30 May 2023 – An Coimisiún Toghcháin, The Electoral Commission has seen a record public response to its call for submissions on a Constituency Review of the 39 Dáil and 3 European Parliament Constituencies.
The Electoral Commission received 556 submissions from elected representatives, political parties, academics, sports and community groups and interested individuals. All submissions are published on the Commission website www.electoralcommission.ie.
The record level of public interest comes as the Central Statistics Office today publishes the final results of Census 2022. The Electoral Commission’s Constituency Review recommendations will be presented to the Oireachtas no later than 30 August, 2023, being three months from today’s publication of the final census report.
The Dáil currently has 160 TDs. The Oireachtas has asked An Coimisiún to review current arrangements and make a recommendation of between 171 and 181 TDs for the next election. The constituencies are reviewed in line with the Constitutional criteria of 1 TD to represent between 20,000 and 30,000 people, and the considerations set out under the Electoral Reform Act 2022.
Ireland currently has 13 MEPs representing three constituencies, Dublin, South and Midlands-North-West. The Commission will review these constituencies in line with considerations set out under the Electoral Reform Act 2022. The European Parliament is considering a proposal for one or two extra MEPs for Ireland’s constituencies, but this has not yet been confirmed.
For further information, please contact:
Brian Dawson, Communications and Public Engagement Manager,
An Coimisiún Toghcháin, The Electoral Commission,
The previous record number of submissions was for the 2012 Constituency Review which recorded 533 submissions. The most recent review in 2017 saw 414 submissions.
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, and for the preparation and maintenance of the Register 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 electorate 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;
- responsibility of the regulation of online paid-for political advertising, ensuring transparency in respect of online political advertisements which have been purchased to run 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.