#GE2020: Voters defy Storm Ciara with strong turnout as polls close

#GE2020: Voters defy Storm Ciara with strong turnout as polls close
Derek McKay with his dog Tampass(L) and Mark Lenahan with his dog Bella at the polling station at St. Joseph's School for Deaf Boys, Navan Road, Cabra Dublin. Photo: RollingNews.ie

Polls have just closed close in the election for the 33rd Dail and it appears turnout is slightly up.

Across the Dublin County constituencies turnout is over 60% with turnout in the city also reported as high.

It is above 50% across both Galway constituencies while Louth had turnout tipping above 50% just after dinnertime.

Cavan Monaghan is also heading towards 60%.

While in County Laois, there's a high 65% turnout in Ballyfin and a 60 per cent turnout in Emo and Clonaslee.

Turnout remains strong despite Storm Ciara with less than one hour until polls close

There is less than one hour to go before the polls close in the election for the 33rd Dail.

Despite dire weather warnings turnout has been strong in many constituencies, with turnout exceeding 40% of the electorate in some areas.

There is a turnout of over 62% in Salthill in Galway West, while in Athenry in Galway East there's a 54% turnout and a 58% turnout in Kinvara.

There are 515 candidates running in 39 constituencies, while 3.4 million citizens are eligible to vote.

Voter turnout strong but bad weather could dampen evening numbers

Voter turnout has been strong throughout the day as people got out early to vote.

Sean O Donovan, Coolmoyne, Fethard, Co Tipperary, where the polling sation is situated in his home pictured with Monica Aherne where they serve a cup of tea and apple tart after voting. Photo: John D Kelly
Sean O Donovan, Coolmoyne, Fethard, Co Tipperary, where the polling sation is situated in his home pictured with Monica Aherne where they serve a cup of tea and apple tart after voting. Photo: John D Kelly

Polls are open in the general election until 10pm tonight.

Tipperary is one of a number of counties with turnout figures higher than 40%.

More than half of the electorate had voted in Terryglass in the north of the county by lunchtime.

Turnout is approaching the 40% in Cavan Monaghan this afternoon.

Across both Galway consistencies you're seeing a similar trend including more than 47% turnout in Salthill.

Average attendance in Mayo is also in the low 40s.

Slightly slower across Laois where attendance was about 27% approaching 4pm.

The polling station in the home of Sean O'Donovan, Coolmoyne, Fethard, Co Tipperary, helping out are Aisling O Donovan and Monica Aherne. Photo: John D Kelly
The polling station in the home of Sean O'Donovan, Coolmoyne, Fethard, Co Tipperary, helping out are Aisling O Donovan and Monica Aherne. Photo: John D Kelly

Despite the strong turnout so far there is an expectation bad weather this evening could see things slow.

Turnout at 45% in places but will the bad weather have effect on numbers?

People are being encouraged not to let the opportunity to vote in today's general election slip by.

Voting has been steady in many constituencies throughout the day, with a final flurry expected at polling stations this evening.

One polling station in Kildare is reporting a turn-out of 45% at St. Joseph's Boys National School in Kilcock.

In County Laois, Abbeyleix is on 26.5% turnout, while Portlaoise Urban Knockmay is on 33.1%, with over 40% in Waterford and around 20% in Dublin.

However, with bad weather affecting much of the country, Ian Power from SpunOut.ie said voting today is an opportunity that shouldn't be missed.

"Really if you care about issues like mental health, climate, health care, housing and access to third-level education, you only get a chance to have say in the people who are going to decide these issues once every four or five years," he said.

"While it might be more comfortable to stick at home...really you have to weigh up "what is the cost of this?"."

Turnout up to 24% in places as party leaders cast ballots in General Election

All the main party leaders have cast their ballots as voting in General Election 2020 continues this afternoon.

Micheal Martin voting with his wife in Ballinlough, Cork. Photo: PA; Mary Lou McDonald voting in Cabra, Dublin. Photo: RollingNews.ie; Leo Varadkar casting his vote in Castleknock, Dublin. Photo: PA.
Micheal Martin voting with his wife in Ballinlough, Cork. Photo: PA; Mary Lou McDonald voting in Cabra, Dublin. Photo: RollingNews.ie; Leo Varadkar casting his vote in Castleknock, Dublin. Photo: PA.

Leo Varadkar, Mary Lou McDonald and Micheál Martin all cast their votes earlier as the country went to the polls from 7am this morning.

On the rare Saturday election, early reports indicated that turnout was steady.

As of 10am this morning Dublin County was averaging about 6.4%turnout with some boxes headed for double figures

But turnout has picked up since then and is strong across most of the country.

Mary Lou McDonald casting her vote this afternoon in Dublin. Picture: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Mary Lou McDonald casting her vote this afternoon in Dublin. Picture: Niall Carson/PA Wire

The Dublin constituencies are ranging between a low of 12% in one Dublin Central station to highs of 22% in Dublin Bay North.

Typically turnout is in the high teens and early 20s.

Turnout in some Limerick polling centres has been in and around 40.5%.

In Mayo the turnout approaching lunchtime was averaging 14% with Ballina boys National School the highest at 17%.

Wicklow turnout has been high with 15-20% reported in Tinahealy and 19-20% in east Wicklow.

Turnout across Galway is also high with an average of 18% and St Enda's in Salthill recording 23% turnout.

At noon in Tipperary turnout was up on the last election with Clonmel a very busy 23%and the rest of the county averaging around 17%.

