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 crop.jpg
Leader Enda Kenny Joan Burton
Party Fine Gael Labour Party
Leader since 2 June 2002 4 July 2014
Leader's seat Mayo Dublin West
Last election 76 seats, 36.1% 37 seats, 19.4%

  Micheál Martin.jpg Gerry Adams 2013.jpg
Leader Micheál Martin Gerry Adams
Party Fianna Fáil Sinn Féin
Leader since 26 January 2011 13 November 1983 [nb 2]
Leader's seat Cork South–Central Louth
Last election 20 seats, 17.4% 14 seats, 9.9%

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).[2] 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.[3] 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 3 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.[4][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.[4]

Electoral system[edit]

Ireland uses proportional representation with a single transferable vote, also known as PR–STV.[5] 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.[6] Each multi-member constituency returns three, four or five Teachtaí Dála (Dáil deputies).[5]

Background[edit]

The current government (since 9 March 2011) consists of a Fine GaelLabour Party coalition headed by Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore. 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[7] Socialist Party
Dublin South–East Ruairi Quinn[8] Labour Party

Opinion polls[edit]

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 Source Polling agency Fine Gael Labour Fianna Fáil Sinn Féin Green Ind./Others
29 June 2014 The Sunday Business Post[p 1] RED C 25 7 18 22 2 26
12 June 2014 Paddy Power[p 2] RED C 22 4 18 22 2 32
7 June 2014 Sunday Independent[p 3] Millward Brown 20 5 20 26 2 27[nb 6]
23 May 2014 European election N/A 22.3 5.3 22.3 19.5 4.9 25.7
23 May 2014 Local elections N/A 24.0 7.2 25.3 15.2 1.6 26.7
19 May 2014 Sunday Independent[p 4] Millward Brown 20 6 21 23 2 27
16 May 2014 The Irish Sun[p 5] Red C 25 8 20 20 2 25[nb 7]
1 May 2014 The Sunday Business Post[p 6] Red C 25 11 21 18 N/A 25
19 April 2014 Sunday Independent[p 7][p 8] Millward Brown 29 6 22 20 N/A 21
19 April 2014 The Sunday Times[p 8][p 9] Behaviour & Attitudes 21 9 20 20 4 26
3 April 2014 The Irish Times[p 10] Ipsos MRBI 25 8 25 21 N/A 21
30 March 2014 The Sunday Business Post[p 11] Red C 26 9 22 21 N/A 22
28 February 2014 Sunday Independent[p 12] Millward Brown 27 8 21 22 2 20
22 February 2014 The Sunday Times[p 13] Behaviour & Attitudes 30 9 19 18 N/A 24
22 February 2014 The Sunday Business Post[p 13] Red C 29 11 22 16 N/A 22
24 January 2014 Sunday Independent[p 14] Millward Brown 30 12 26 16 1 15
