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Dáil Elections

This article was last reviewed 6 months 2 weeks ago
It is due for its next review in 5 months 2 weeks

A Dáil election (general election) must be held within 30 days after the dissolution of the Dáil.The Clerk of the Dáil issues a writ to the returning officer (pdf, 453kb) in each constituency instructing them  to hold an election.

The Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government appoints the polling day which must be between the 18th and 25th day (excluding Good Friday, Sundays and Public Holidays) after the issue of the writs. The Minister also appoints the polling period which must be  at least 12 hours between 7:00am and 10:30pm.

Further information is available in the information leaflet - How the Dáil is elected (pdf, 229kb) or on the citizens information website

The responsibility for conducting the election in each constituency rests with the returning officer (pdf, 453kb).  The cost of running the election is met by the Department of Finance, from the Central Fund., based on a Charges Order made by the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform.

Dáil Constituencies

The 33rd Dáil consists of 160 members who represent the 39 constituencies specified in the Electoral (Amendment) (Dáil Constituencies) Act 2017

Counting of Votes

The count at an election commences at 9 a.m. on the day after polling day, at count centres throughout the country. A separate count is undertaken in each constituency. The ballot boxes are opened and ballot paper accounts verified. The ballot papers are then sorted and doubtful ballot papers excluded. The returning officer adjudicates on these, proceeds to count the first preferences and then calculates the quota. Subsequent preferences are then counted until all seats are filled. On completion of the count, the returning officer declares the results of the poll and sends on a certificate of the members who will serve in the new Dáil from that constituency, together with count details to the Clerk of the Dáil.

Island Voting

Election Posters

Posters may only be erected for a certain specified time period before an election.  The period is from the date the polling day order is made until seven days after polling day.  These requirements relating to election posters are set out in section 19 of the Litter Pollution Act 1997.   Further information on election posters.

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