IFES
 

March 8, 2024 Confirmed

Ireland

Ireland

Referendum


General Information

At Stake in this Election:

On 8 March 2024, Irish citizens will vote on two proposed amendments aimed at recontextualizing the family within the Irish constitution. The 39th Amendment would re-word several articles of the constitution to establish that families can be based on “other durable relationships” in addition to marriage. The 40th Amendment would replace two articles that state that women support Irish society via their “life within the home,” adding a new article that describes state support for family members who serve as caregivers, regardless of gender.

Each referendum question is on a separate ballot:

White ballot: Do you approve of the proposal to amend the Constitution contained in the undermentioned bill? Thirty-ninth Amendment of the Constitution (The Family) Bill 2023

Green ballot: Do you approve of the proposal to amend the Constitution contained in the undermentioned bill? Fortieth Amendment of the Constitution (Care) Bill 2023

Response options: “Yes” or “No”

Government Structure:

  • Chief of State: President Michael D. HIGGINS (since 11 November 2011)
  • Head of Government: Taoiseach Leo VARADKAR (since 16 December 2022)
  • Assembly: bicameral Parliament (Oireachtas) with a 60-seat Senate (Seanad) and a 160-seat House of Representatives (Dail)

Electoral System:

  • The President is directly elected by single transferrable vote and may serve up to two 7-year terms.
  • The Taoiseach is nominated by the House of Representatives and confirmed by the President.
  • In the Senate, 43 members are indirectly elected by an electoral college composed of members of the House of Representatives, the outgoing Senate, and county councils. An additional 11 members are appointed by the Taoiseach, and 6 members are elected by graduates of a select group of Irish universities. All 60 members serve 5-year terms.
  • In the House of Representatives, all 160 members are directly elected by single transferrable vote from multi-seat constituencies. Members serve 5-year terms.

Last Election:

In 2019, Irish voters approved the 38th Amendment to the Constitution, removing provisions that had required spouses to live apart for a certain amount of time before divorcing and had prevented the recognition of divorces obtained outside the country. 82.07% of voters approved the amendment, and voter turnout was 50.3%.

Information for Voters:

Referendum Information Booklet (Available in Gaelic, English, Easy-to-Read English, Irish Sign Language, and English Audio)

New/Unique in this Referendum:

The Electoral Reform Act of 2022 directed the Electoral Commission to promote public awareness and participation in electoral processes, including EU, national, and local elections. In response to this reform, the Electoral Commission launched a new Learning Hub with information about democratic institutions and processes in Ireland.

Key Deadlines:

Population:

Gender Data:

Disability Data:

  • CRPD Status: Signed 30 March 2007, Ratified 20 March 2018
  • Projected population with a disability: 413,777 (2022 est.)

IFES Resources:

  • Does IFES have a presence in Ireland: No
  • Election Access: Yes
  • Election Judgements: Yes, 7 judgments and 16 resources
Election Modified: Feb 16, 2024

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With Participation Rates