22 January 2014 The Sunday Business Post[p 14] Red C 27 9 23 16 N/A 25
9 January 2014 Paddy Power[p 15] RED C 28 10 22 18 N/A 22
15 December 2013 The Sunday Times[p 16] Behaviour & Attitudes 30 11 21 15 3%[nb 8] 21[nb 8]
10 December 2013 The Irish Times[p 17] Ipsos MRBI 30 9 22 21 N/A[nb 9] 18
24 November 2013 The Sunday Business Post[p 19] RED C 29 12 22 15 2[nb 10] 20[nb 10]
17 November 2013 Sunday Independent[p 20] Millward Brown 27 9 24 21 1 18
7 November 2013 Paddy Power[p 21] RED C 25 9 24 16 2 24
23 October 2013 The Sunday Business Post[p 22] RED C 29 9 23 17 N/A 23
October 2013 Sunday Independent[p 20] Millward Brown 27 9 27 19 2 17
1 October 2013 The Irish Times[p 23] Ipsos MRBI 26 6 22 23 2 21
28 September 2013 Sunday Independent[p 24] Millward Brown Lansdowne 28 10 27 19 N/A 15
21 September 2013 The Sunday Times[p 25][p 26] Behaviour & Attitudes 25 11 21 18 3% 23
16 September 2013 The Sunday Business Post[p 27] RED C 27 10 23 17 4 19
1 September 2013 Sunday Independent[p 28] Millward Brown Lansdowne 27 8 25 21 N/A 18
18 August 2013 Sunday Independent[p 29] Millward Brown Lansdowne 29 8 28 19 1 15
7 July 2013 Sunday Independent[p 30] Millward Brown Lansdowne 26 8 29 19 N/A 19
30 June 2013 The Sunday Business Post[p 31] RED C 28 12 22 17 N/A 21
14 June 2013 The Irish Times[p 32] Ipsos MRBI 24 9 26 21 2 18
13 June 2013 Paddy Power[p 32] RED C 30 10 24 16 N/A 20
2 June 2013 Sunday Independent[p 33] Millward Brown Lansdowne 27 11 27 17 N/A 18
26 May 2013 The Sunday Business Post[p 34] RED C 26 11 26 16 N/A 21
19 May 2013 Sunday Independent[p 35] Millward Brown Lansdowne 23 12 26 19 1 18
28 April 2013 The Sunday Business Post[p 36] RED C 28 11 25 16 2 18
14 April 2013 Sunday Independent[p 37] Millward Brown Lansdowne 24 12 27 16 2 18
31 March 2013 The Sunday Times[p 38] Behaviour & Attitudes 27 7 23 15 2 25
24 March 2013 The Sunday Business Post[p 36] RED C 28 13 24 14 1 20
17 March 2013 Sunday Independent[p 37] Millward Brown Lansdowne 25 9 29 20 1 16
2 March 2013 Irish Independent[p 37] Millward Brown Lansdowne 24 11 23 21 2 20
24 February 2013 The Sunday Business Post[p 36] RED C 28 12 26 16 2 16
18 February 2013 Irish Independent[p 37] Millward Brown Lansdowne 25 13 27 20 1 15
8 February 2013 The Irish Times[p 39] Ipsos MRBI 25 10 26 18 1 20
27 January 2013 The Sunday Business Post[p 36] RED C 28 11 21 19 2 19
21 January 2013 The Sunday Times[p 38] Behaviour & Attitudes 26 11 24 19 3 18
10 January 2013 Paddy Power[p 40] RED C 29 13 21 16 3 18
2 December 2012 The Sunday Business Post[p 36] RED C 28 14 20 17 3 18
