Simon Harris in favour of limiting number of TDs

Simon Harris In Favour Of Limiting Number Of Tds
Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris has said he would be in favour of limiting the number of TDs in the Dáil.
Share this article

Vivienne Clarke

Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris has said he would be in favour of limiting the number of TDs in the Dáil.

However, he was uncertain how many TDs there should be and that the Electoral Commission could carry out some research


“This is because I don't know the answer and I need to be big enough to say that. So we have an Electoral Commission now, an actual commission which has a research function in the Electoral Act. And I think what should happen, and it's for the Electoral Commission to decide its work.”

International best practice should be examined and at the least “spark a national conversation” on the appropriate number of national legislatures in Ireland. “Is the only correlation between the number of legislatures and the population of Ireland? I think the only two things that were actually going to decide population equals exit. Or are there other factors that we should take into consideration? I think it's a conversation at least worth having.

“I hear different views on this. I mean, it is true to say that for Irish people the constituency service provided by TDs is important to people. But in an era where, I'm not talking about reducing the number of TDs, where the number of TDs are rising, do we want them to raise ad nauseum? That's the rule at the moment. That's what the Constitution says. But I wonder, is there space to now have a more informed discussion.”

The Electoral Commission had done its job. Their independent work should be accepted and legislated for, he said. There was no clarity on what the next Dáil should look like and what the boundaries will be. “But I do think there are interesting questions now around the size of constituencies.”


Mr Harris said he had an open mind about six seater constituencies. He did not have a “particularly informed view” and it was the job of the Electoral Commission to do the research and bring forward policy discussions in relation to what the different options are for government and the Oireachtas and the people to consider.

The Minister said he intends to seek re-election in Wicklow. “Every election is always tough. Any time I've asked the people of Wicklow to elect me, they've been good enough to do so. You never take your neighbours, friends, community for granted. But I look forward to seeking re-election in Wicklow in the next election.

Read More

Message submitting... Thank you for waiting.

Want us to email you top stories each lunch time?

Download our Apps
© 2023, developed by Square1 and powered by