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Elections and Voting

Register of Electors Contacts:

Local Elections

Local elections are generally held every five years in the month of May or June. The actual polling day, which is the same in all areas, is fixed by order of the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage. The Minister also fixes the polling period which must last at least twelve hours between 7.00 a.m. and 10.30 p.m.

Typically, the Ministerial Order is signed in February/March of the election year and following this details of the nomination process and the relevant dates will be published online and in local newspapers in the official Notice of Election.

The Notice of Election is published not later than the 28th day before the polling day. This gives the public notice of the following matters:

  • The times for receiving nominations.
  • The amount of the deposit.
  • The times and place at which nomination papers may be obtained.
  • The times and place at which the returning officer will attend to receive nominations.
  • The day and the period fixed for the holding of the poll if the election is contested.

Local elections are managed by Kildare County Council and candidates will contest for 40 seats across 8 Local Electoral Areas. See the online electoral boundaries map.

Further information on how members of local authorities are elected can be found here on the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage website.

The Dáil

The Members of Dáil Éireann are elected by the people of Ireland in a general election. A general election must be held at least every five years, and all Irish and British citizens who live in Ireland and are aged 18 years or over are entitled to vote.

For the purpose of general elections the country is divided into 39 areas known as constituencies. The size of these constituencies varies and they may elect three, four or five TDs. Constituency boundaries can be revised based on changing census results.

The Seanad

There are 60 seats in the Seanad, and 43 Members are elected from five vocational panels representing culture and education, agriculture, labour, industry and commerce, and public administration..

The new Taoiseach nominates a further 11 Members to the Seanad. The final six Senators are elected by the graduates of certain universities, three by the National University of Ireland and three by the University of Dublin, Trinity College.

The Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage has issued a guide in relation to how the Seanad is elected, a copy of which can be found here.

The President

The President is elected every seven years. A President may not serve for more than two terms, a maximum of 14 years. Candidates for election as President must be Irish citizens and over 35 years old. They must be nominated for the election by at least 20 Members of the Oireachtas or four local authorities.

Irish citizens aged 18 years or more are entitled to vote. Like the general election, the Presidential election uses the system of proportional representation by the single transferable vote. If there is only one candidate, no ballot takes place.

The Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage has issued a guide in relation to how the President is elected, a copy of which can be found here .

The European Parliament

Elections to the European Parliament are held across Europe every five years. The citizens of each member state elect a certain number of Members of the European Parliament, MEPs, to represent their interests. Irish citizens elect 13 MEPs.

For the purposes of European Parliament elections, Ireland has three constituencies, namely, Dublin, South and Midlands-North-West. Four MEPs are elected in Dublin, five to represent South and four in Midlands-North-West

The Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage has issued a guide in relation to how MEP’s are elected, a copy of which can be found here .