Fine Gael promised before the last general election to cut the number of TDs by up to 20. The Constituency Commission Report published this week recommends that the reduction would be a mere 8 TDs representing an overall drop from 165 to 158 TDs. The number of constituencies is set to drop from 43 to 40 and Tipperary is one of the counties that will be affected most by these election boundary changes.
The Borrisokane area of North Tipperary is to be included in the proposed 3 seater Offaly Constituency. This part of North Tipperary represents about 11,000 voters and makes up parishes such as Puckane and Ardcroney on the outskirts of the town. The rest of Tipperary will form a 5 seater constituency.
The North Tipperary TD to benefit most is likely to be Michael Lowry who home base of Holycross straddles North and South Tipperary. In the UK there are 650 MPs which represents on average one MP per 68,000 constituents, in Ireland on average one TD represents 25,000 constituents. A drop of 8 TDs is only a relatively minor change and this promise by Fine Gael of 20 TDs being cut is yet another example of a shallow promise for votes.
Interesting article on proposed boundary changes in the recent edition of the Nenagh Guardian