1. Almost 7 in 10 (69%) believe their local council would make better decisions if there were more women councillors
  2. Nearly 6 in 10 (58%) would vote for a woman instead of a man if  both candidates were of equal merit so as to increase female representation
  3. The electorate overestimate the current number of women councillors
  4. Nearly three quarters (72%) of respondents believe that women should make up over 40% of local councils


The record number of women candidates in this week’s election received a boost in the survey of 1001 people carried out by Amárach Research on behalf of Women for Election.

The positive message from this survey is clear according to Niamh Gallagher, Co-Founder of Women for Election.  “Almost 7 in 10 (69%) believe their local council would make better decisions if there were more women councillors.  On 23 May, Irish voters have the opportunity to increase the number of women elected to local councils.   This survey shows that not only do they want more women in politics, they are also more likely to vote for a woman if candidates are of equal merit.”

When asked to estimate how many women councillors there currently are, on average Irish people think women make up 21% of councillors in all local authorities across Ireland-the actual number is 17%.

The survey then asked respondents what percentage of women should make up local Councils and almost three quarters (72%) said that this figure should be more than 40%.

A remarkable 69% of those surveyed believed that Councils would make better decisions if there were more women councillors.  “This response is unsurprising because it is clear that a council which is more representative of the electorate will make better decisions commented Niamh Gallagher, Co-Founder of Women for Election.

Finally, when asked to choose between two candidates, one man and one woman of equal merit, almost six in ten (58%) said they would vote for the woman in order to increase female representation.

Michelle O’Donnell Keating, Co-founder of Women for Election commented “These findings highlight that the public understands the current gender imbalance in Irish politics and are open to changing that in the local elections. More importantly, there is a real appetite for change amongst the electorate who want to see talented local women coming forward.

Women make up 51% of the population, they are not a minority group.  The skills, experience and perspective they bring to their communities up and down the country is immeasurable. The fact that an overwhelming majority of those surveyed believe that their local councils would make better decisions if there was more women elected on 23rd May is recognition of that”.

Survey Infograph

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Today. If we want more women in politics, we have to vote them in. If you’re not sure who aligns with your values check out the list of women running below - prepared for you by @women4election . Better representation = better democracy. #MoreWomen https://t.co/rF6W8FTtw3

Special mention to @immigrationIRL, @women4election and @LWLLongford for training and support throughout the campaign. Non-partisan organisations such as these instil the spirit of collaboration among aspiring representatives.
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