

She has a 30-year record of social justice campaigning and activism. “People in this constituency like their TDs to step on to the national stage and make a difference,” he said.

High-profile campaigns

Final turnout figures are unlikely to reach 40 per cent despite substantial and high-profile campaigns mounted by the leading parties, including a flurry of activity during polling day on Thursday involving hundreds of party volunteers.

Leading constituency figures from the political parties say the number of voters will be substantially below the 54 per cent who voted in the General Election in January 2020.

Turnout in byelections tend to be significantly lower than general elections.

This is a byelection like no other as Covid-19 public health restrictions kick in and cut a swathe through the tally count.

Just 25 per cent of the usual number of people involved in the tally will be allowed into the count centre because of Covid rules.

The constituency stretches from south inner city out to Ringsend, Sandymount, Ballsbridge out to Donnybrook, up to Ranelagh, Rathmines and over to Terenure and Kimmage.

Dublin Bay South was seen as a Fine Gael bastion which held two seats until the 2020 general election when it dropped to one.

Marie O'Halloran

Marie O'Halloran

Marie O'Halloran is Parliamentary Correspondent of The Irish Times

Harry McGee

Harry McGee

Harry McGee is a Political Correspondent with The Irish Times