2016 Labour Party leadership election (Ireland)

The 2016 Labour Party leadership election was a leadership election within Ireland's Labour Party that was triggered when Joan Burton announced her intention to relinquish the role of leader. Burton took the decision to step down as Labour leader on 10 May 2016, and in the aftermath of the party's poor showing at the 2016 general election.[1][2]

2016 Labour Party leadership election

← 2014 20 May 2016
  Brendan Howlin Aviva.jpg
Candidate Brendan Howlin
Party Labour Party
Percentage Unopposed

Leader before election

Joan Burton

Elected Leader

Brendan Howlin

Alan Kelly's hand during his television interview announcing his intention to lead the Labour Party

In contention for the position were Brendan Howlin, Seán Sherlock and Alan Kelly.[3] Kelly announced his intention to seek leadership of the Labour Party on 13 May.[4] That evening, he appeared as a guest on The Late Late Show, during which he high fived the host Ryan Tubridy, hinted that he would not necessarily have a deputy leader and appeared to have a mysterious message scrawled on his left hand.[5]

However, Kelly failed to garner the necessary support to enter the contest, and Howlin was elected unopposed to lead Labour on 20 May 2016.[6]


  1. ^ Doyle, Kevin (10 May 2016). "'Regrets, I've had a few' – Joan Burton refuses to name successor as she resigns as Labour Party leader". Irish Independent. Independent News and Media. Retrieved 10 May 2016.
  2. ^ Harrison, Shane (10 May 2016). "Joan Burton to step down as Irish Labour leader after disastrous election". BBC News. BBC. Retrieved 11 May 2016.
  3. ^ Battle for Labour party supremacy begins with Alan Kelly, Brendan Howlin and Sean Sherlock all expected to announce their candidacy, 12 May 2016.
  4. ^ Alan Kelly to run for Labour Party leadership, RTÉ News, 13 May 2016.
  5. ^ The reaction to Alan Kelly's interview on the Late Late Show, 13 May 2016.
  6. ^ "Brendan Howlin becomes new Labour Party leader". RTÉ News. RTÉ. 20 May 2016. Retrieved 21 May 2016.