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Sinn Féin members Alamy Stock Photo
Local Elections

Sinn Féin running more candidates than ever - but still fewer than Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael

Sinn Féin is running 335 candidates in the local elections.

SINN FÉIN LEADER Mary Lou McDonald said today that the party is “really stretching” itself by running the highest number of candidates it has ever ran in the local elections.

That number however, is still fewer than both Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael.

Sinn Féin is putting forward 335 candidates for the June 7 local election compared to Fianna Fáil’s 365 and Fine Gael’s 339.

Speaking at the party’s local election manifesto launch today in Monaghan, Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald said the party is contesting in every LEA [local electoral area] in the country. 

“We’re running 335 candidates across the state. This is the most that we’ve ever stood by a very, very large margin,” McDonald said.

“Our youngest candidate is 18 and our most mature candidate, I have to be careful of my language here, is 78 and we have every age in between.

“We have people from every background in an Irish life.

“I think the size of the team that we’re running reflects the ambition that we have, not just for these elections, but for our country,” McDonald added. 

While support for Sinn Fein continues to decline ahead of next month’s elections, according to recent polls, the party is confident it can build on its 2020 general election success.

“Some 46% of our candidates are women, I’m happy to say. We’re not quite at 50% yet but we’re getting there,” McDonald said.

“I’m very conscious going around the country that there is a sense now in many, many communities that they’re not listened to, that they’ve been left behind, that politics represents just more of the same old same.

“That’s a bad thing. I think that’s a really unhealthy thing for our politics and our democracy.”

Looking at the gender-split across the three big parties, Sinn Féin is the closest to an equal balance of men and women.

Fianna Fáil comes bottom of the class on this front compared to the other main parties in the state with just 25% (90) of its candidates women. 

Fine Gael fares slightly better with 97 women, or 28.6%. 

Some 41% of the Labour Party’s candidates are women, while the Social Democrats have said 50% of its candidates are. 

The Green Party said it is running 64 women and 65 men in the local elections, making the breakdown around 50:50.

Contains reporting from Cate McCurry, Press Association and Christina Finn. 

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