18 November 2012 The Sunday Times[p 38] Behaviour & Attitudes 30 12 22 14 3 19
28 October 2012 The Sunday Business Post[p 36] RED C 34 13 19 17 2 15
18 October 2012 The Irish Times[p 41] Ipsos MRBI 31 12 21 20 2 14
23 September 2012 The Sunday Business Post[p 36] RED C 32 14 18 18 2 16
16 September 2012 The Sunday Times[p 38] Behaviour & Attitudes 31 14 16 18 2 19
24 June 2012 The Sunday Business Post[p 36] RED C 32 15 18 16 2 17
27 May 2012 Sunday Independent[p 42] Millward Brown Lansdowne 36 12 17 20 1 14
26 May 2012 The Sunday Business Post[p 36] RED C 30 15 18 19 2 16
25 May 2012 The Irish Times[p 43] Ipsos MRBI 32 10 17 24 2 15
23 May 2012 The Sunday Times[p 38] Behaviour & Attitudes 33 14 16 17 2 18
18 May 2012 Paddy Power[p 44] RED C 32 13 18 20 2 15
18 May 2012 Irish Independent[p 42] Millward Brown Lansdowne 34 15 16 17 1 17
13 May 2012 The Sunday Business Post[p 36] RED C 29 13 19 21 2 16
29 April 2012 The Sunday Business Post[p 36] RED C 32 14 17 19 2 16[nb 11]
17 April 2012 The Sunday Times[p 38] Behaviour & Attitudes 33 14 15 16 5 18
20 April 2012 The Irish Times[p 45] Ipsos MRBI 33 13 14 21 2 17
30 March 2012 Paddy Power[p 44] RED C 35 16 15 14 2 18
25 March 2012 The Sunday Business Post[p 36] RED C 34 15 16 18 2 15
4 March 2012 The Sunday Business Post[p 36] RED C 30 16 17 18 2 17
20 February 2012 The Sunday Times[p 38] Behaviour & Attitudes 33 13 16 20 2 16
29 January 2012 The Sunday Business Post[p 36] RED C 30 14 18 17 3 18
12 January 2012 Paddy Power[p 44] RED C 33 16 17 14 2 18
12 December 2011 The Sunday Times[p 38] Behaviour & Attitudes 29 12 18 19 3 18
4 December 2011 The Sunday Business Post[p 36] RED C 32 15 18 15 1 19
25 October 2011 The Irish Times[p 46] Ipsos MRBI 36 19 15 15 1 14
23 October 2011 The Sunday Business Post[p 36] RED C 31 17 14 16 2 20
18 October 2011 The Sunday Times[p 38] Behaviour & Attitudes 35 16 14 17 1 16
7 October 2011 The Irish Times[p 47] Ipsos MRBI 35 17 16 18 2 12
2 October 2011 The Sunday Times[p 38] Behaviour & Attitudes 34 16 16 14 3 17
25 September 2011 The Sunday Business Post[p 36] RED C 33 16 15 15 2 19
17 September 2011 Sunday Independent[p 48] Millward Brown Lansdowne 40 20 10 11 2 17
4 September 2011 The Sunday Times[p 49] Behaviour & Attitudes 44 12 15 13 2 12
21 July 2011 The Irish Times[p 50] Ipsos MRBI 38 18 18 10 2 14
22 June 2011 Irish Independent[p 42] Millward Brown Lansdowne 42 19 16 11 1 12
29 May 2011 The Sunday Business Post[p 36] RED C 41 19 16 11 3 10
10 April 2011 The Sunday Business Post[p 36] RED C 39 18 16 11 2 14
25 February 2011 General election N/A 36.1 19.4 17.4 9.9 1.8 15.4

