20 November 2023 –An Coimisiún Toghcháin, Ireland’s independent electoral commission has made its independent recommendations to the Oireachtas on the make-up of Ireland’s electoral constituencies for June’s European Parliament elections.
The Commission recommends, in its report laid before the Oireachtas today, that an additional 14th MEP allocated to Ireland for the European Parliament elections, will be allocated to the Midlands-North West constituency, and that the counties of Laois and Offaly transfer from the South constituency into the Midlands constituency.
The recommendations follow a month long public consultation with submissions received from political parties, elected representatives and interested individuals.
The recommendations meet the statutory requirements set down for this review that there should be reasonable equality of representation between constituencies; that each constituency must have between 3 and 5 seats; that breaches of county boundaries should be avoided; and that continuity should where possible be maintained.
Chair of An Coimisiún Toghcháin, the Electoral Commission, Supreme Court Judge, Ms. Justice Marie Baker stated:
“In late September a long-awaited EU decision allocated an additional 14th MEP seat to Ireland, stemming from our growing population and EU rules on the European Parliament’s composition.
“Our recommendation is to allocate this additional seat to the Midlands-North West constituency, making it a five-seater and bringing in the counties of Offaly and Laois into that constituency from the South. The Dublin constituency remains unchanged.
“As Ireland’s independent electoral commission, we have worked quickly to ensure this recommendation is brought forward ahead of the statutory schedule. It is now for the Oireachtas to consider and legislate appropriately.”
For further information, please contact:
Brian Dawson, Communications and Public Engagement Manager,
An Coimisiún Toghcháin, The Electoral Commission,
086 0749344 – Brian.firstname.lastname@example.org
Table 2 from the report below lays out the make-up of the recommended European Parliament constituencies.
An Coimisiún Toghcháin, The Electoral Commission
An Coimisiún Toghcháin is a statutory, independent body, established on 9 February 2023 with responsibility for a broad range of electoral functions set out in the Electoral Reform Act 2022. An Coimisiún is central to Ireland’s electoral system, carrying out a range of existing electoral functions, including:
- the conducting of reviews and making reports in relation to the constituencies for the election of members to the Dáil and the election of members to the European Parliament.
- responsibility for the registration of political parties.
- the decision-making, oversight, secretariat and supporting services associated with explaining the subject matter of referendum proposals, the promotion of public awareness of referendums and encouragement of the relectorate to vote at referendum polls; and
- making reports for the Minister in relation to local electoral boundaries.
An Coimisiún is also tasked with several new electoral roles, including:
- preparing research programmes and conducting research on electoral policy and procedure, and providing advice, as required, to the Minister and Government.
- promoting public awareness of, and working to increase public participation in the State’s electoral and democratic processes through education and information programmes;
- overseeing the modernised Electoral Register, making recommendations and setting standards in relation to its maintenance and updating;
- the regulation of online paid-for political advertising, ensuring transparency in respect of online political advertisements during the period of an election or referendum campaign;
- responsibility for the investigation and monitoring of online disinformation, online misinformation and manipulative or inauthentic behaviour online during election campaign periods, as well as functions to prevent manipulative or inauthentic behaviours online.
- the preparation of ex-post reports on the administration of electoral events.
It is anticipated that the initial set of functions assigned to An Coimisiún will be expanded upon as it builds capacity and expertise.