Low voter turnout in Longford municipal district as just over half the electorate has its say

Only 55.4% of Longford's electorate turned out to vote on Friday

Jessica Thompson

Reporter:

Jessica Thompson

Email:

jessica.thompson@longfordleader.ie

Low voter turnout in Longford as just over half the electorate has its say

Only 55.4% of Longford people turned up to vote on Friday, according to latest figures released by Longford LEA at the election count centre in Edgeworthstown today.

There is a total electorate of 12,356 in Longford municipal district and, with only 6,813 of those turning up to vote, there is a certain disappointment among candidates.

Independent candidate Gerry Warnock expressed his disappointment to the Longford Leader this afternoon, saying that the low turnout really affects smaller parties.

"I'm very disappointed with the low turnout, particularly in the Longford town area," he said.

"It squeezes out smaller parties and independents and I think the bigger parties are totally singing when they see a lower turnout there."

And, he added, it will most likely be those who did not vote who will have problems with the new council over the coming five years.

"You have people there and they're giving out, looking for change and they're cribbing and crying about councillors and officials and this, that and the other, and yet they couldn't be bothered voting so, look, they have nothing to complain about," he said.

Fianna Fáil's Joe Flaherty said that, while the turnout was low, it is the turnout that the council has to work with.

"I think as we went around on the canvass, there was certainly a lot of anger and a lot of disappointment in people at the state of national politics that reflected in local politics as well and I think that unfortunately did feed into the low turnout," he said.

"Be as it may, that's the votes we have and if we went and had the election again next week we'd have a completely different turnout, so it's very hard to rationalise why the turnout was so low."

Follow our live blog to stay up to date with today's count.