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Fianna Fail candidates hand in their papers in Dublin. Leah Farrell/
Knock Knock

They're all looking for your vote, but what should you ask politicians when they come to your door?

Here are a few suggestions.

THE POSTERS ARE up and the evenings are getting longer. That means that you’re likely to be getting more and more politicians coming to your door over the next three weeks.

The local and European elections are being held on 24 May, and at we want you to be informed and ready.

Not just at the ballot box though. So to get the most out of any doorstep interactions you may have with politicians over the next few weeks, here’s some guidance about how to approach them.

The suggestions are based on our own thoughts, those sent in by readers and will be focused on general local topics. Issues specific to your own area might require some of your own digging.

One last thing, we’re going to do this issue by issue to put some structure on it.


It’s perhaps the most pressing issue facing politicians right now and one which local politicians do have some influence over, so it’s one that will definitely come up on the doorsteps.

You could ask:

What do you think are the main problems contributing to the housing crisis?

What role can local authorities play in alleviating the problem?

What have you done as an advocate to help people in housing difficulty?

Are you okay with local authorities suspending people from social housing lists?

What’s your position on Part V developments and the obligations on developers to supply social housing?

What could you as a councillor do the make greater use of derelict and vacant properties?

One suggestion sent in by a reader was about landlord politicians:

Are you a landlord? How many of your colleagues are landlords? And how do you reconcile this vested interest with offering solutions to the housing crisis and the property market in general?

Another was about Traveller accommodation:

Will you commit to drawing down Traveller accommodation funds and providing culturally appropriate housing?

Another was about zoning:

Have you or would you vote in favour of selling publicly owned residential zoned land?

Green Party 01 copy_90570023 The Green candidates are getting ready on their bikes. Sam Boal Sam Boal

The environment

A broad topic which includes issues relating to waste, climate change, utilities and transport. It’s another that local candidates will definitely face questions about.

What can you as a councillor do to help combat climate change?

What’s your view on election posters?

Have you made any efforts in your campaign to reduce your carbon footprint?

How can councils improve efforts against illegal dumping?

What are your priorities for transport in the area?

Some suggestions sent in to us:

Do you have a track record of working on environmental issues and could you give me some examples?

Is cycling among your priorities and what are your thoughts on cycling infrastructure?

How will you implement and promote sustainable development goals?


You could also ask politicians about how they plan to get things done and their view on their place in the political system.

What is your background away from politics?

Why did you get into politics?

Can you give me an example of a time when you’ve worked with an opposing politician to get something done?

Why are you/are you not a member of a party?

posters 854_90569590 (1) Posters up in the Dublin. Sam Boal / Sam Boal / /

Several people suggested asking politicians about last year’s repeal of the Eighth Amendment. So you could ask:

What was your position on the repeal of the Eighth Amendment and can you outline what you did as a campaigner during the referendum?

Other people have raised issues around the cost of insurance. You could ask:

Politicians have said a lot of things about the cost of insurance, but should they be doing more to regulate private insurers?

The above list is far from exhaustive, so if you’ve any more to add leave your suggestions in the comment section below. 

Happy doorstepping!

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