Greens see surge in support in local and European elections

The first few councillors have got across the line in the local elections. Results are starting ...

14.50 25 May 2019

Share this article

Greens see surge in support in...

Greens see surge in support in local and European elections


14.50 25 May 2019

Share this article

The first few councillors have got across the line in the local elections.

Results are starting to come in from across the country after a long day of separating the ballots.

Five councillors have been elected in Mayo, Kerry and Connemara as ballot counters start to get towards the business end of the day.


However, some areas are still separating ballots and won't start counting the locals until tomorrow.

Green Wave

An exit poll suggested a big jump in support for The Green Party, with three of their European candidates in contention.

They could also quadruple their number of seats on Dublin City Council.

On the local election front, Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil are neck and neck on 23%.

Both are in the mid-teens though in Dublin where seats will be lost to a resurgent Green Party.

"Swept by the green wave"

That so-called 'green wave' is more of a ripple outside of Dublin, where the two largest parties will remain the largest.

Limerick Labour TD Jan O'Sullivan has said Labour has been "swept by the green wave".

"I think a lot of the people who have normally voted for us have voted Green this time.

"In a way I don't begrudge it to The Greens because they were wiped out after being in government in 2011.

"We lost all but seven seats coming out of government in 2016 - it seems to be the fate of what I would call the principled, progressive parties when we go into government with bigger parties.

"So I don't begrudge it to The Greens, but it has definitely affected the Labour vote - particularly in the European elections, but also in the locals".

Sinn Féin will be disappointed with leader Mary Lou McDonald's first electoral test.

The party is looking at 12% nationally in the locals - and while they will keep some MEPs, their vote is down too.

It also looks to be a tight race for the final European seats in all three constituencies.

The counting in those elections does not start until Sunday and could continue until Thursday

Green candidates are on course to get elected in all three European constituencies - and it has polled 9% in the local elections.

Party leader Eamon Ryan told Newstalk Breakfast Ireland is reflecting what is happening in other European countries.

"It's to do with a whole range of different things: it is those climate strikes.

"It's those young people standing up and saying we have to protect nature, that's our future, our future is threatened.

"And I think that actually affected public consciousness".


Culture Minister Josepha Madigan defended her Government's record on climate change, and said the rise in support for the Greens is not surprising.

"We have to learn from places like France - where if you don't get the buy-in in  relation to climate change, nothing is going to happen.

"I'm not surprised  at the groundswell in support for the Greens in relation to this.

"But in government is very different to local level.

"I think the people have spoken - it is a good thing in a way that green issues are being taken seriously by the Irish people".

Fianna Fáil General-Secretary Seán Dorgan believes exit polls can underestimate his party.

"I would say this based on experience: I think that 22% or 23% in that poll last night for the locals - I think that will nudge up for this.

"I'm very confidence we had a very strong local election campaign - both across Dublin and across the country.

"36% of our candidates were new, first-timers - you know, let's see".

Pearse Doherty, Sinn Féin's spokesperson on finance, said it is still early days.

"Even a small movement in the exit polls between a number of candidates - like one point up or one point down between certain candidates - can change a lot in all three constituencies.

"I think we just need to wait and see and play this out".

But Fianna Fáil polled just 9% for two candidates in Midlands North West and will not take a seat there.

Fine Gael may benefit with a chance both Mairead McGuinness and Maria Walsh will be elected.

But Fine Gael is likely to lose one of its two seats in Ireland South.

The exit poll though comes with a health warning of a 4% margin of error.

Results timetable

Counting of results in the local elections and the divorce referendum began at 9.00am.

The European election counts for Ireland's three constituencies will not start until Sunday morning.

A Europe-wide embargo means results cannot be declared until 10.00pm tomorrow night.

Counting in the mayoral plebiscites is set to get underway on Monday in the three affected cities - Cork, Limerick and Waterford.

Reporting by Sean Defoe | Additional reporting: Jack Quann

Share this article

Read more about

European Elections Fianna Fáil Fine Gael Green Party Ireland South Local Elections MEP Midlands-North West The Green Party

Most Popular