Next Irish general election

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Next Irish general election
Republic of Ireland
2011 ←
members
No later than 3 April 2016

158[nb 1] seats in Dáil Éireann
  EPP Summit 18 June 2009 cropped.jpg Joan Burton July 2014 (cropped).jpg Micheál Martin.jpg
Leader Enda Kenny Joan Burton Micheál Martin
Party Fine Gael Labour Party Fianna Fáil
Leader since 2 June 2002 4 July 2014 26 January 2011
Leader's seat Mayo Dublin West Cork South–Central
Last election 76 seats, 36.1% 37 seats, 19.4% 20 seats, 17.4%
Current seats 68 seats 34 seats 20 seats

  Gerry Adams 2013.jpg Lucindacreighton.jpg
Leader Gerry Adams Lucinda Creighton Collective Leadership
Party Sinn Féin Renua Ireland Anti-Austerity Alliance
Leader since 13 November 1983 [nb 2] 13 March 2015 -
Leader's seat Louth Dublin South–East -
Last election 14 seats, 9.9% New party 2 seats, 1.2% [2]
Current seats 14 seats 3 seats 3 seats

  Eamon Ryan Green Party.jpg
Leader Collective Leadership Séamus Healy Eamon Ryan
Party People Before Profit WUAG Green Party
Leader since - 1985 27 May 2011
Leader's seat - Tipperary South -
Last election 2 seats, 1.0% 1 seat, 0.4% 0 seats, 1.8%
Current seats 1 seat 1 seat 0 seats

The next Irish general election must take place no later than 3 April 2016. The election will be called following the dissolution of the 31st Dáil by the President, at the request of the Taoiseach. The electorate will elect the members of the 32nd Dáil who will assemble shortly afterwards to elect a Taoiseach following agreement on the Government of the 32nd Dáil.

Date[edit]

The current statutory framework for the setting of a date for polling day in the general election is set out in the Electoral Act 1992 (as amended).[3] Section 33 of that Act requires that the Dáil be dissolved within five years after its first meeting following the previous election, which was on 9 March 2011.[4] Section 96 requires that the poll is held, not earlier than the seventeenth day or later than the twenty-fifth day, following the day on which the writs for the election are issued. The writs for the election are issued by the Clerk of the Dáil on the day the Dáil is dissolved.

The current legal position is that the Dáil must be dissolved no later than Tuesday 9 March 2016, and the next general election must take place no later than Saturday 2 April 2016.[nb 3][nb 4]

Taoiseach Enda Kenny suggested at a press conference in September 2013 that the next election would be in March 2016.[5][nb 5] This was in the context of speculation that the Labour Party was unhappy with the coalition government's progress and might consider withdrawing and forcing an early election.[5]

Electoral system[edit]

Ireland uses proportional representation with a single transferable vote, also known as PR–STV.[6] The general election will take place throughout the state to elect 158 members of Dáil Éireann, a reduction of 8 from the current 166 members. This follows the passing of the Electoral (Amendment) (Dáil Constituencies) Act 2013. The Ceann Comhairle is automatically re-elected unless he opts to retire from the Dáil.[1] The election will take place in 40 parliamentary constituencies.[7] Each multi-member constituency returns no fewer than three, and no more than five Teachtaí Dála (Dáil deputies).[6]

Background[edit]

The current government (since 9 March 2011) consists of a Fine GaelLabour Party coalition headed by Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Tánaiste Joan Burton. Fianna Fáil, Sinn Féin, People Before Profit Alliance, Socialist Party, Workers and Unemployed Action Group, and independents form the opposition in the Dáil.

Retiring incumbents[edit]

The following members of the 31st Dáil have announced that they will not contest the next general election:

Constituency Departing TD Party
Dublin West Joe Higgins[8] Socialist Party
Donegal South–West Dinny McGinley[9] Fine Gael
Dublin South–East Ruairi Quinn[10] Labour Party
Louth Séamus Kirk[11] Fianna Fáil
Sligo–North Leitrim Michael Colreavy[12] Sinn Féin

Opinion polls[edit]

Two-month average trend line of poll results from February 2011 to the present day, with each line corresponding to a political party.
                     Fine Gael                     Labour Party                     Fianna Fáil                     Sinn Féin                     Independents and Others

Poll results are listed in the table below in reverse chronological order, showing the most recent first. The figures are for first-preference votes, as STV is a ranked voting system. All figures displayed are percentages.

