General Election 2020 Bulletin, 14 - 17 February 2020

Feb 14, 2020

After two days of jampacked vote counting and three-and-a-half weeks of busy campaigning, the 160 seats in the 33rd Dáil are finally filled. A three-way majority deadlock has emerged between Fianna Fáil (38 seats), Sinn Féin (37 seats) and Fine Gael (35 seats), there is no clear winner in terms of the majority in the Dáil. With talks of a potential coalition on the horizon, read our election update for a quick look at the results and what’s next.  

 

The demographics

With over 3.4 million citizens eligible to vote in the General Election 2020, the election saw a voter turnout of 62.9 per cent to vote for 515 candidates running in 39 constituencies. As each constituency has a specific number of seats that need to be filled, those seats will make up the 33rd Dáil. Ultimately, a party needs to win 80 seats to achieve the majority. The number of Dáil members is not fixed, but the Constitution provides that there must be at least one TD for every 20,000 to 30,000 people in Ireland. There were 158 TDs in the 32nd Dáil, and there will be 160 TDs in the 33rd Dáil.

 

The result

 

After two days of jampacked vote counting and three-and-a-half weeks of busy campaigning, the 160 seats in the 33rd Dáil are finally full, and the General Election 2020 has concluded (for now). With a three-way deadlock emerging between the biggest contenders, Fianna Fáil (38 seats), Sinn Féin (37 seats) and Fine Gael (35 seats), there is no clear winner in terms of the majority in the Dáil. However, a historic election in many ways, the change in peoples’ opinions has been highlighted by their voting pattern. The smaller parties have also seen a remarkable resurgence in terms of support, with the Green Party coming out with 12 seats and Social Democrats winning 6 seats.

With all 160/160 seats filled, we’ve provided readers with a summary of the current seat allocation, and the change in first preference votes since the last General Election held in 2016.   

Political Party

No. of seats in GE 2020

% of 1st Preference Vote (39/39 1st counts)in GE 2020

% Share - Change since GE 2016

Fine Gael

35

20.9

-4.7

FiannaFáil

38

22.2

-2.2

SinnFéin

37

24.5

+10.7

Labour

6

4.4

-2.2

Green Party

12

7.1

+4.4

Social Democrats

6

2.9

-0.1

Independent

19

12.2

-3.5

Table 1: Figures taken from RTÉ 

 

What issues influenced the voters? 

According to an exit poll conducted by Ipsos/MRBI, party policies and opinions on issues of Health (32 per cent) and Housing/Homelessness (26 per cent) were the top deciding factors for the many people voting. Following shortly behind were Pension Age (8 per cent), Climate Change and Jobs (6 per cent each), and Taxation (4 per cent). With the poll result based on the responses of more than 5,000 people at 250 polling stations across the country immediately after they voted, the exit poll suggests that only one per cent of respondents were concerned about the issue of Brexit.  

 

 

What’s next?

 

With all parties nowhere near the coveted 80 seats needed to secure a Dáil majority, we may see the larger parties considering potential coalition options with their smaller counterparts. With talks currently underway between party leaders, the process to get a Government in place is ongoing.

 

 

Where can I see updates? 

 

You can view live updates on developments in the elections in real time on the RTE Election 2020 page. You can also read all our updates on our Public Policy web centre.