2020 Irish general election

2020 Irish general election

← 20168 February 2020

159 of 160 seats in Dáil Éireann[a]
80 seats needed for a majority
Opinion polls
Turnout62.9% Decrease 2.2pp
 First partySecond partyThird party
 Micheal Martin (official portrait) (cropped).jpgMary Lou McDonald (official portrait) (cropped).jpgLeo Varadkar 2016.jpg
LeaderMicheál MartinMary Lou McDonaldLeo Varadkar
PartyFianna FáilSinn FéinFine Gael
Leader since26 January 201110 February 20182 June 2017
Leader's seatCork South-CentralDublin CentralDublin West
Last election44 seats, 24.3%23 seats, 13.8%50 seats, 25.5%
Seats before452247
Seats won38[a]3735
Seat changeDecrease 7Increase 15Decrease 12
Popular vote484,315535,573455,568
SwingDecrease 2.1%Increase 10.7%Decrease 4.7%

 Fourth partyFifth partySixth party
 Eamon Ryan Green Party.jpgBrendan Howlin (official portrait) (cropped).jpgRóisín Shortall TD and Catherine Murphy TD cropped.jpg
LeaderEamon RyanBrendan HowlinCatherine Murphy
Róisín Shortall
PartyGreen PartyLabour PartySocial Democrats
Leader since27 May 201020 May 201615 July 2015
Leader's seatDublin Bay SouthWexfordKildare North
Dublin North-West
Last election2 seats, 2.7%7 seats, 6.6%3 seats, 3.0%
Seats before372
Seats won1266
Seat changeIncrease 9Decrease 1Increase 4
Popular vote155,69595,58263,397
SwingIncrease 4.4%Decrease 2.2%Decrease 0.1%

 Seventh partyEighth partyNinth party
Peadar Tóibín (official portrait) (cropped).jpg
LeaderCollective leadershipPeadar TóibínNone
PartySolidarity–PBPAontúInds. 4 Change
Leader sincen/a28 January 2019n/a
Leader's seatn/aMeath Westn/a
Last election6 seats, 3.9%New party4 seats, 1.5%
Seats before611
Seats won511
Seat changeDecrease 1Steady 0Steady 0
Popular vote57,42041,5758,421
SwingDecrease 1.3%New partyDecrease 1.1%

2020 Irish general election - Results.svg
Results of the election by constituency.

Taoiseach before election

Leo Varadkar
Fine Gael

Elected Taoiseach


The 2020 Irish general election took place on Saturday, 8 February. This was the first election since 1918 to be held on a weekend. The election was called following the dissolution of the 32nd Dáil by the president, at the request of Taoiseach Leo Varadkar on 14 January 2020. 159 of 160 Dáil Éireann seats were contested, with the Ceann Comhairle (speaker) being re-elected automatically.

The three largest parties each won a share of the vote between 20% and 25%. Fianna Fáil finished with 38 seats, including the Ceann Comhairle, whose seat was not contested. Sinn Féin made significant gains. It received the most first-preference votes and won 37 seats, its best result since it took its current form in 1970. Fine Gael, the governing party led by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, finished third in both number of seats (35) and first-preference votes. International news outlets described the result as a historic break from the two-party system, as it was the first time in almost a century that neither Fianna Fáil nor Fine Gael won the most votes.[1][2] Before the election, the leaders of those parties had ruled out forming a coalition government with Sinn Féin.

To secure a majority, a government would need the support of 80 or more Teachtaí Dála of the 160 seats in the Dáil. Any government would therefore need the support of more than two parties or a large group of Independent TDs, or a formal confidence and supply arrangement with another party that would agree to abstain on votes of confidence and the budget.


Since the 2016 Irish general election, Fine Gael led a minority government with the support of Independent TDs, including the Independent Alliance. It relied on a confidence and supply agreement with Fianna Fáil.

On 3 December 2019, a motion of no confidence in the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government Eoghan Murphy proposed by Catherine Murphy for the Social Democrats was defeated, with 53 votes in favour to 56 votes against and 35 registered abstentions.[3] On 9 January 2020, Independent TD Michael Collins called for a motion of no confidence in the Minister for Health Simon Harris.[4] On 14 January, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar sought a dissolution of the Dáil which was granted by the president, with the 33rd Dáil to convene on 20 February at 12 noon.[5][6] The election was set for 8 February, which was to be the first time a general election was held on a Saturday since 1918.[7][8]

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