Date Polling Firm Fine Gael Labour Fianna Fáil Sinn Féin Green Others Lead
26 Apr RED C[13] 25 8 19 22 N/A 26 3
5 Apr Millward Brown[14] 25 8 19 24 3 20 1
28 Mar RED C[15] 27 10 18 17 2 26 9
26 Mar Ipsos MRBI[16] 24 7 17 24 3 25 0
11 Mar Behaviour & Attitudes[17] 27 9 18 19 3 23 8
21 Feb RED C[18] 24 7 18 21 3 27 3
14 Feb Millward Brown[19] 25 6 19 26 N/A 24 1
19–21 Jan RED C[20] 24 9 19 20 2 26 4
12–13 Jan RED C[21] 24 8 18 21 1 28 3
2015
21 Dec Behaviour & Attitudes[22] 24 5 18 22 1 29 2
8–18 Dec Millward Brown[23] 22 5 18 21 2 32 1
15–17 Dec RED C[24] 21 6 19 24 2 28 3
4 Dec Ipsos MRBI[25] 19 6 21 22 3 29 1
23 Nov RED C[26] 22 8 18 22 3 27 0
2 Nov Millward Brown[27] 22 7 20 26 2 23 4
26 Oct Behaviour & Attitudes[28] 25 9 18 19 3 25 6
26 Oct RED C[29] 26 8 18 20 2 28 6
9 Oct Ipsos MRBI[30] 24 9 20 24 N/A 23 0
21 Sep Millward Brown[31] 25 9 21 22 1 23 3
14 Sep RED C[32] 28 8 18 23 2 23 5
17 Aug Behaviour & Attitudes[33] 24 14 18 19 1 24 5
3 Aug Millward Brown[34] 25 7 20 24 1 23 1
29 Jun RED C[p 1] 25 7 18 22 2 26 3
9–12 Jun RED C 22 4 18 22 2 30 0
3–4 Jun MillwardBrown 20 5 20 26 2 27 6
23 May European Election 22.28 5.3 22.31 19.5 4.9 25.7 0.03
23 May Local Elections 24.0 7.2 25.3 15.2 1.6 26.7 1.3
19 May MillwardBrown 20 6 21 23 2 27 2
12–14 May RED C 25 8 20 20 2 25 5
28 Apr–1 May RED C 25 11 21 18 N/A 25 4
19 Apr MillwardBrown 29 6 22 20 N/A 21 7
19 Apr Behavior & Attitudes 21 9 20 20 4 26 1
1–2 Apr Ipsos MRBI 25 8 25 21 N/A 21 0
24–26 Mar RED C[35] 26 9 22 21 3 19 4
19–28 Feb MillwardBrown 27 8 21 22 2 20 5
23 Feb Behavior & Attitudes 30 9 19 18 N/A 24 11
17–19 Feb RED C[36] 29 11 22 16 2 20 7
15–23 Jan MillwardBrown 30 12 26 16 1 15 4
20–22 Jan RED C[37] 27 9 23 16 1 24 4
6–8 Jan RED C[38] 28 10 22 18 2 20 6
2014
3–15 Dec Behavior & Attitudes 30 11 21 15 3 21 9
12 Dec Ipsos MRBI 30 9 22 21 N/A 18 8
24 Nov RED C 29 12 22 15 2 20 7
16 Nov MillwardBrown 27 9 24 21 1 18 3
4–6 Nov RED C 25 9 24 16 2 24 1
21–23 Oct RED C[39] 29 9 23 17 2 20 6
16 Oct MillwardBrown 27 9 27 19 2 17 0
1 Oct Ipsos MRBI 26 6 22 23 2 21 3
28 Sep MillwardBrown 28 10 27 19 N/A 15 1
10–17 Sep Behavior & Attitudes 25 11 21 18 3 23 4
9–11 Sep RED C[40] 27 10 23 17 4 19 4
1 Sep MillwardBrown 27 8 25 21 N/A 21 2
3–12 Aug MillwardBrown 29 8 28 19 1 15 1
7 Jul MillwardBrown 26 8 29 19 N/A 19 3
