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Dáil Éireann (House of Representatives)

Compare data for parliamentary chambers in the Electoral system module

Parliament name (generic / translated) Oireachtas / Parliament
Structure of parliament Bicameral
Chamber name (generic / translated) Dáil Éireann / House of Representatives
Related chamber (for bicameral parliaments) Seanad Éireann - Senate / Senate
Electoral Law 5 November 1992
Last amendment: 20 March 2013 (Electoral (Amendment) (Dáil Constituencies) Act 2013)
Mode of designation directly elected 158
Constituencies 40 multi-member (3 to 5 seats) constituencies.
Voting system Proportional: Proportional representation under the single transferable vote system.
According to this system, each voter receives a ballot paper containing the names of all the candidates in his/her constituency. He/she votes for one of these by writing the figure 1 opposite the name of his/her choice; the voter is then at liberty to indicate an order of preference for the other candidates by adding the figures 2, 3, 4, etc. against their names.
At the opening of the count, the ballot papers are thoroughly mixed and sorted according to the first preferences recorded. The total number of valid papers is then computed, and from that figure the electoral quota is calculated through division by the number of seats to be filled, plus one. Candidates who obtain a number of first preferences equal to or greater than this quota on the first count are declared elected.
If no candidate has reached the quota, the candidate who received the lowest number of votes is eliminated and his/her votes are transferred to the candidate for whom a second preference is recorded. If a candidate receives more than the quota required for election, the surplus votes are transferred proportionately to the remaining candidates in accordance with the subsequent preferences expressed by the electors. When the number of remaining candidates neither elected nor eliminated equals the number of vacancies to be filled, those candidates are declared elected, although they may not have reached the quota.
Vacancies which occur between general elections are filled through by-elections.
Voting is not compulsory.

Voter requirements - age: 18 years
- Irish or British citizenship
- ordinary residence in the constituency (postal voting possible in some cases)
Eligibility - qualified electors
- age: 21 years
- Irish citizenship
- ineligibility: insanity, undischarged bankruptcy, imprisonment for at least six months
Incompatibilities - full-time members of the armed or police forces
- civil servants (unless excepted)
- certain officers of the European Communities
- President of the Republic
- Comptroller and Auditor General
- judges
Candidacy requirements - candidate may nominate himself/herself or be nominated by a registered elector for the constituency in which he/she intends standing
- political parties must ensure that at least 30% of their general election candidates are women and 30% are men. Failing to respect the quotas will result in their State funding being cut by half. This ratio will increase to 40% from 2023 (7 years from the first general elections held after the Electoral (Amendment) (Political Funding) Act 2012 came into force, i.e. 7 years from the 2016 general election)
- nomination within nine working days of election writ issue
- deposit of 500 euros, reimbursed if the candidate is elected or secures at least one-quarter of the applicable electoral quota

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