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ The Ceann Comhairle (currently 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 legislature 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 3 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 3 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.
  6. ^ Figure includes 1% for the Socialist Party and 1% for the People Before Profit Alliance.
  7. ^ 24% "Independent"; 1% "Other party"
  8. ^ a b Others figure of 24% includes 3% for the Green Party
  9. ^ Less than 1%; included in "Others".[p 18]
  10. ^ a b "Independents and other parties" had 19% of the core vote, adjusted to 22% excluding undecided voters. The Green Party was 2 percentage points of the 19% core vote.[p 19]
  11. ^ This figure includes the Socialist Party at 1%.

Sources[edit]

References[edit]

Opinion polls
  1. ^ "Coalition parties see significant rise in support in latest opinion poll". Irish Independent. 28 June 2014. 
  2. ^ Minihan, Mary (12 June 2014). "New opinion poll sees Labour support slump to just 4%". The Irish Times. Retrieved 12 June 2014. 
  3. ^ "Coalition as unpopular as last days of Cowen government". Irish Independent. 7 June 2014. Retrieved 7 June 2014. 
  4. ^ "Return of the old guard sparks Fianna Fail backlash". Irish Independent. 19 May 2014. Retrieved 19 May 2014. 
  5. ^ De Breadún, Deaglán (19 May 2014). "Gilmore or less?". Irish Sun. Retrieved 19 May 2014. 
  6. ^ "Poll shows rise in support for Labour and independents". Irish Examiner. 7 May 2014. Retrieved 7 May 2014. 
  7. ^ McConnell, Daniel (19 April 2014). "Support for Labour party at all time low". Irish Independent. Retrieved 19 April 2014. 
  8. ^ a b "Contrasting fortunes for FG in polls; Independents rise". BreakingNews.ie. 19 April 2014. Retrieved 19 April 2014. 
  9. ^ McInerney, Sarah (19 April 2014). "Sunday Times/B&A". Twitter. Retrieved 19 April 2014. 
  10. ^ "Fine Gael support declines as Fianna Fáil recovers ground". The Irish Times. 3 April 2014. Retrieved 3 April 2014. 
  11. ^ Bohan, Christine (29 March 2014). "Both Government parties down as Sinn Féin surges in latest poll". TheJournal.ie. Retrieved 29 March 2014. 
  12. ^ Sheahan, Fionnan (1 March 2014). "Fine Gael, Labour and Fianna Fáil all down in dramatic Sunday Independent MillwardBrown opinion poll - Independent.ie". Irish Independent. Retrieved 1 March 2014. 
  13. ^ a b "Fine Gael stay top but mixed news for Labour in new polls". Irish Examiner. 22 February 2014. Retrieved 22 February 2014. 
  14. ^ a b Brophy, Daragh (25 January 2014). "Good news (and bad) for coalition as opinion polls give contrasting takes". TheJournal.ie. Retrieved 25 January 2014. 
  15. ^ Ferry, Declan (9 January 2014). "Paddy Power Red C poll: Fine Gael and Labour lose support in first opinion poll of New Year". Irish Daily Mirror. Retrieved 9 January 2014. 
  16. ^ "Sunday Times poll boost for Coalition". RTÉ.ie. 21 December 2013. Retrieved 21 December 2013. 
  17. ^ Collins, Stephen (11 December 2013). "Support for coalition parties up as country exits bailout". The Irish Times. Retrieved 11 December 2013. 
  18. ^ Collins, Stephen (12 December 2013). "Poll analysis: support for Government parties rallies despite budget". The Irish Times. Retrieved 12 December 2013. "The Green Party has now fallen to less than 1 per cent and is now included among the Independents/Others." 
  19. ^ a b Leahy, Pat (24 November 2013). "Labour finally gets a break after bruising year". Sunday Business Post (Dublin). p. 10. 
  20. ^ a b McConnell, Daniel (17 November 2013). "Poll: Support for Government parties unchanged". Sunday Independent. Retrieved 18 November 2013. 
  21. ^ "First Preference Vote Intention – 7th Nov 2013". General Election Opinion Poll. Red C. 7 November 2013. p. 5. Retrieved 7 November 2013. 
  22. ^ Sheahan, Fionnan (26 October 2013). "Labour party fails to get Budget bounce". Irish Independent. Retrieved 29 October 2013. 
  23. ^ "Poll suggests Labour Party support at 25-year low". RTÉ. 1 October 2013. Retrieved 1 October 2013. 
  24. ^ McConnell, Daniel (28 September 2013). "Poll: Clear majority in favour of abolishing Seanad". Sunday Independent. Retrieved 28 September 2013. 