24–26 Jun RED C[41] 28 12 22 17 2 19 6
11–24 Jun Behavior & Attitudes 27 7 24 16 3 23 3
10–12 Jun RED C[42] 30 10 24 16 2 18 6
10–11 Jun Ipsos MRBI 24 9 26 21 2 18 2
18–30 May MillwardBrown 27 11 27 17 N/A 18 0
20–22 May RED C[43] 26 11 26 16 2 19 0
4–16 May MillwardBrown 23 12 26 19 1 18 3
22–24 Apr RED C 28 11 25 16 2 18 3
30 Mar–10 Apr MillwardBrown 24 12 27 16 2 18 3
11–26 Mar Behavior & Attitudes 27 7 23 15 2 25 4
24 Mar RED C 28 13 24 14 1 20 4
4–14 Mar MillwardBrown 25 9 29 20 1 16 4
16–28 Feb MillwardBrown 24 11 23 21 2 20 1
24 Feb RED C 28 12 26 16 2 16 2
6–13 Feb MillwardBrown 25 13 27 20 1 15 2
5–6 Feb Ipsos MRBI 25 10 26 18 1 20 1
27 Jan RED C 28 11 21 19 2 19 7
15–21 Jan Behavior & Attitudes 26 11 24 19 3 18 2
7–9 Jan RED C 29 13 21 16 3 18 8
2013
2 Dec RED C 28 14 20 17 3 18 8
1–13 Nov Behavior & Attitudes 30 12 22 14 3 19 8
28 Oct RED C 34 13 19 17 2 15 15
18 Oct Ipsos MRBI 31 12 21 20 2 14 10
23 Sep RED C 32 14 18 18 2 16 14
4–9 Sep Behavior & Attitudes 31 14 16 18 2 19 13
24 Jun RED C 32 15 18 16 2 17 14
26 May RED C 30 15 18 19 2 16 11
25 May Ipsos MRBI 32 10 17 24 2 15 8
23–24 May MillwardBrown 36 12 17 20 1 14 16
18–23 May Behavior & Attitudes 33 14 16 17 2 18 16
18 May RED C 32 13 18 20 2 15 12
14–15 May MillwardBrown 34 15 16 17 1 17 13
13 May RED C 29 13 19 21 2 16 8
29 Apr RED C 32 14 17 19 2 16 13
16–17 Apr Ipsos MRBI 33 13 14 21 2 17 12
11–17 Apr Behavior & Attitudes 33 14 15 16 5 18 17
30 Mar RED C 35 16 15 14 2 18 19
25 Mar RED C 34 15 16 18 2 15 16
4 Mar RED C 30 16 17 18 2 17 12
15–20 Feb Behavior & Attitudes 33 13 16 20 2 16 13
29 Jan RED C 30 14 18 17 3 18 12
12 Jan RED C 33 16 17 14 2 18 16
2012
7–12 Dec Behavior & Attitudes 29 12 18 19 3 18 10
4 Dec RED C 32 15 18 15 1 19 14
25 Oct Ipsos MRBI 36 19 15 15 1 14 17
23 Oct RED C 31 17 14 16 2 20 14
16–18 Oct Behavior & Attitudes 35 16 14 17 1 16 18
7 Oct Ipsos MRBI 35 17 16 18 2 12 17
20 Sep–2 Oct Behavior & Attitudes 34 16 16 14 3 17 18
25 Sep RED C 33 16 15 15 2 19 17
30 Aug–14 Sep MillwardBrown 40 20 10 11 2 17 20
4 Sep Behavior & Attitudes 44 12 15 13 2 12 29
15–18 Jul Ipsos MRBI 38 18 18 10 2 14 20
29 May RED C 41 19 16 11 3 10 22
23–24 May MillwardBrown 42 19 16 11 1 12 23
10 Apr RED C 39 18 16 11 2 14 21
25 Feb 2011 Election Results 36.1 19.5 17.5 9.9 1.8 15.4 16.6

