Up to 19 more TDs will sit in the Dáil after the next general election

Darragh O'Brien

Gabija Gataveckaite

At least nine, and up to 19, extra TDs will be sitting in the Dáil after the next general election.

The Cabinet today signed off an amendment to the terms of reference of the Electoral Commission, which had requested that following last week’s Census, the number of the seats in the next Dáil be increased.

The commission requested the number of seats increase to at least 169, meaning an extra nine seats, or to a maximum of 179, which could be an additional 19 on the current 160.

“This is proposed as part of the constitution in response to the latest population estimates,” a Government spokesman said.

This will mean constituencies will likely have to be redrawn to accommodate the extra seats.

Under the Constitution, there must be at least one TD for every 20,000 to 30,000 people.

Last April, the Central Statistics Office (CSO) estimated Ireland’s population was 5 million and during the last general election in 2016, 4.74 million people were recorded to be living in Ireland.

The Cabinet also signed off on amendments to the Electoral Reform Bill 2022 and the Electoral Reform Act 1997, which will mean general elections will be protected from online interference.

The Bill concluded second stage in the Dáil last week and Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien said today he expects it to be passed before the summer.