Changes For Midlands Counties Recommended In Dáil Constituency Review

The Electoral Commission is recommending that the number of TDs for the next Dáil be increased by 14.

A significant shake-up is recommended for the midlands counties in a review of the country's electoral map.

The Electoral Commission is recommending the number of TDs in Dáil Eireann should increase by 14 to 174, while the number of constituencies will increase from 39 to 43.

Laois and Offaly will once again be split, and become three-seat constituencies comprising entirely of each county.

It currently has five sitting TDs. 

Longford-Westmeath, which had consisted of all of Longford and the majority of Westmeath, will be increased to a five-seater, and will now be made up of both counties in full.


The Electoral Commission recommends Laois should once again become it's own constituency and will be a three-seater.

The change will see four electoral divisions moved from the Kildare South constituency, with a combined population of 10,510.

The Laois constituency would have a population of 91,877 in total, meaning each TD would have responsibility for 30,626 people.

The Electoral Commission says it considered the breach of county boundaries with the Kildare South constituency in the Portarlington area and the increase in population of the constituency which meant that it could not remain a 5 seat constituency without substantial transfer out.

Many of the submissions called for areas around Portarlington in Laois to be transferred to the Offaly constituency.

This would be the first time that a Laois constituency fully aligns with its county boundary.


Similar to Laois, Offaly would become a three-seat constituency, if recommendations from the Electoral Commission are followed.

The Commission recommends that the constituency of Offaly should align with the county boundary.

This involves the transfer of the Portarlington North ED from the Kildare South constituency with a population of 2,591.

The Offaly constituency would have a population of 83,150, meaning each TD would have responsibility for 27,717 people.

This would be the first time that the Offaly constituency would fully align with its county boundary


The Electoral Commission recommends the Longford Westmeath constituency be increased to a five-seater.

This would see 19 EDs from the Meath West constituency, which are part of County Westmeath, brought into the Longford Westmeath constituency.

Those EDs have a total population of 9,484.

The Longford Westmeath constituency would have a population of 142,972, meaning each TD would have responsibility for 28,594 people.

The Electoral Commission says the main considerations were the 10.4% rise in population and the existing breach in the Co. Westmeath boundary by the Meath West constituency.

This change to the constituency would see it be exclusively made up of the entire counties of Longford and Westmeath for the first time since 1980.

Kildare South would remain as a four-seater, after losing the North Portarlington area to the new Offaly constituency.

The Meath West constituency would also stay as a three-seater, and lose the North Westmeath area to the Longford Westmeath constituency.

One of the biggest splits is in Dublin Fingal which becomes two new constituencies -Fingal East and West - with the east based around Swords, Portmarnock and Malahide

It's one of four new seats in Dublin overall 

The biggest redrawing is of Wicklow and Wexford which become three constituencies where there was two 

A Wicklow constituency running from Bray to Wicklow town and Baltinglass in the west

Wexford which comprises most of the county south of Enniscorthy

And a Wicklow Wexford area which starts above Enniscorthy and finishes below Wicklow, taking in Arklow.

Cork gets two extra seats in the North Central and South Central areas

Tipperary is split into two different constituencies.

Kildare North gets an extra seat as does Galway East, Mayo and Meath East which takes back territory from Louth

Chair of the Electoral Commission Justice Marie Baker says it's a significant shake-up:

Justice Marie Baker says some constituencies gave them real trouble:

A review of Ireland's electoral map is "good news all round" for the midlands region.

That's according to Political analyst and lecturer in Geography in Maynooth University, Colt's Adrian Kavanagh.

Mr. Kavanagh says elections in certain regions could become even more competitive:

Art O'Leary from the Electoral Commission defended the creation of more three seat constituencies which tend to favour bigger parties:

Former TD for Wexford and Government Minister Ivan Yates believes the redraw benefits Sinn Féin:

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