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Electoral Laws - Ireland

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IRELAND
Elections to the European Parliament : 11 june 1999
Electoral Procedure

 

  TOTAL WOMEN MEN
No. of inhabitants 3 736 000 1 881 500 1 854 500
of which, resident EU citizens 85 200 44 500 40 700
No. of potential voters (18+) 2 701 500 1 377 800 1 323 700
No. of young people (18-23) * 393 100 193 900 199 200
No. of seats 15    
No. of inhabitants per seat 249 067    


Source: Eurostat estimates based on Eurostat population scenarios (baseline variant) and the latest data.

*
Age group voting for the first time in EP elections (last EP elections: June 1994).

 

1. Legal basis


The Electoral Act 1992, the European Parliament Elections Acts 1997, the Electoral Act 1997, the Electoral (Amendment) Act 1998 and the European Parliament Elections (Forms) Regulations 1998.

 

2. Electoral system


-    Ireland is divided into four constituencies: Dublin, 4 seats; Munster, 4 seats; Leinster, 4 seats;           Connacht/Ulster, 3 seats.

-    The Single Transferable Vote (STV) method is used. This system is quasi-proportional:
            votes cast + 1 = quota
             seats+1

    Candidates are listed on the ballot paper in alphabetical order. Each voter casts his/her vote for     one candidate and in addition indicates in order of preference the candidate(s) to whom his/her     vote is to be transferred if the candidate of his/her first or subsequent choice has already reached     the quota or has obtained too few votes and has thus been eliminated.

-    Allocation of seats: A candidate is elected once he or she has reached the quota. Any votes accruing to a candidate in excess of the quota are redistributed on a proportional basis among the remaining candidates in accordance with the preferences expressed by the voters.

 

3. Registration of candidates


-    Deadline for registration: The final date for registration of candidates was Monday 17th May.

-    Deposit: £Irl 1000 per candidate must be deposited at the time of nomination. Where a candidate obtains at least one quarter of the number of votes required for election, the deposit is returned.

-    Conditions: Candidates may either nominate themselves or be nominated by a third party. No-one may stand in more than one constituency.

-    Incompatibilities: Those laid down in the 1976 Act on Elections to the European Parliament. In addition, membership of the European Parliament is not compatible with the office of Judge or Comptroller and Auditor General. Persons who are elected to the European Parliament while holding the office of Attorney General, Chairman or Deputy Chairman of the Dáil or Seanad or Minister of State shall, on election to the Parliament, cease to hold that other office. Otherwise, Membership of the European Parliament is compatible with membership of the Dáil or Seanad.

4. Polling day : Friday 11 June 1999


-    Polling day: Friday 11 June 1999. Polling stations will be open between 8am and 9 pm.

-    The count begins on Sunday 13 June. Results of the first count will be announced at 10pm on Sunday 13 June; the results of subsequent counts will be announced as they are completed (probably between 24 and 48 hours later).

5. Voting / standing for election


-    Right to vote

 All EU citizens aged 18 or over who are resident in Ireland and in full possession of their voting rights in their Member State of origin are entitled to vote.

 Irish citizens resident abroad, whether in the EU or outside it, are not entitled to vote.

-    Right to stand for election

 Any EU citizen aged 21 or over who is resident in Ireland and in full possession of his/her right to stand as a candidate in his/her Member State of origin may stand for election.

6. Election campaign


        -    Funding: There are legal limits on electoral expenditure, i.e. not more than £Irl 150 000 per candidate (this total to include the candidate's own expenditure as well as any expenditure on his behalf by his party and/or any other organisation or person).

-    Official campaign starting date: None.

.     Media access: An agreement is fixed between the parties and the television authorities. (The allocation of party broadcasting is subject to a recent decision of the Courts intended to ensure equitable access for all concerned.)

-    Each candidate may send one message by post to all voters in his constituency.

-    Opinion polls: Permitted up to polling day.

 

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