The dust has now settled on the local election results. Mícheál Lehane assesses where each of the parties stand in the aftermath of this electoral contest that is often viewed as an accurate barometer of the voters’ mood in advance of a general election.

View the Local Election results in full here

Fianna Fáil

The party retained top spot in local government winning 279 seats. That represented a gain of 12 seats. Crucially too it saw the party win new seats across Dublin. For the first time in two decades the party is the biggest group on Dublin City Council.

Fine Gael 

There were gains for Fine Gael in this election but not in the order of 50 seats, which was the party's publicly stated aim four weeks ago. In the end it secured 255 seats.

This is the first time in 20 years that a party in Government grew its vote in council elections. But if this contest is viewed as a dry-run for a general election, then it probably did not offer Fine Gael TDs the level of assurance they had hoped for, notwithstanding the party's impressive showing in the European Parliament elections.

Sinn Féin

There was nothing but bad news for Sinn Féin in these elections. Five years ago the party won 159 council seats. It did lose more than a dozen in the years since, often amid allegations of bullying.

It departs these elections with a total of 81 seats. That's a massive decline for a party that approached this vote hoping to hold what it had.

Sinn Féin strategists are already trying to figure out what went so wrong but so far they have not come up with any obvious answers. And that's surely a headache for the still relatively new leader, Mary Lou McDonald.


This was a strange result for Labour. It's vote was slightly down on 2014 but when the counting was completed it finished up with 57 seats.

That's six more than it won five years ago. Significantly too there were new councillors elected in: Waterford, Cork and Louth.

These are all areas where the party is hoping to gain Dáil seats in the next general election.

Green Party

This was a resounding success story for the Greens. It had 12 seats on the morning of Friday 24 May and three days later there were 49 Green Councillors elected throughout the country.

The greatest Green presence is in Dublin, but there were gains too in areas like: Galway City, Cork City and Kildare.

The question now is, can these results propel the Greens to win more than six Dáil seats in the next general election? That was the total it returned with in 2007 and it ultimately was enough to give the Greens a key place in government.

Social Democrats 

This was a good day's work for the Social Democrats. It was the first time the party fought a council election campaign and the results were very respectable after it finished with 19 councillors.

The Social Democrats now have a spread of councillors across Dublin but also in areas like Kildare, Cork, Limerick City and Galway City. 


Solidarity-PBP lost 17 seats in this election leaving it with 11 councillors. This marks a poor return given that it ran just over 70 candidates.

People Before Profit Leader Richard Boyd Barrett said the party was unable to get the vote out this time in areas where it had been successful in the past.


The independent vote was down three points compared to 2014, but 187 non-aligned councillors were elected across the 166 local electoral areas. This illustrates the combined strength of this group and its enduring popularity with voters. 


There were 11 other councillors elected including three for the Independents 4 Change group, three for Peadar Tóibín's new party Aontú, and one each for the Workers' Party and Renua.