Social Democrats candidate for Cork South-East Holly Cairns. Picture: Andy Gibson
Social Democrats candidate for Cork South-East Holly Cairns. Picture: Andy Gibson

At 12.30 across Cavan Monaghan turnout also high ranging between almost 24% in Virgina National School to 17.5% in Castleblaney.

A lot of returning officers reporting slightly higher than usual morning turnout with people perhaps voting early ahead of Storm Ciara.

In the last major survey of the electorate before polling day, Sinn Féin was leading the popularity stakes on 25%, with Fianna Fáil second on 23% and Fine Gael on 20%.

Sinn Féin are only running 42 candidates in the 39 constituencies , making it is unlikely they will secure the most seats.

Earlier: Varadkar, Martin and McDonald all cast their votes as early turnout strong

Leo Varadkar has cast his vote in the General Election as voting is well underway in 39 constituencies around the country.

Leo Varadkar casting his vote this afternoon. Picture: Sam Boal/RollingNews.i
Leo Varadkar casting his vote this afternoon. Picture: Sam Boal/RollingNews.i

The Taoiseach cast his ballot in Scoil Thomais, Laurel Lodge, Castleknock.

Meanwhile, Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald cast her vote at St. Joseph’s School, Navan Road.

Earlier this morning in Cork, Micheál Martin cast his vote at St Anthony's Boys National School in Ballinlough

In the last major survey of the electorate before polling day, Sinn Féin was leading the popularity stakes on 25%, with Fianna Fáil second on 23% and Fine Gael on 20%.

Earlier: Turnout steady as Healy-Raes met with 'vegan' protest

Carmelite Nuns Sr. Catharina Murphy and Sr. Magdalene Dinneen and Making sure to cast their voice at the general election in Loughrea, Co. Galway. Picture: Hany Marzouk
Carmelite Nuns Sr. Catharina Murphy and Sr. Magdalene Dinneen and Making sure to cast their voice at the general election in Loughrea, Co. Galway. Picture: Hany Marzouk

Polling stations in Co Wicklow and Co Limerick have seen some of the highest turnouts in the early hours of voting in the General Election.

St Peter's polling station in Bray is among the highest turnouts early on with 11% in one booth and there is a 10% turnout in Ballybrown, Co Limerick by 10am.

In Carlow, Ballinkillen and Bagenalstown stands at 12% and 15% respectively.

Under 4% of voters had cast their ballots in south Roscommon by 9.30am.

In early to vote in Kerry were TDs Micheal and Danny Healy-Rae

Around 50 supporters of the Healy Raes had also arrived.

First into vote was Cllr Johnny Healy Rae, county councillor, followed by his father Danny the TD and Michael the TD.

However, they were also met by two protesters.

A woman dressed as celery was ejected from a polling station in Kilgarvan early this morning as she attempted to accompany the TDs into vote in his home village.

Gardaí were at the scene.

It appears the pair are vegan and involved in anti-meat eating campaigns.

Speaking afterwards Johnny Healy Rae said:

I have no meas on celery- there’s no meat in it.

Mr Burke said gardaí had identified the protestors and were on the alert.

Meanwhile after an early surge in Killarney voting in Kerry has slowed.

Elsewhere, Green Party leader Eamon Ryan has cast his vote in the Muslim National School, Dublin.

Leader of the Green Party Eamon Ryan casting his vote in the Muslim National School, Dublin this morning. Picture: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie
Leader of the Green Party Eamon Ryan casting his vote in the Muslim National School, Dublin this morning. Picture: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie

Earlier: Micheál Martin and Michael D Higgins cast their votes

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin has cast his vote as the polling stations around the country have opened for the General Election.

Mr Martin cast his vote alongside his family at St Anthony's Boys National School in Ballinlough, Cork.

Micheal Martin and family voting in the General Election at St Anthony's Boys National School in Ballinlough, Cork. Picture: Denis Minihane
Micheal Martin and family voting in the General Election at St Anthony's Boys National School in Ballinlough, Cork. Picture: Denis Minihane

President Michael D Higgins went to St Mary’s Hospital in Phoenix Park in Dublin to vote.

He was accompanied by his wife Sabina Higgins and they said hello to the assembled press.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald are expected to cast their votes around 12 noon.

In the last major survey of the electorate before polling day, Sinn Féin was leading the popularity stakes on 25%, with Fianna Fáil second on 23% and Fine Gael on 20%.

Earlier: Ireland goes to the polls

Voting will take place today in the 2020 General Election. Polling stations are open between 7am to 10pm today, Saturday.

This is the first time since 1918 that voting has taken place on a Saturday.

Voters do not need a polling card to vote, but may be asked to show a photo ID at their polling station - a driving licence, passport or student/ employee identity card are among the IDs accepted.

A total of 516 candidates are running in 39 constituencies in this General Election. The 33rd Dáil will have 160 seats - two more than the outgoing one. This is due to a population increas since the last Dáil was formed in 2016.

A party or coalition must win 80 seats to form a government.

A man leaves a Polling Station in Moone, Co Kildare as polls open for the Irish General Election. Picture: Niall Carson/PA Wire
A man leaves a Polling Station in Moone, Co Kildare as polls open for the Irish General Election. Picture: Niall Carson/PA Wire

This is the breakdown of the out-going Dáil:

  • Fine Gael - 47 seats
  • Fianna Fáil - 45 (excludes Ceann Comhairle)
  • Sinn Féin - 22 seats
  • Labour - seven seats
  • Solidarity-People Before Profit - six seats
  • Independents - 22 seats
  • Green Party - three seats
  • Social Democrats - two seats
  • Independents 4 Change - one seat
  • Aontú - one seat

Counting of the votes will begin at 9am tomorrow, Sunday.

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