Third Amendment of the Constitution Bill, 1968 (Ireland)

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The Third Amendment of the Constitution Bill, 1968 was a proposal to amend the Constitution of Ireland to alter the electoral system, with respect to the drawing of constituency boundaries. The proposal was rejected in the referendum on apportionment held on 16 October.

Proposed changes to the text[edit]

The subject matter of the referendum was described as follows:

The Third Amendment of the Constitution Bill, 1968, proposes –
that in forming Dáil constituencies, the population per deputy in any case may not be greater or less than the national average by more than one-sixth and that regard must be had to the extent and accessibility of constituencies, the need for having convenient areas of representation and the desirability of avoiding the over-lapping of county boundaries.

Overview[edit]

The Third Amendment Bill was part of a second attempt to alter the electoral system for Dáil Éireann (the lower house of parliament). The first attempt had been rejected by voters in the 1959 referendum. On 16 October 1968 two new, separate proposals were put to referendum. The Third Amendment Bill proposed to alter the system for the drawing of constituency boundaries, the Fourth Amendment Bill, 1968 proposed to abolish the system of proportional representation. However both proposals were rejected.

The Third Amendment Bill proposed to specify more precisely the system of apportionment in the drawing of constituency boundaries. It would have permitted rural constituencies to elect a disproportionate number of TDs, thus allowing a degree of malapportionment. It was introduced by the Fianna Fáil government of Jack Lynch but was opposed by Fine Gael, the main opposition party, and by the Labour Party. It was rejected by 656,803 (60.8%) against to 424,185 (39.2%) in favour.

Result[edit]

Third Amendment of the Constitution of Ireland Bill, 1968[1]
Choice Votes  %
Referendum failed No 656,803 60.76
Yes 424,185 39.24
Valid votes 1,080,988 95.71
Invalid or blank votes 48,489 4.29
Total votes 1,129,477 100.00
Registered voters and turnout 1,717,389 65.77

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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