2019 European Parliament election in Ireland

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2019 European Parliament election in Ireland

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All 13 Irish seats to the European Parliament
  First party Second party Third party
  Leo Varadkar 2016.jpg Mary Lou McDonald (official portrait) (cropped).jpg Micheál Martin 2015 (cropped).jpg
Leader Leo Varadkar Mary Lou McDonald Micheál Martin
Party Fine Gael Sinn Féin Fianna Fáil
Leader since 2 June 2017 10 February 2018 26 January 2011
Last election 22.3%, 4 seats 19.5%, 3 seats 22.3%, 1 seat

  Fourth party Fifth party Sixth party
  Brendan Howlin Aviva (cropped).jpg Eamon Ryan Green Party.jpg
Leader Brendan Howlin Eamon Ryan
Party Labour Party Green Party Solidarity–PBP
Alliance S&D Greens/EFA GUE/NGL
Leader since 20 May 2016 27 May 2011
Last election 5.3%, 0 seats 4.9%, 0 seats 1.8%, 0 seats

  Seventh party
  Róisín Shortall TD and Catherine Murphy TD cropped.jpg
Leader Róisín Shortall & Catherine Murphy
Party Social Democrats
Alliance TBA
Leader since 15 July 2015
Last election N/A
Members of the
European Parliament

for Ireland
1st delegation (1973)
2nd delegation (1973–77)
3rd delegation (1977–79)
1st term (1979)
2nd term (1984)
3rd term (1989)
4th term (1994)
5th term (1999)
6th term (2004)
7th term (2009)
8th term (2014)
9th term (2019)
List of women MEPs

The 2019 European Parliament election in Ireland is the Irish component of the 2019 European Parliament election and will be held on Friday, 24 May 2019, on the same day as the 2019 local elections.[1] The election will be conducted in three constituencies under the single transferable vote (STV). Thirteen MEPs will be elected, although two will be designated as not to take their seats until Brexit has taken legal effect.

Constituency changes[edit]

A Constituency Commission chaired by High Court judge Robert Haughton was established by the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government in July 2018 to redraw constituencies in line with this in seats.[2][3]

The Commission's report was published on 24 September 2018 and proposed the following changes:[4][5]

  • Dublin gains an extra seat from 3 to 4; with no boundary changes.
  • South gains an extra seat from 4 to 5, and gains counties Laois and Offaly from Midlands–North-West.
  • Midlands–North-West loses Laois and Offaly to South, but remains a 4 seater.

The European Parliament Elections (Amendment) Act 2019 enacted the changes recommended by the Constituency Commission. It also provided that the last candidate elected in the Dublin and South constituencies would be noted by the returning officer and that they would not take up their seats until a date has been specified by the European Parliament.[6]

The United Kingdom invoked Article 50 to withdraw from the European Union on 29 March 2017 following the 2016 referendum to leave the European Union. As Article 50 has a two-year period for withdrawal, the United Kingdom would not be part of the 2019 European Parliament election scheduled for May 2019. In July 2018, the European Council made a decision to redistribute a number of the seats from the United Kingdom to other member states. The allocation of MEPs from Ireland increased from 11 to 13. In the event that the United Kingdom is still a member of the EU at the beginning of the 2019–2024 parliamentary term, the allocation of seats will remain as it was in the previous parliament, until its withdrawal becomes legally effective.[7][8][9]

The two seats to be withheld will be the two added since 2014, namely the fourth seat in Dublin and fifth seat in South. There was confusion about how this would be implemented, given Ireland's STV electoral system. Taoiseach Leo Varadkar hinted that two parallel count processes might be used in each constituency: for example, Dublin would first fill three seats using a quota of one-quarter of the votes plus one, then start again and fill four seats with a quota of one-fifth plus one. On 18 April Eoghan Murphy, the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, clarified that there would be only one count process per constituency, using the larger number of seats, and that the final candidate to be deemed elected would be the one whose seat would be withheld until the UK MEPs have withdrawn.[10]

Retiring incumbents[edit]

The following MEPs have announced that they will not be seeking re-election:

Constituency Departing MEP Party First elected Date announced
Dublin Nessa Childers Independent 2009 18 July 2017[11]
South Brian Crowley Fianna Fáil 1994 17 January 2019[12]
Dublin Brian Hayes Fine Gael 2014 6 November 2018[13]
Midlands–North-West Marian Harkin Independent 2004 1 April 2019[14]


  1. ^ "Polling Day Orders made for European and local elections". Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government. 25 March 2019. Retrieved 27 March 2019.
  2. ^ "S.I. No. 279/2018 - European Parliament Constituency Committee (Establishment) Order 2018". Irish Statute Book. 24 July 2018. Retrieved 23 March 2019.
  3. ^ Therese, Molloy Marie. "Minister Murphy establishes Constituency Committee to review European Parliament constituencies". merrionstreet.ie. Retrieved 28 July 2018.
  4. ^ "Report on European Parliament Constituencies 2018" (PDF). Constituency Commission. 24 September 2018. Retrieved 23 March 2019.
  5. ^ "Dublin and Ireland South to gain extra European Parliament seats". RTÉ News. 24 September 2018. Retrieved 25 September 2018.
  6. ^ "European Parliament Elections (Amendment) Act 2019". Irish Statute Book. 12 March 2019. Retrieved 23 March 2019.
  7. ^ European Council Decision (EU) 2018/937 of 28 June 2018 establishing the composition of the European Parliament
  8. ^ "Number of Irish MEPs set to increase post-Brexit". RTÉ News. 7 February 2018.
  9. ^ "Ireland set to gain two extra EU parliament seats after Brexit". RTÉ News. 12 June 2018.
  10. ^ McMorrow, Conor (18 April 2019). "No 'double counts' after European elections - Murphy". RTÉ. Retrieved 19 April 2019.; "Questions on Promised Legislation". Dáil Éireann (32nd Dáil) debates. Oireachtas. 18 April 2019. Retrieved 19 April 2019.
  11. ^ "Childers will not seek re-election as MEP in 2019". RTÉ News. 18 July 2017. Retrieved 8 March 2019.
  12. ^ "Veteran MEP Brian Crowley confirms he won't be contesting European Election". TheJournal.ie. 17 January 2019. Retrieved 8 March 2019.
  13. ^ "Brian Hayes to leave politics to take up banking industry role". The Irish Times. 6 November 2018. Retrieved 8 March 2019.
  14. ^ "Marian Harkin not to contest European Parliament elections". The Irish Times. 1 April 2019. Retrieved 1 April 2019.