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ The Ceann Comhairle (Seán Barrett) will be automatically deemed re-elected unless he retires from the Dáil.[1]
  2. ^ Gerry Adams became President of Sinn Féin on 13 November 1983, but only became parliamentary leader of Sinn Féin in the Dáil once elected to the Dáil for the first time in February 2011. Prior to that its parliamentary leader in the Dáil since 1997 was Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin.
  3. ^ The current constitutional position is less restrictive. Article 16.5 of the Constitution of Ireland requires that the same Dáil shall not continue for more than 7 years, but allows for a shorter period to be fixed by law (which is currently fixed at 5 years). Article 16.3.2 of the Constitution of Ireland requires that a general election for members of Dáil Éireann must take place not later than thirty days after the dissolution (whereas the law currently only allows 25 days). So in theory, or in some emergency, the Oireachtas could amend or replace the Electoral Act 1992 to postpone the election for up to another 2 years and 5 days, or up to 8 April 2018.
  4. ^ Saturday 2 April 2016 is coincidentally the last of the symbolic centenary dates for the 1916 Easter Rising from Easter Sunday 27 March 2016 to Easter Saturday 2 April 2016.
  5. ^ Assuming that Kenny's suggestion proves correct, and that the election takes place on a Friday as has been the norm in recent years to facilitate turnout, and given that Good Friday March 25, 2016 is explicitly ruled out as an "excluded day" by Section 2 of the Electoral Act 1992, then the available dates would be Fridays the 5th, 12th, and 19th of March 2016.

