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Results and explanations : Ireland


The government party Fianna Fail (UFE) lost one seat from its previous figure of seven although its percentage of the national vote actually increased to 38.65% from the 1994 figure of 35%. The second party Fine Gael (EPP) retained its four seats with 24.6% of the national vote compared to 24.27% in 1994. Both sitting Green MEPs were returned on 6.7% of votes cast which was a drop from 8% at the last election. The Labour Party which had amalgamated this year with the Democratic Left also held its single seat, with Proinias de Rossa replacing the previous MEP Bernie Malone (PES) who was unsuccessful in her fight for a second Labour seat. The Labour vote stood at 8.75% however, compared to the combined Labour-Democratic Left vote of 14.4% in 1994. The outgoing ELDR leader Pat Cox was returned with 14.2% of the vote in his constituency representing 4.6% of the national vote - an increase on his national vote of 2.4% in 1994. The most significant media story was the election of the independent candidate and former Eurovision Song Contest winner Dana Rosemary Scallon on preference votes and standing on a pro-family and anti-abortion ticket. She took a seat previously held by Fianna Fail, obtaining 16% of the vote in the Connaught-Ulster constituency (3.6% of the national total).

The turnout was 50.7% - an increase on the 1994 figure of 44%. Voting is not compulsory in Ireland. The country sends 15 MEPs to Strasbourg and is divided into four constituencies; voting patterns across the consituencies can therefore affect the distribution of seats. There is no specific threshhold for parties to gain seats which are allocated in each constituency on the basis of the votes cast by the electorate under a system of preference voting..

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