The purpose of registering a political party in the Register of Political Parties is that candidates at elections who are members of registered parties may add their parties' name to their own names on the ballot paper. If the party that you belong to is not included on the Register, you will be described as a non-party candidate on the ballot paper. The Registrar and the actual Register of Political Parties are based in the Houses of the Oireachtas, Dublin. The Registrar is the Clerk of the Dáil.
Under Section 25 of the Electoral Act, 1992, as substituted by Section 11 of the Electoral (Amendment) Act, 2001, you can apply to the Registrar of Political Parties in order to register your own political party in any of the following elections in Ireland:
To be registered, your party has to satisfy the Registrar that it is organised to contest elections. Your party must also have one of the following:
In addition, the party must have a constitution, a memorandum or another document or set of rules that have been adopted by the party and that provide for:
A party will not be registered if its name:
An application to register a political party emblem will not be granted if the emblem:
Unregistered parties are entitled to fight elections but the party's name will not appear on the ballot paper.
The following details are entered in the Register of Political Parties:
When the Registrar has considered your application for registration, you will be notified of the decision and informed about the reasons for refusal if your application is refused and details of how to appeal the decision. Notice of decision will be published in Iris Oifigiúil. (Iris Oifigiúil is the official means used by the Irish Government to announce appointments to public offices and publish proclamations; statutory instruments; appointment of receivers to companies; etc.).
Appeals can be made in writing, within 21 days of the decision, to the Clerk of the Seanad together with a deposit. The appeal board consists of a Judge of the High Court acting as Chairman, and the Chairman of the Dáil and the Chairman of the Seanad.
Anyone can inspect the register of political parties in Ireland by contacting the office of the Registrar and making an appointment (see "Where to apply").
An appeal against the refusal of an application for registration requires a deposit of €634.87 to be paid.
There is no fee for inspecting the register of political parties or for registering a political party in Ireland.
Contact the Office of the Registrar of Political Parties and request an application form. You will receive a copy of the application form, together with with a copy of the relevant extract from the Electoral (Amendment) Act, 2001. The application form to register your political party is not currently available to download online.
Tel:+353 (0)1 618 3314 / 3438
Fax:+353 (0)1 618 4102
If you have a question relating to this topic you can contact the Citizens Information Phone Service on 0761 07 4000. The Phone Service will operate Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm during January 2017. You can also visit your local Citizens Information Centre.