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Dublin: 0°C Saturday 5 December 2020
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Turnout for Saturday election was fourth-lowest ever in history of the State

Turnout was actually down by over two percentage points.

Image: PA Images

TURNOUT FOR SATURDAY’S general election was the fourth-lowest ever in the history of the State.

With 39/39 constituencies declaring results, turnout has been confirmed at 62.9%, down by 2.2 percentage points on the 65.1% in 2016.

The only general elections with lower turnouts in the history of the State were 2002 (62.6%), 1922 (62.5%) and 1923 (61.3%).

Saturday’s poll was the first general election to be held on a Saturday since 1918.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said when announcing the election that the weekend date was chosen because schools were closed and families would not be required to take a day’s annual leave.

There were also suggestions that people may have more time to vote at a weekend, with students also potentially more available to vote in their home constituencies. 

In the event, turnout was perhaps affected by bad weather yesterday with Storm Ciara leading to a Status Orange wind warning being put in place across three counties yesterday.

Turnout percentage is, however, frequently criticised as a method of determining engagement in an election due to problems with the electoral register

The list of people eligible to vote is made up of three different lists, the ‘live’ Register of Electors, the draft register, and the supplementary register.

About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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