Although it has long been recognised that the politics of the larger Irish borough constituencies before the reform acts of 1832 turned on conflicts of opinion over serious issues, thorough analysis has been hampered by the paucity of one crucial type of evidence — the poll book. This necessary resource for candidates in the days of open voting, in which in their most complete form the names, addresses, qualifications, occupations and votes of the voters at a particular election are recorded, has survived in substantial numbers for English constituencies but rarely for those in Ireland. Cork City is an exception. Poll books for the seven contested elections in this constituency between 1812 and 1830 have survived, and these, together with the more commonplace statistical and written evidence which they enrich, provide ample material for a thorough analysis — in this case of voting behaviour. In this paper we provide a description of the general social and economic contexts of elections in Cork and focus upon the results of a variety of psephological tests to which the poll books have been subjected.