949 County and City Council Seats
The 2019 Irish local elections were held in all local authorities in Ireland on Friday, 24 May 2019, on the same day as the 2019 European Parliament election and a referendum easing restrictions on divorce. Each local government area is divided into local electoral areas (LEAs) where three to seven councillors are elected on the system of proportional representation by means of the single transferable vote.
There was one change to the local government areas since the 2014 elections, with a transfer of land from County Cork to Cork city under the Local Government Act 2019.
Reviews of the county boundaries near Drogheda, Athlone, and Carlow (Graiguecullen) recommended no change. A review recommending transfer of Ferrybank from Kilkenny County Council to Waterford City and County Council was rejected by minister Simon Coveney after objections from Kilkenny.
Two Local Electoral Area Boundary Committees were established in 2017 under the Local Government Reform Act 2014 and reported on 13 June 2018. The government accepted all recommendations and the boundaries of municipal districts and LEAs were consequently revised by statutory instruments signed on 19 December 2018 by John Paul Phelan, Minister of State at the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government. In 2014, most districts had a single LEA and all LEAs, back then,(except for Cork city) had between 6 and 10 councillors, whereas in 2019 LEAs will had between 3 and 7 councillors and some large municipal districts on the west coast had two LEAs to account for the greater distances involved for elected representatives.
Under the 2014 Act, the municipal districts containing the area of the former borough councils of Clonmel, Drogheda, Sligo and Wexford are designated as borough districts. The Boundary Committee proposed also designating census towns over 30,000 as borough districts, which would include the towns of Bray, Navan and Dundalk. A change to this designation was made by statutory instrument but was later reversed as incompatible with the 2014 act.
Plebiscites took place in Cork City Council, Limerick City and County Council and Waterford City and County Council on whether to create the office of directly-elected mayors with executive functions who will act as an ex officio member and chair of the council. These plebiscites were held under Part 6 of the Local Government Act 2019. The proposal was approved in Limerick City and County and rejected in both Cork City and Waterford City and County.
The elections were held in accordance with the Local Elections Regulations 1995 as amended. Relevant dates are as follows:
Fine Gael head office issued a pre-election circular to its candidates on strategy for negotiating post-election power-sharing deals with other parties or groups. It prohibits deals with Sinn Féin, except where a council shares power across all groups (typically via D'Hondt method allocation of posts).
Garda inquiries were launched in relation to an unusually large number of postal vote applications in the Ballymote–Tubbercurry LEA, and alleged irregularities around 200 names added to the supplementary electoral register in the Killarney LEA.
Ellie Kisyombe, a Malawi-born refugee running for the Social Democrats in Dublin's North Inner City LEA, was retained after a review of inconsistencies in her account of her asylum history and time in Direct Provision, which caused several party members to resign in protest. The principal of Cadamstown national school in County Kildare was criticised for a letter to parents praising Fianna Fáil councillors over those of Fine Gael in dealing with the school.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar stated after the poll that news of a personal injury claim taken by Fine Gael TD Maria Bailey in the week preceding the elections had caused reputational damage to Fine Gael.
|Polling firm / Commissioner||Sample
|17 April 2019||Red C/The Sunday Business Post||1,000||27||20||15||5||<1||1||5||<1||<1||4||23[nb 2]|
Republican Sinn Féin and Independent Left are not registered parties; therefore their candidates appear on the ballot as Non-Party.
People Before Profit and Solidarity candidates ran under the electoral alliance Solidarity–People Before Profit.
|Party||Seats||±||1st Pref. votes||FPv%||±%|
|People Before Profit||7||7||21,972||1.29||0.41|
|Inds. 4 Change||3||3||8,626||0.50||0.39|
|Workers and Unemployed Action||1||2,621||0.15||0.04|
|Kerry Independent Alliance||1||1,983||0.11||0.01|
|Republican Sinn Féin||1||971||0.06||0.03|
|Electorate: 3,559,633 Total votes: 1,772,022 Spoilt votes: 35,883 (2.03%) Turnout: 49.78%|
|Dublin City||11||9||8||8||10||5||2||1||1[nb 3]||8||63||Details|