Seanad - election of university candidates
The Constitution states that 6 members of the Seanad may be elected by the universities of Ireland. The University Constituency consists of graduates of the National University of Ireland and the University of Dublin.
To put yourself forward as a candidate for the Seanad, you must be nominated by 2 registered electors for a university. Eight other registered electors for the university concerned must assent to the nomination. You do not have to be a graduate of the university concerned or be connected to it in any way. However, you must be eligible to become a Senator.
Voting in the university elections for the Seanad is done by post. The returning officer sends a ballot paper and a "declaration of identity" form to every person eligible to vote.
The voter completes the declaration of identity form in the presence of a witness. They then complete the ballot paper by marking their order of preference of candidates. Both the declaration of identity and the ballot paper are sent back to the returning officer.
The votes are counted and the system of proportional representation with single transferable vote applies.
If a casual vacancy arises it will be filled by a by-election. The procedure is the same as in an ordinary election except that only one candidate is elected instead of 6.
To vote in an election of university members to the Seanad, you must:
- Be an Irish citizen
- Be over 18 years old
- Have received a degree (not an honorary degree) from one of the Universities of Ireland
- Be registered as an elector.
How to apply
If you are a graduate of an NUI constituent university or recognised college (pdf), you will be issued with a registration claim form at the time of conferring, however, you can request a registration form (pdf) at any time.
If you are a graduate of the University of Dublin (Trinity College) you will be issued with a registration claim form at the time of conferring, however, you can request a registration form (pdf) at any time.
Graduates of NUI and the University of Dublin must return completed registration claim forms by 26 February to be listed in their respective Seanad Éireann registers, which are published on 1 June.
If you are registered as an elector with the university, you will receive a declaration of identity form and a ballot paper in the post.
You must complete the form and mark your ballot paper. You must then send both papers back to the returning officer for the university.