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Yea - I have just raised this issue in the comments here, but was not aware that this possibility was already automatically provided for.

Does this mean that the candidate who comes 4th. in the Dublin constituency doesn't win a seat while the UK s still a member but can take a seat automatically the moment the UK leaves? It could have an impact on how many candidates a party might nominate.  -e.g. FG might go for 2 seats if Dublin remains a 4 seater but run just one candidate if Dublin reverts to 3 seats.

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Jan 7th, 2019 at 04:54:01 PM EST
Not sure how that washes out: I'd guess that that is how it would work, I'd check with whoever makes that decision before I swore to it.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Jan 7th, 2019 at 06:05:29 PM EST
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It's a weirdly obscure piece of information: lots of people speculating about what would happen when EP and Council have already provided for it.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Jan 7th, 2019 at 06:06:07 PM EST
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Irish political parties will be nominating their candidates shortly, and there are often rows about how many candidates they should nominate as nominating too many can result in you loosing a seat you might otherwise have won - because intra-party vote transfers are often only 60% efficient. So, for example, Dublin having 3 or four seats could change a party's candidate nomination strategy.

The Ireland South Constituency is also being increased from 4 to 5, but Laois and Offaly are being added to it to compensate for the lack of increase in the number of seats in the midlands-north-west constituency. So what constituencies are used if the UK is still officially a member, and how do you decide who else would have been elected if the number of seats had been increased?

In practice, two bye elections in Dublin and the South would be required to elect two additional MEPs if the UK leaves. But the dynamics of a single seat bye election are very different from a four/five seat general. Also would the bye-election include Laois Offaly in the South when they would already have voted for candidates in the midlands-north-west constituency?

A mess.

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Jan 7th, 2019 at 06:43:53 PM EST
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"Does this mean that the candidate who comes 4th. in the Dublin constituency doesn't win a seat while the UK s still a member but can take a seat automatically the moment the UK leaves? "

Yes, I suspect so. That was exactly how the "shadow MEPs" of 2009 were elected. Until the ratification process for the Lisbon treaty was done, they stayed in limbo, elected but not seated.

by fjallstrom on Mon Jan 7th, 2019 at 10:50:12 PM EST
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That works if the constituencies are the the same under both seat counts. But the Ireland south constituency was changed to include counties Laois and Offaly to accommodate an extra seat. If you run the election with the current boundaries and seat counts you can't then arbitrarily add another seat as there has to be a minimum proportionality between electorate numbers and seats.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Jan 7th, 2019 at 11:03:21 PM EST
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Checking more into 2009, I find that apparently France failed in electing their shadow MEPs, which contributed to the seating of all shadow MEPs being delayed. I don't find any specifics on why they failed or how it was solved (appointment or by-election, most likely).

Though I would suspect that while France's problems are EU's problems, there is a distinct risk that Ireland's problems are Ireland's.

by fjallstrom on Tue Jan 8th, 2019 at 01:10:22 PM EST
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