2021 Seanad by-elections
Two by-elections were held for vacancies in Seanad Éireann on Wednesday, 21 April 2021. The vacancies were caused by the resignations of Fine Gael's Michael W. D'Arcy from the Agricultural Panel in September 2020 to become chief executive of the Irish Association of Institute Management; and of Sinn Féin's Elisha McCallion from the Industrial and Commercial Panel in October 2020 due to a COVID-19 grants controversy.
In vacancies in the Vocational panels, the electorate in by-elections consists of Oireachtas members only, which will consist of 160 TDs and 58 Senators. To be nominated, a candidate must have the signature of nine TDs and/or Senators. Ballot papers were issued on 7 April and the polls closed at 11 am on 21 April.
All votes were cast by postal ballot, and were counted using the single transferable vote. Under this system, voters can rank candidates in order of their preference, 1 as their first preference, 2 for second preference, and so on. Ballots are initially given a value of 1,000 to allow calculation of quotas (Droop quota) where all ballots are distributed in the case of a surplus.
Sinn Féin did not run any candidates but backed independent Unionist Ian Marshall on the Agricultural Panel and Billy Lawless on the Industrial and Commercial Panel. The Social Democrats also supported Ian Marshall on the Agricultural Panel.
In early March 2021, the Green Party executive council, as well as the majority of their TDs and Senators, agreed not to run candidates for the Seanad by-election, but to leave each of the larger two parties, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, to run one candidate each, in line with an informal agreement between the three government parties. However, on 22 March 2021, Hazel Chu announced her intention to run as an independent candidate. As a result, Green Party leader Eamon Ryan indicated that he would not vote for her on this occasion, and further that Chu's role as party chairperson might be discussed internally.
|Fine Gael||Maria Byrne||58.4||118,000|
|Independent Unionist||Ian Marshall||34.2||69,000|
|Electorate: 218[a] Valid: 202,000[a] Quota: 101,001[a] Turnout: 92.7%|
Industrial and Commercial PanelEdit
|Fianna Fáil||Gerry Horkan||56.2||114,000|
|Electorate: 218[a] Valid: 203,000[a] Spoilt: 4,000[a] Quota: 101,501[a] Turnout: 94.9%|
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