Â© 2015 McDougall Trust, London. This article reviews the radical changes in voter turnout and political support levels evident at the May 2014 Local and European electoral contests in the Republic of Ireland. This analysis considers the degree to which such trends might be reflective of the classic second-order election model. But it also considers whether something deeper may be at play here, shaped by the dramatic political changes in Ireland that have accompanied the period of financial austerity following the onset of the European debt crisis in the 2007â€“08 period. These contests could prove to be more austerity elections rather than classic second-order contests. Support for the more mainstream political parties (Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and Labour) has collapsed over the past few years. This suggests that the May 2014 election results could reflect a more radical transformation of the Irish political system, rather the temporary, mid-term, decline in government popularity that characterises the second-order election model.