The Speaker
Sunday, 21 July 2024 – 08:16

Polls open for Irish General Election

Saturday may not always be considered the biggest day of the week for politics, but this Saturday is a bit different in the Republic of Ireland as polls for its general election.

Polls opened at 7am and will close at 10pm, in what is the first-ever Irish general election vote on a Saturday. An exit poll is expected after the polls close, while full results are not due until Monday or Tuesday.

Residents on the islands off the coasts of Galway, Mayo and Donegal have already cast their votes, doing so on Friday to ensure their ballots reaching counting centres on time. 

The last Irish general election was held in 2016, after which Fine Gael led a minority government. The 2020 election was called after Taoiseach Leo Varadkar requested the dissolution 32nd Dáil, which is the lower house of the legislature (Parliament) in Ireland.

There are some concerns that turnout may be negatively impacted by Storm Ciara, which is expected to bring heavy rain and wind to much of the UK and Ireland.

The election campaign has been largely dominated by voter anger at soaring rents and the disintegration of healthcare services.  An opinion poll earlier this week showed Fine Gael who currently leads the coalition in third place, behind Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin. Sinn Féin are expected to do well in the election, but that is doubt that they or any other party will win enough seats for a majority. 


Photo: Dáil Chamber | Credit: Tommy Kavanagh [CC BY-SA]

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