How does the voting system work?
In Ireland, all elections are decided through the proportional representation with a single transferable vote (PR-STV) system. It is quite a unique system with only Ireland and Malta using it.
In order to vote for a candidate, you simply indicate your preference by putting the relevant number on the box beside their name e.g. If you would like to give your first choice to Candidate A then you write ‘1’ in the box beside their name. If you would like to give your second preference to Candidate B, then you write ‘2’ in the box opposite their name and so on down through the list of candidates. You can number all candidates or just stop at one – the choice is yours.
If you do give 2nd, 3rd, 4th preferences, then you are instructing that your vote be transferred to your second preference if your first choice is either elected with a surplus of votes over the quota or is eliminated.
If your second choice is elected or eliminated, your vote may be transferred to your third choice, and so on.
So your one vote can go a long way!
For further information and a full explanation: https://www.housing.gov.ie/sites/default/files/migrated-files/en/Publications/LocalGovernment/Voting/FileDownLoad,1895,en.pdf