References[edit]

Opinion polls
Others
  1. ^ a b Constitution, Article 16.6; Electoral Act 1992, section 36.
  2. ^ Seats won as the Socialist Party. Since the Irish local elections, 2014, Socialist Party candidates have been running under the Anti-Austerity Alliance banner
  3. ^ "Electoral Act, 1992". Office of the Attorney General. Retrieved 2014-05-27. 
  4. ^ "Table of Contents". Dáil Éireann debates. 9 March 2011. Retrieved 10 January 2014. 
  5. ^ a b Beesley, Arthur (16 September 2013). "Kenny says next election will be held in March 2016". Retrieved 16 September 2013. 
  6. ^ a b "Proportional Representation – Information". Irish Citizens Information Board. Retrieved 26 October 2008. 
  7. ^ Electoral (Amendment) (Dáil Constituencies) Act 2013, Section 2
  8. ^ "Joe Higgins TD 'not retiring' from politics despite deciding against running in election". Irish Independent. 27 April 2014. Retrieved 27 April 2014. 
  9. ^ http://www.donegaldemocrat.ie/news/donegal-news/mchugh-replaces-mcginley-in-cabinet-reshuffle-1-6180114
  10. ^ http://www.herald.ie/news/quinn-quits-as-minister-and-set-to-leave-dail-30401645.html
  11. ^ http://www.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/ireland/louth-td-kirk-will-not-contest-next-general-election-642326.html
  12. ^ "Sinn Féin TD Michael Colreavy will not contest next election". Irish Times. 17 February 2015. Retrieved 17 February 2015. 
  13. ^ http://www.rte.ie/news/2015/0425/696754-redc-sundaybusinesspost/
  14. ^ http://www.rte.ie/news/2015/0404/692110-sf-and-independents-drop-in-support-in-new-poll/
  15. ^ http://www.breakingnews.ie/ireland/opinion-poll-reveals-more-support-for-the-government-669449.html
  16. ^ http://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/fine-gael-support-bounces-back-after-12-year-low-in-last-poll-1.2153425
  17. ^ http://www.thejournal.ie/government-opinion-poll-2-1992773-Mar2015/
  18. ^ http://www.rte.ie/news/2015/0221/681888-red-c-opinion-poll/
  19. ^ Support for Independents falls sharpley
  20. ^ "General Election Opinion Poll - 25th January 2015" (PDF). Red C Research & Marketing Ltd. January 25, 2015. Retrieved January 27, 2015. -- Red C poll for the Sunday Business Post
  21. ^ "Government parties are up FIVE POINTS in the first poll of the year". TheJournal.ie. January 14, 2015. Retrieved January 26, 2015. The Paddy Power/Red C survey was carried out on behalf of RTÉ’s Sean O’Rourke programme. ... The poll was conducted by phone among 1,002 voters between Monday and Tuesday of this week. 
  22. ^ http://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/fine-gael-and-labour-struggle-for-support-in-opinion-polls-1.2045440
  23. ^ "National Opinion Poll: December 2014 - For Publication on 21st December 2014" (PDF). Millward Brown. December 21, 2014. Retrieved January 27, 2015. -- Millward Brown poll for the Sunday Independent
  24. ^ "General Election Opinion Poll - 21st December 2014" (PDF). Red C Research & Marketing Ltd. December 21, 2014. Retrieved January 27, 2015. -- Red C poll for the Sunday Business Post
  25. ^ http://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/poll
  26. ^ http://www.redcresearch.ie/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/SBP-26th-October-2014-Poll-Report.pdf
  27. ^ http://www.rte.ie/news/2014/1101/656305-poll-politics/
  28. ^ http://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/sinn-f%C3%A9in-and-adams-suffer-drop-in-support-1.1977435>
  29. ^ http://www.redcresearch.ie/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/SBP-26th-October-2014-Poll-Report.pdf
  30. ^ http://www.rte.ie/news/2014/1009/651046-politics-poll/
  31. ^ http://www.millwardbrown.com/docs/default-source/ireland-downloads/opinion-polls/sunday-independent-september-2014-poll.pdf?sfvrsn=2
  32. ^ http://www.redcresearch.ie/news/early-signals-that-recovering-economy-could-benefit-government-parties
  33. ^ "New poll suggests Labour leadership change has increased party support". RTÉ News. 16 August 2014. 
  34. ^ http://www.thejournal.ie/sinn-fein-fine-gael-opinion-poll-august-2014-1602944-Aug2014/
  35. ^ "General Election Opinion Poll - 30th March 2014" (PDF). Red C Research & Marketing Ltd. March 30, 2014. Retrieved January 27, 2015. “Gardagate” knocks Government support ... In fact support for Independent candidates falls back slightly with the Greens picking up support to 3% for the second time since the last election. -- Red C poll for the Sunday Business Post
  36. ^ "General Election Opinion Poll - 23rd February 2014" (PDF). Red C Research & Marketing Ltd. February 23, 2014. Retrieved January 27, 2015. -- Red C poll for the Sunday Business Post
  37. ^ "General Election Opinion Poll - 26th January 2014" (PDF). Red C Research & Marketing Ltd. January 26, 2014. Retrieved January 27, 2015. -- Red C poll for the Sunday Business Post
  38. ^ "General Election Opinion Poll - 9th January 2014" (PDF). Red C Research & Marketing Ltd. January 9, 2014. Retrieved January 27, 2015. -- Red C poll for Paddy Power
  39. ^ "General Election Opinion Poll - 27th October 2013" (PDF). Red C Research & Marketing Ltd. October 27, 2013. Retrieved January 27, 2015. -- Red C poll for the Sunday Business Post
  40. ^ "General Election Opinion Poll - 15th September 2013" (PDF). Red C Research & Marketing Ltd. September 15, 2013. Retrieved January 27, 2015. -- Red C poll for the Sunday Business Post
  41. ^ "General Election Opinion Poll - 30th June 2013 - Prepared for: The Sunday Business Post" (PDF). Red C Research & Marketing Ltd. June 30, 2013. Retrieved January 27, 2015. -- Red C poll for the Sunday Business Post
  42. ^ "Political Opinion Poll - June 2013 - Prepared for: paddypower.com" (PDF). Red C Research & Marketing Ltd. June 13, 2013. Retrieved January 27, 2015. -- Red C poll for Paddy Power
  43. ^ "General Election Opinion Poll - 26th May 2013 - Prepared for: The Sunday Business Post" (PDF). Red C Research & Marketing Ltd. May 26, 2013. Retrieved January 27, 2015. -- Red C poll for the Sunday Business Post

External links[edit]