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If SF gets 60 seats… September 24, 2021

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

From the RTÉ Your Politics podcast:

If we get 60 seats, FF/FG can’t stop us… 

According to Pádraig Mac Lochlainn of SF. But is that realisable? 


1. Alibaba - September 24, 2021

The Dáil consists of 160 TDs. It’s hard to see how SF carrying 60 seats will win out. It will come to power in a coalition surely but with whom? I’ve heard it argued there will be uproar in Labour and Social Democrats about entering such a coalition. But then, the electoral outcome alone will dictate what’s realisable and I wouldn’t dismiss Fianna Fáil getting courted as well.

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NFB - September 24, 2021

I have a feeling the SD’s would hold their nose and give supply if not join a coalition. Some of the harder left too. But that would still leave them short. You’d realistically need Labour I would say, if SF were not to kneecap themselves by entering an arrangement with FF.

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EWI - September 24, 2021

You’d realistically need Labour I would say, if SF were not to kneecap themselves by entering an arrangement with FF.

A FF-SF coalition with a strong programme on pensions, housing and reunification would work. MM would be out, of course, but there’s clearly a lucrative EU JobBridge scheme there for ex-PMs

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Ian - September 24, 2021

If SF get 60 seats it will be at the expense of smaller parties like Lab/SDs/Greens/PBP


2. jc - September 24, 2021

Might the best case for SF be a two-election time horizon? FF loses seats in the first election and the Greens get more or less wiped out, leading to a weak FG/FF coalition reliant on independent support. SF allows that coalition to go forward for a while in the absence of any real alternative. Then SF pull the rug out from under them at a moment of crisis and aim to finish the job of taking over from FF as the dominant party of the working and lower middle class. They would need to be able to work with the socialist left and Lab/SDs, so they should be working right now on building trust and policy agreement to make a SF/broad left government feasible as a middle distance goal.


3. banjoagbeanjoe - September 24, 2021

Short answer. Yes it is realizable. 60 seats plus is on for SF. A landslide is possible. Three more years of FFG and people will be gagging for change. And SF is the only viable alternative.

But it’s three or four years off. Anything is possible.


Fergal - September 24, 2021

As pointed up above … 60 out of 160 is no majority…
Could ffg cobble together a grand coalition to save the ‘republic’ ?
How bad can the housing crisis get?
The homelessness crisis…?
An nhs for the south?


4. gypsybhoy69 - September 29, 2021

There was some discussion about the TD numbers increasing due to the population increase in the IT last weekend IIRC. Is that likely to be in time for the next Dáil? The mention was of an extra 7 seats. 60 will be a long way off that total but then again the 60 could be revised up.

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WorldbyStorm - September 29, 2021

That’s worth discussing in greater detail. I don’t know is the answer but one would have thought that there was a justification for more seats. Who does it benefit and who does it prejudice?


Liberius - September 29, 2021

There’s more than a justification for it, there is a constitutional imperative to do it, only really question is will this government collapse before the new boundaries are in place, the census isn’t until April and it generally tends to take a year or so for the constituency commission to present its report, that would mean some time post summer 2023 for the new boundaries.

2° The number of members shall from time to time be fixed by law, but the total number of members of Dáil Éireann shall not be fixed at less than one member for each thirty thousand of the population, or at more than one member for each twenty thousand of the population.

On the basis of the recent CSO population estimate of 5,011,500 the minimum would be 167.05, which would then have to be rounded up to 168 as 167 wouldn’t comply with the constitution. So Eight extra seats, or potentially more if the population growth between April 2021 and the census renders 168 too small constitutionally.



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WorldbyStorm - September 29, 2021

That’s brilliant, thanks Liberius, very handy to know and something people should be making more noise about.


Liberius - September 29, 2021

Slight amendment to the above, the Electoral Reform Bill 2020 hands over the responsibilities of the constituency commissions to the as yet unformed Electoral Commission and instructs them to commence redrawing boundaries after the publication by the CSO of the preliminary census figures, they have to present the report no later than three months after the final census results to the Chairman of the Dáil who then presents the report to both Oireachtas houses. The 2016 Census final results were presented on the 7th of April 2017 so assuming the same continues the Oireachtas should have the report in July 2023; the Electoral (Amendment)(Dáil Constituencies) Bill 2017 was signed into law by President Higgins on the 23rd of December 2017, so probably 2024 before an election with an expanded Dáil.

Page 111 (subhead 65) of the PDF

The Electoral Commission shall perform the functions assigned to it by this part, triggered by

(a) the publication by the Central Statistics Office, following a Census of Population, of
the Census Report setting out the preliminary result of the Census in respect of the
total population of the State…

Page 115 (subhead 68) of the PDF

(1) Where the constituency review function of the Electoral Commission has been
triggered by the circumstances set out in subhead 65(a), the Electoral Commission
shall present the following reports to the Chairman of the Dáil, not later than 3 months
after the publication by the Central Statistics Office of the final result of the Census
referred to in subhead 65(a) in respect of the total population of the State –…

…(4) As soon as may be after the receipt of a constituency review report of the Electoral
Commission, the Chairman of the Dáil shall cause such report to be laid before each
house of the Oireachtas.

Click to access 15ac22d0-1d73-438a-a1f8-4958bdacafa6.pdf


*This trawl of electoral law was a nice distraction from the abysmal first-half of the Benfica v Barcelona match, Koeman out I say, along with Laporta!

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