The Dáil will increase by at least nine TDs and possibly as many as 19 TDs after the next General Election because of our rising population.
As the Irish Examiner reports, Electoral Reform Bill amendments approved by the Cabinet will allow for the number of TDs to increase to at least 169 and not more than 179, up from the current number of 160.
At present, there are 39 Dáil constituencies and the increase in numbers will force a number of boundary redraws, particularly in urban areas where population growth has been more acute in recent years.
“An amendment to the terms of reference of the Electoral Commission - the Electoral Commission will be required, following the next census of population, to recommend Dáil constituencies based on a total number of members in Dáil Éireann of not less than 169 and not more than 179,” the memo to Cabinet stated.
“This is proposed in response to the latest estimates (i.e. 5,011,500) from the Central Statistics Office in respect of population growth. The Commission is independent in setting this figure. The Bill concluded its second stage in the Dáil last week so amendments will be at Committee Stage after Easter,” the memorandum added.
The final number will be decided upon once the recent census data is calculated.
The Constitution states that the number of TDs cannot be more than one for every 20,000 of the population and cannot be less than one for every 30,000. There are 160 TDs. Ireland is divided into 39 constituencies and each constituency must elect at least three members to the Dáil.
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