Turnout down on 2011 general election but up on marriage referendum

Voter numbers down nearly 5% nationally but not out of line with recent elections

Stephen Donnelly: topped poll in Wicklow, which had  70.92% turnout. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Stephen Donnelly: topped poll in Wicklow, which had 70.92% turnout. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill


National turnout in the election, at 65.2 per cent, was almost five points down on the February 2011 poll but not wildly out of line with that in recent elections.

It was also 4.7 points higher than the turnout in the May 2015 marriage referendum, the ballot that saw a surge in the number of young people registering to vote.

The new constituency of Roscommon-Galway had the highest turnout in the general election at 71.6 per cent. This is the territory of former TD. and now MEP, Luke “Ming” Flanagan, whose Dáil seat was subsequently taken by Independent Michael Fitzmaurice. Mr Fitzmaurice held the seat.

Wicklow, where Social Democrats TD Stephen Donnelly topped the poll and was elected on the first count, had the second highest turnout at 70.92 per cent.

Turnout per constituency

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National turnout average is 65%

The new Kerry constituency – home of the quota-busting Michael Healy-Rae and his brother Danny Healy-Rae – was just behind Wicklow with a turnout of 70.73 per cent. In 2011, the Kerry South constituency saw a 74.93 per cent turnout, while Kerry North-Limerick West was at 72.35 per cent.

Tipperary, where Labour deputy leader and outgoing Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly held his seat, was just shy of a 70 per cent turnout, at 69.8 per cent. In Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s Mayo constituency, turnout at 69.1 per cent was down on the 2011 figure of 73.94 per cent.

Turnout in just three constituencies dipped below the 60 per cent mark. Dublin Central, which includes areas of social deprivation, had the lowest turnout at 52.44 per cent. This was followed by Dublin Bay South, on 54.77 per cent, and Dublin South-Central, on 58.11 per cent.

Nationally, turnouts have hovered around the mid-60s since the general election of 1987, when the percentage of the electorate that turned out to vote topped 73 per cent.

The elections of 1989 and 1992 both had turnouts of 68.5 per cent, but the figure dropped to 65.92 per cent in 1997. Turnout dropped slightly again, to 62.73 per cent, in 2002, the year that Bertie Ahern’s second government was elected. The figure increased to 67.35 per cent in 2007.