The Electoral Reform Act 2022 provides for the establishment of an Electoral Commission.
The Electoral Commission was formally established on February 9, 2023.
One of the roles of the Commission is reviewing constituencies and constituency boundaries for general, European and local elections, with reference to matters such as population changes, levels of representation, geographic features, avoidance of breaching county boundaries as far as practicable and retention of contiguous areas for each constituency.
The full set of statutory factors are contained in Section 57 of the Electoral Reform Act 2022 regarding reviews of Dáil and European constituencies.
When the Commission conducts such reviews, a public consultation process is opened, and in this regard interested parties should monitor the Commissions website: www.electoralcommission.ie
On 30 August 2023, the Electoral Commission published its review of Ireland's Dáil/General electoral constituencies.
The report recommends that:
- The number of TDs in Dáil Eireann is increased to 174 (from 160)
- The number of Dáil constituencies is increased to 43 (from 39)
For County Kildare the recommendations are:
- The constituency of Kildare North, with the addition of EDs transferred from the Kildare South constituency, is allocated an additional seat to become a 5-seat constituency. [See pp. 80-81 of above report]
- The constituency of Kildare South, less EDs transferred to the Kildare North as well as the new Laois and the new Offaly constituencies, remains a 4-seat constituency. [See pp. 82-83 of above report]
If the Oireachtas accepts the changes, they will be passed into law and come into effect before the next general election.
Processes related to reviews of local electoral areas by the Commission are set out in Sections 60-63 of the Electoral Reform Act 2022
It is understood that there will be no review of local electoral boundaries until after the June 2024 local elections.