Live: Dublin Bay South byelection – Ivana Bacik poised to win Dáil seat

Livestream and rolling coverage of Dublin Bay South byelection count in the RDS
Live: Dublin Bay South byelection – Ivana Bacik poised to win Dáil seat

Tomas Doherty

Livestream and rolling coverage of the Dublin Bay South byelection count in the RDS

Main points:

  • Ivana Bacik looks set to win the byelection. With all the boxes tallied, she has a lead over her nearest rival.
  • The Labour candidate secured 30.4 per cent of first preference votes in the tally, with Fine Gael's James Geoghegan at 26 per cent.
  • If the tally is correct, it would be a setback for Fine Gael and party leader Leo Varadkar.
  • Sinn Féin candidate Lynn Boylan is at 15.71 per cent, with the Green Party's Claire Byrne tallying 7.89 per cent.

Read more:


Here are the first count results:

Total poll: 27,044
Valid votes: 26,882
Invalid: 162
Quota: 13,442
Bacik (Lab): 8,131
Barrett (NP): 183
Boylan (SF): 4,245
Byrne (GP): 2,157
Cahill (Ind): 169
Conroy (FF): 1,247
Dooley (Ind): 261
Durcan (SD): 849
Flynn (Ind): 879
Geoghegan (FG): 7,052
Gilbourne (Ren): 164
Keigher (Ind): 23
O'Keefe (Ind): 23
Purcell (Sol-PBP): 759
Tóibín (Aon): 740

Bacik tops the poll and Keigher and O'Keefe are eliminated on the first count.


Labour leader Alan Kelly said he is “very proud” of how Ivana Bacik performed in the Dublin Bay South by-election.

Speaking outside the RDS in south Dublin, he said: “She is somebody who we have admired for many years, she has been a member with us all her adult life.

“Hopefully today will be her day and she will be elected to Dail Eireann.

“She put in an incredible performance. She was literally out morning, noon and night with a fantastic campaign team.

“It was a positive campaign. We are very proud of her.

“It’s a good day for our party.”


Sinn Féin candidate Lynn Boylan has congratulated Ivana Bacik on what appears to be a certain victory.

“It’s not a long time ago when the idea of Sinn Féin having a seat in Dublin Bay South was unthinkable,” said Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald. “We still have huge prospects for growth.”

She added: “It is safe to say that the Government has been given a very strong message from this constituency.”


Counting is done and it looks like a comfortable lead for Labour candidate Ivana Bacik.


Here is the new electoral map for Dublin Bay South, based on the final tally.

And this is what it was like in February 2020, 17 months ago...



Ivana Bacik leads with 30 per cent after the final tally.


A tally sheet shows a majority for Sinn Féin's Lynn Boylan. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA
Unopened ballot boxes at Simmonscourt, RDS in Ballsbridge, Dublin. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA
A ballot paper showing preferences. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA



Almost half the tally done, results of the first count are expected about 2pm.


A look back at the results of the last election in Dublin Bay South in February 2020.

Sinn Féín and Fine Gael support was strong in distinct areas of the constituency, shown in the maps below. Will this byelection produce similar results, or will we have a new electoral map?

Further detail on the 2020 election results is available on Ian Richardson's site, here.



Independent candidate Dolores Cahill is refused entry to the count at the RDS because she refused to wear a mask. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins


The housing crisis dominated the election campaign, but will it be deciding issue?

Dublin Bay South has a higher share of flats and apartments than nationally (49 per cent compared to 11.8 per cent), and a lower proportion of houses and bungalows (48.2 per cent compared to 86.5 per cent).

The constituency also has a larger percentage of houses that are rented from a private landlord (44.3 per cent) than nationally (18.3 per cent). Most of the homes in Portobello, Ranelagh, Rathmines and Ballsbridge are privately rented.

Social housing is currently concentrated in the inner city areas of the constituency.

The planned development of 3,500 homes on the former Glass Bottle site in Ringsend was a dominant campaign issue.

There were reports that turnout was at near general election levels in Pearse Street and Ringsend, where Sinn Féin has been the leading party in recent elections.

It suggests that Lynn Boylan may perform better than was suggested in The Irish Times constituency poll, which put her support at 13 per cent.



This byelection was the first to take place during the coronavirus pandemic.

A series of safety arrangements were put in place to ensure the poll could be held in line with public health advice.

Hand sanitiser was available at all polling stations, while voters were asked to wear masks and observe social distancing rules when inside.

A man leaves a polling station in Rathgar yesterday. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA

Polling stations were sanitised at regular intervals, with Perspex screens set up at each presiding officer’s desk.

Polling hours were also extended by 30 minutes to assist Covid-19 arrangements, closing at 10.30pm instead of the traditional 10pm.

Similar safety measures are in place at the vote count in the RDS this morning, with face masks, screens and sanitiser in use.


They're off... Counting is under way in the RDS.


It is still unclear how the pandemic has impacted voter turnout in Dublin Bay South.

By 9pm, the average turnout was reported at 40 per cent in the constituency, according to figures from RTÉ.

That compared to just 24 per cent of voters who had shown up to cast their ballot by 5pm.

Turnout was highest in Ringsend, reaching 44 per cent by 9pm.

In Harold’s Cross it was 40 per cent, in Sandymount it was 41 per cent, while Ranelagh saw the lowest turnout by a distance, at 27 per cent.

By those measures, turnout is significantly lower than in the 2020 general election.

However, in the four byelections held in 2019, turnout fell between 25 and 35 per cent.


Good morning. The count is about to begin in the Dublin Bay South byelection.

Polling in the contest to replace Fine Gael TD and former minister Eoghan Murphy closed at 10.30pm last night, and counting is now ready to get under way at the RDS.

The frontrunners – Labour’s Ivana Bacik, Fine Gael’s James Geoghegan and Sinn Féin’s Lynn Boylan – could face an anxious wait for the outcome, with the possibility that tallying will continue into the weekend.

Turnout was initially low throughout the day on Thursday, but picked up later into the evening.

Other candidates include Cllr Deirdre Conroy of Fianna Fáil, and Cllr Claire Byrne running for the Green Party.

The Social Democrats chose Sarah Durcan, while the People Before Profit candidate is Brigid Purcell.

The other candidates in Dublin Bay South are Justin Barrett (National Party), Jacqui Gilbourne (Renua), Mairead Toibin (Aontú) and independents Dolores Cahill, Peter Dooley, Mannix Flynn, John Keigher and Colm O’Keefe.

You can watch a live stream of the count on this page and we will provide live updates throughout the day.

Dublin Bay South by-election
Labour candidate Senator Ivana Bacik accompanies her mother Rina to her polling station in Rathgar, Dublin. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA

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