  25. ^ McShane, Ian (September 2013). "J.4769: Sunday Times Opinion Poll". Behaviour & Attitudes. pp. 3, 10. Retrieved 22 September 2013. 
  26. ^ "Labour support on the rise in latest poll". breakingnews.ie. 21 September 2013. Retrieved 27 September 2013. 
  27. ^ "Government parties under pressure". 16 September 2013. Retrieved 17 September 2013. 
  28. ^ "Support for both Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil is down according to opinion poll". RTÉ News. 1 September 2013. Retrieved 1 September 2013. 
  29. ^ "FG and FF neck and neck in poll". RTÉ News. 18 August 2013. Retrieved 1 September 2013. 
  30. ^ "Poll suggests Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin support up but fall in backing for Fine Gael, Labour and Seanad abolition". RTÉ News. 7 July 2013. Retrieved 23 August 2013. 
  31. ^ "Fianna Fáil support falters rather than collapses". The Sunday Business Post. 1 July 2013. Retrieved 23 August 2013. 
  32. ^ a b "Polls suggest varying support for political parties". RTÉ News. 14 June 2013. Retrieved 23 August 2013. 
  33. ^ "Opinion poll suggests Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael support is neck and neck". RTÉ News. 1 June 2013. Retrieved 23 August 2013. 
  34. ^ "Poll shows Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael support level". RTÉ News. 25 May 2013. Retrieved 23 August 2013. 
  35. ^ "Majority support abortion on grounds of suicide". RTÉ News. 18 May 2013. Retrieved 23 August 2013. 
  36. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s "RED C General Election Opinion Poll". The Sunday Business Post. 28 April 2013. Retrieved 15 May 2013. 
  37. ^ a b c d "National Opinion Poll: Early April". Sunday Independent. 14 April 2013. Retrieved 24 May 2013. 
  38. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Sunday Times/Behaviour & Attitudes March, 2013 Opinion Poll" (PDF). Dublin: Behaviour & Attitudes. 26 March 2013. p. 10. Retrieved 15 May 2013. 
  39. ^ "New opinion polls has Fianna Fáil as top party". The Irish Times. 18 October 2012. Retrieved 18 October 2012. 
  40. ^ "Red C Political Opinion Poll". January 2012. Retrieved 13 January 2013. 
  41. ^ "Poll finds Fianna Fáil back as State's second-biggest party". The Irish Times. 18 October 2012. Retrieved 18 October 2012. 
  42. ^ a b c "National Opinion Poll / 23rd–24th May 2012". Sunday Independent. 27 May 2012. Retrieved 24 May 2013. 
  43. ^ "Sinn Féin surges as leader of anti-treaty forces". Irish Times. 25 May 2012. Retrieved 28 May 2012. 
  44. ^ a b c "Red C General Election Opinion Poll". 18 May 2012. Retrieved 18 May 2012. 
  45. ^ "Poll shows sharp drop in satisfaction with Government". RTÉ News. 19 April 2012. Retrieved 30 April. 
  46. ^ "Opposition to Oireachtas amendment grows, poll finds". The Irish Times. 25 October 2011. Retrieved 25 October 2011. 
  47. ^ "Sinn Féin emerges as second party of choice in Republic". The Irish Times. 7 October 2011. Retrieved 7 October 2011. 
  48. ^ "Presidential Election Poll Results September 2011" (PDF). Dublin: Millward Brown Lansdowne. 17 September 2011. p. 7. Retrieved 22 April 2012. 
  49. ^ "Higgins leads two Áras opinion polls but Labour’s support falls". 4 September 2011. Retrieved 4 September 2011. 
  50. ^ "Majority dissatisfied with Govt's performance". RTÉ News. 20 July 2011. Retrieved 21 July 2011. 
Others
  1. ^ a b Constitution, Article 16.6; Electoral Act 1992, section 36.
  2. ^ "Electoral Act, 1992". Office of the Attorney General. Retrieved 2014-05-27. 
  3. ^ "Table of Contents". Dáil Éireann debates. 9 March 2011. Retrieved 10 January 2014. 
  4. ^ a b Beesley, Arthur (16 September 2013). "Kenny says next election will be held in March 2016". Retrieved 16 September 2013. 
  5. ^ a b "Proportional Representation – Information". Irish Citizens Information Board. Retrieved 26 October 2008. 
  6. ^ Electoral (Amendment) (Dáil Constituencies) Act 2013, Section 2
  7. ^ "Joe Higgins TD 'not retiring' from politics despite deciding against running in election". Irish Independent. 27 April 2014. Retrieved 27 April 2014. 
  8. ^ http://www.herald.ie/news/quinn-quits-as-minister-and-set-to-leave-dail-30401645.html