Election 2019 home

Polls close as polling stations see steady turnout for local and EU elections

Update: Polls have closed in the local and European elections.

Turnout has been steady across the country, with the usual evening rush tonight.

An exit poll is due to be released that should give an indication of the outcome.

People have also been casting their votes in a referendum on divorce, while there have been plebiscites on directly-elected mayors in Cork, Limerick and Waterford.

Turnout mixed at polling stations for local and EU elections

Turnout in the local and European elections is mixed across the country.

Sinn Féin MEP Lynn Boylan, Sinn Féin TD Eoin O'Broin and their dog Cooper arrive to vote. Pic: Collins
Sinn Féin MEP Lynn Boylan, Sinn Féin TD Eoin O'Broin and their dog Cooper arrive to vote. Pic: Collins

Some polling stations are reporting higher turnout than last time around, with many others much lower.

In Dublin, turnout has been slow for much of the day with many people expecting the usual evening rush of votes, while Galway has seen a turnout across the county of about 30% so far.

Kerry is another county ahead of the National curve between 28% and 29% and most areas in Tipperary are also in the high 20s.

Elsewhere across the country, some counties are reporting turnout in the low teens on the back of a lacklustre campaign.

The ballot boxes will stay open until 10pm this evening

Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald voting today. Pic: Collins
Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald voting today. Pic: Collins

Slow and steady turnout reported at polling stations for local and EU elections

Polling stations across Ireland are reporting a slow and steady turnout for the local and EU elections.

President Michael D Higgins & his wife Sabina vote during the European Election, Divorce referendum & Council election at St Mary's Hospital in the Phoenix Park Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
President Michael D Higgins & his wife Sabina vote during the European Election, Divorce referendum & Council election at St Mary's Hospital in the Phoenix Park Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

In Munster, the highest turnout we're seeing so far is 16% in Kerry.

In Waterford and Limerick, where they are also voting on a plebiscite for directly elected mayors, the average is at 11% and 9% respectively.

Moving to the west, 11% of voters Roscommon is on 11%, while the people of Leitirm are out voting early sitting at the 15% mark.

Meanwhile, in Dublin, 13.2% have cast their votes before lunchtime.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar casts his vote at Scoil Thomais, Castleknock, Dublin, as people across the Republic of Ireland go to the polls to vote in the European and local elections along with the referendum on Ireland's divorce laws. (Brian Lawless/PA Wire)
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar casts his vote at Scoil Thomais, Castleknock, Dublin, as people across the Republic of Ireland go to the polls to vote in the European and local elections along with the referendum on Ireland's divorce laws. (Brian Lawless/PA Wire)

The national turnout the last time Ireland went to the polls for local elections in 2014 was 51.6%.

With nine hours of voting left, most polling stations expect to see a rush around teatime.

President Higgins casts vote in local and EU elections

President Michael D Higgins has voted in the local and European elections..

He attended his local polling station at St Mary's Hospital in Dublin's Phoenix Park with his wife, Sabina.

The couple spent a number of minutes casting their votes from the long list of candidates in the Dublin constituency.

Voting in Ireland began at 7am on Friday.

The public is also being asked to vote in the proposal to change the Constitution on the divorce laws.

Voting underway in local and European elections

Voting has begun as Ireland chooses members of the European Parliament as well as new local councillors.

Two of the 13 elected face an uncertain wait as to when they can take their seats due to the Brexit delay.

Ireland is receiving two of the 27 places formerly reserved for the UK which are being redistributed among 14 member states.

The UK is participating in the poll, with British MEPs set to attend the inaugural plenary session of the new parliament on July 2.

As a result, those elected in last place in Ireland’s Dublin and South constituencies must wait to see if they can take their seats.

Residents on remote Atlantic islands off the coasts of Donegal, Galway and Mayo cast their votes a day early (Niall Carson/PA)
Residents on remote Atlantic islands off the coasts of Donegal, Galway and Mayo cast their votes a day early (Niall Carson/PA)

Residents on remote Atlantic islands off the coasts of Donegal, Galway and Mayo cast their votes a day early on Thursday.

Local council elections are also being held on Friday, as is a referendum on divorce laws – with a Yes set to reduce the lengthy period separated couples have to wait before they can obtain a formal divorce.

Voters in Cork, Waterford and Limerick will also be able to participate in separate plebiscites on government proposals to create directly elected city mayoral positions with executive functions.

Counting in the local elections and divorce referendum will begin on Saturday morning.

The European election count for Ireland’s three constituencies – Dublin, South, and Midlands-North-West – will commence on Sunday morning at centres in Dublin, Cork and Castlebar, Co Mayo.

A Europe-wide embargo means the first results in that poll cannot be declared until 10pm that night. If previous elections are a guide, counting is likely to continue through into Monday.

Counting in the mayoral plebiscites is likely to get under way in the three impacted cities on the Monday.

The European and local government elections will be the first electoral test for Ireland’s main parties since the inconclusive general election of 2016.

The result delivered a hung parliament and precipitated months of negotiations between Fine Gael and Fianna Fail, two parties with a century-old enmity dating back to Ireland’s Civil War.

A historic accord emerged that saw Fianna Fail agree to support a minority Fine Gael-led government through a confidence and supply deal for three years.

The parties renewed that arrangement late last year, extending what has been dubbed an era of “new politics” until early 2020.

While Friday’s elections focus on European and council issues, the results will no doubt be interpreted as a public judgment on Fine Gael’s performance in government and how effectively Fianna Fail has managed the delicate balancing act of holding an administration to account while at the same time propping it up.

Other smaller parties in the Oireachtas parliament, such as Sinn Fein, the Green Party and Labour, will hope to be the beneficiaries of any potential public disaffection with “new politics”.- Press Association

More on this topic

Call to introduce local election gender quotas

Sinn Féin ard chomhairle meets for 'very honest conversation' after disastrous election performance

Green Party spearheads five-year deal to move Dublin towards 'zero-carbon' status

Opposition to have a say in when Dáil by-elections held