How to train your TD: strategies for newcomers

Many of the Dáil’s new intake have no or limited council experience. The learning curve will be steep.

Six new Sinn Féin TDs served five-year council terms before they lost their their seats in last year’s local elections. Picture: Fergal Phillips

Seasoned politicians were shocked to see candidates with no council seats taking out experienced TDs in Election 2020.

It goes against one of the most basic theories of Irish politics. If you cannot attract the 900 or so votes that can be enough to win many council seats, there is generally little chance of getting the 3,000-plus votes usually needed to win a Dáil seat.

The Leinster House authorities have tried to make it easier ...