Replacement Candidates for the European Parliament
There are no by-elections for the European Parliament. If an MEP dies or resigns, the vacancy is filled from a replacement list.
A replacement list is a list of those candidates eligible for election as members of the European Parliament. Before the close of nominations for a European election, each registered political party or independent candidate may present to the returning officer a list of replacement candidates.
Registered political parties may submit a list with up to 6 names more than the number of candidates presented for election by that party in that constituency.
The replacement list for a non-party or independent candidate in any constituency may contain up to 4 names.
A person cannot be nominated as a replacement candidate in more than one constituency. However, a person who is actually a candidate in the election can also be a replacement candidate. This means that a candidate who was not elected but who was also in the replacement list may be eligible to fill any casual vacancies that arise.
In the European Parliament election, the ballot papers will refer to the replacement list for each candidate. The replacement lists are also displayed at each polling station.
If an MEP dies or resigns, the person who is at the top of his or her replacement list and is willing to become an MEP fills the vacancy. If there is no list, there are no replacements left or those on the list are unwilling or ineligible to become MEPs, Dáil Eireann may select a person to fill the vacancy from the replacement lists presented for that constituency at the European Parliament election before the last European Parliament election.
There is more information on european elections on the website of the Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government.