Elections 2019: What we know so far

Varadkar refuses to rule out early general election while Green wave sweeps through locals

The Sinn Féin and left power block has been decimated on Dublin City Council as a result of the local elections, reports Olivia Kelly, Dublin Correspondent of The Irish Times . Video: Bryan O'Brien

 
  • More than 900 of the 949 local council seats have been filled, with just 36 still vacant in the seven constituencies yet to be completed. Turnout has been recorded at 49.7 per cent nationwide.
  • Fine Gael's Maireád McGuinness and the Green party's Ciarán Cuffe have secured two of the 13 Irish MEP seats in the Midlands North West and Dublin constituencies respectively.
  • Fine Gael MEP Sean Kelly has topped the polls in Ireland South on the first count. 
  • Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said he cannot rule out an early general election. The Taoiseach said as long as Government could function well, and “get our agenda through, then there’s no need for an election”. However, with a number of sitting TDs in line to take seats in the European Parliament, several byelections would be required to replace them. Addressing this, the Taoiseach said if Dáil arithmetic became unmanageable, this would change things with regard to an early general election. He added a general election was “not a prospect in the next couple of days or weeks”.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar at the RDS count centre in Dublin.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar at the RDS count centre in Dublin.
  • Fianna Fáil is on course to remain the largest party in local government while the success of the Green Party is the biggest story of the election. It is in line to take about 50 seats.
  • Elsewhere in Europe, Nigel Farage has been re-elected as his Brexit Party and the Liberal Democrats split most of the vote in the UK. Italy’s right-wing League party also received a resounding endorsement.
  • Limerick’s first Muslim councillor has been elected to rapturous celebrations from supporters at the Limerick count centre.
  • Local and European PBP candidate Adrienne Wallace secured her place on Carlow County Council by taking the fifth seat in the Carlow LEA, outpolling Fine Gael candidate Wayne Fennell in a tense final count. Her success is a first for the party in the county.
  • The Green Party easily topped the poll in Dundrum, Blackrock and Dún Laoghaire, with all three of their candidates in those LEAs elected on the first count and all with substantial surpluses to spare in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown. 
  • Independent councillor Joe Queenan from west Sligo said the people had decided his fate after he was re-elected to Sligo county council after securing the second highest number of first preferences in the Ballymote-Tubbercurry area. Mr Queenan came to national attention after being interviewed by an undercover reporter on an RTÉ Investigates programme, which he described as “a sting” that had led to a difficult three-and-a-half years for him.

  • Results from all three local plebiscites on directly elected mayors have arrived. Limerick has carried proposal to directly elect mayors while Cork and Waterford have rejected the proposals. The proposal in Cork was defeated by just 983 votes. 
  • The divorce referendum passed by a huge margin with more than 82 per cent voting Yes. The proposal sought to remove the requirement to be separated from your spouse for four of the last five years. The Yes vote will also make the recognition of foreign divorces explicit in the Constitution. You can find our coverage of the weekend's results here.
Hazel Chu, after being elected to Dublin City Council, with daughter Alex and partner and felllow Green Party councillor Patrick Costello, at the RDS Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill
Hazel Chu, after being elected to Dublin City Council, with daughter Alex and partner and felllow Green Party councillor Patrick Costello, at the RDS Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill
  • In Dublin, Hazel Chu was the first candidate to be elected for the Green Party, with 4,069 votes – 2,000 more than the quota for Pembroke in Dublin City Council. Her partner Patrick Costello, also of the Green Party, was elected on the first count in Kimmage-Rathmines for Dublin City Council with 3,283 votes.
  • Mr Varadkar has said the Green wave is a “clear message” from the public and they want the Government to “act faster”, and take more action to address climate change.
  • The Taoiseach has acknowledged Fine Gael are on course for a disappointing election.
  • Fine Gael “took the Dublin base for granted”, while looking over its shoulder anxiously at rural Ireland, writes Fiach Kelly in his analysis of the party’s performance in the local elections.
  • Fianna Fáil’s two-candidate strategy in Midlands North West has “failed spectacularly”, writes Fiach Kelly in his analysis of the party’s election results.
  • Aontú have secured their first seat, with Sarah O’Reilly in Bailieborough-Coothill for Cavan County Council. Ms O’Reilly secured 1,704 votes on the first count.
  • Solidarity-People Before Profit are polling behind the Social Democrats and Labour with success in the European elections unlikely. Richard Boyd Barrett said there was “not a shadow of a doubt” that left-leaning parties should think about uniting.
Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald at the count at Dublin’s RDS. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald at the count at Dublin’s RDS. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire