Extra European Parliament seat should go Midlands, commission recommends
Ireland’s additional European parliamentary seat should be allocated to the Midlands-North West constituency, the Electoral Commission has recommended.
The recommendation follows a decision by the European Council in September to increase the number of MEPs for Ireland from 13 to 14.
The commission assessed which of the three constituencies should be given the seat.
To accommodate the addition, the commission has also recommended that the counties of Laois and Offaly transfer from the South constituency into the Midlands constituency.
The Dublin constituency remains the same.
The recommendations come after a month-long public consultation.
Submissions from political parties, elected representatives and interested individuals were all made.
The recommendations are in line with the statutory requirements of the review: namely that there should be reasonable equality of representation between constituencies; each constituency must have between three to five seats; that breaches of county boundaries should be avoided; and that continuity should be maintained where possible.
Electoral Commission chairwoman, Supreme Court Judge Ms Justice Marie Baker, said: “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.”