Census results could see 10 more TDs in the Dáil
A political analyst said the results of the next census could see several more TDs sitting in the next Dáil.
Odran Flynn, speaking ahead of Census Day this weekend, said if the population grew there could be an expanded Dáil chamber.
“I think the population will be around 5.1 million.
“[This] would mean constitutionally, because the Constitution requires a minimum of one TD per 30,000 people, that would mean a minimum of 170 TDs – that’s 10 more than what we have now,” Flynn said..
He thinks it will “get hearts racing in a number of places on the potential TDs”.
“Population growth, as has been the case for some years, tends to be concentrated more in the Greater Dublin area, so I would expect to see several additional seats in and around Dublin.
“In Kildare, Meath, Louth, Wicklow… and maybe even another in Cork.”
Mr Flynn added that a boundary commission could get to work with the new data, which could potentially see “a big shake-up” in the chambers.
“So unless there are elections before the scheduled date of 2025, there will be a big upheaval in the Dáil.
“That would mean, for example, a majority [of] 86 seats would be needed to have a majority in the Dáil.”
As households prepared to complete their census forms over the weekend, Mr Flynn reminded the audience of the impact the results would have over the next 10 years.
“It’s important because, fundamentally, it’s one of the key tools in determining what the structure of the country will be – infrastructure and many others – for the next decade.
“For example, this will determine our housing problem, renewable energy, education needs, health needs, age profiles – which will tell us how many schools we will need in the future and where they are.”
In a new addition, people will be asked to fill in anonymous messages which will be kept by the Central Bureau of Statistics for 70 years before being transferred to the National Archives to be unsealed in 2122.
Forms must be completed on census night, April 3, and will be picked up by a census taker by May 6.