Fourth Amendment of the Constitution Bill 1968

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Fourth Amendment of the Constitution Bill 1968
To alter the Dáil electoral system from single transferable vote to first-past-the-post
LocationRepublic of Ireland Ireland
Date16 October 1968 (1968-10-16)
Results
Votes %
Yes 423,496 39.16%
No 657,898 60.84%
Valid votes 1,081,394 95.73%
Invalid or blank votes 48,212 4.27%
Total votes 1,129,606 100.00%
Registered voters/turnout 1,717,389 65.77%

The Fourth Amendment of the Constitution Bill 1968 was a bill (no. 6 of 1968) to amend the Constitution of Ireland to alter the electoral system from proportional representation by means of the single transferable vote (PR-STV) to first-past-the-post (FPTP). The proposal was rejected in a referendum held on 16 October 1968.

Proposed change[edit]

The subject matter of the referendum was described as follows:[1]

The Fourth Amendment of the Constitution Bill, 1968, proposes –
  1. To substitute for the present system of voting at Dáil elections the "straight vote" system in single-member constituencies;
  2. To establish a Commission to determine constituencies, subject to the right of the Dáil to amend the constituencies as so determined; and
  3. To provide that whenever the Dáil is dissolved the outgoing Ceann Comhairle may be returned, without a contest, as a second deputy for a constituency chosen by him which consists of, or includes a part of, the constituency he represented before the dissolution.

Background[edit]

Elections to Dáil Éireann, the house of representative in the Oireachtas, are governed by Article 16 of the Constitution.[2]

In 1959, the Fianna Fáil government of Éamon de Valera put the Third Amendment of the Constitution Bill to a referendum, which proposed to replace the electoral system of proportional representation by means of the single transferable vote (PR-STV) with first-past-the-post (FPTP). The referendum was defeated by 51.8% to 48.8%, on the same day on which de Valera had won the presidential election.

In 1968, the Fianna Fáil government of Jack Lynch proposed two constitutional amendments on the electoral system for election to Dáil Éireann: the Third Amendment of the Constitution Bill, which would have allowed for greater divergence in the ratio of population to constituencies, and the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution Bill, a second proposal to introduce FPTP voting in single-member constituencies.

Oireachtas debate[edit]

The Amendment was proposed in the Dáil by Taoiseach Jack Lynch on 21 February 1968.[3] The Amendment was opposed by Fine Gael and the Labour Party. On 3 July, it passed final stages in the Dáil by 66 votes to 56.[4] On 30 July 1968, it passed final stages in the Seanad by 25 votes to 18.[5] Referendums on both the Third Amendment Bill and the Fourth Amendment Bill were held on 16 October 1968.

Result[edit]

The Fourth Amendment bill was rejected by 60.8% against to 39.2% in favour; the Third Amendment, on the population ratio in constituencies, was rejected by a similar margin.

Fourth Amendment of the Constitution of Ireland Bill 1968[6]
Choice Votes %
Referendum failed No 657,898 60.84
Yes 423,496 39.16
Valid votes 1,081,394 95.73
Invalid or blank votes 48,212 4.27
Total votes 1,129,606 100.00
Registered voters and turnout 1,717,389 65.77
Results by constituency[6]
Constituency Electorate Turnout (%) Votes Proportion of votes
Yes No Yes No
Carlow–Kilkenny 58,039 71.4% 15,253 23,174 39.7% 60.3%
Cavan 33,996 70.7% 9,710 13,318 42.2% 57.8%
Clare 48,008 62.6% 14,193 14,131 50.1% 49.9%
Cork Borough 59,607 66.3% 14,784 23,448 38.7% 61.3%
Cork Mid 51,423 72.2% 14,337 21,440 40.1% 59.9%
Cork North-East 59,515 70.9% 16,784 23,659 41.5% 58.5%
Cork South-West 34,625 69.9% 8,691 14,281 37.8% 62.2%
Donegal North-East 34,698 66.7% 11,414 10,701 51.6% 48.4%
Donegal South-West 35,596 62.2% 10,692 10,397 50.7% 49.3%
Dublin County 77,837 63.3% 15,820 31,999 33.1% 66.9%
Dublin North-Central 37,771 57.9% 5,877 15,187 27.9% 72.1%
Dublin North-East 80,453 65.9% 16,147 36,010 31.0% 69.0%
Dublin North-West 41,984 61.1% 7,467 17,633 29.7% 70.3%
Dublin South-Central 52,371 57.6% 8,449 20,790 28.9% 71.1%
Dublin South-East 41,190 63.9% 7,726 18,044 30.0% 70.0%
Dublin South-West 57,590 59.6% 9,667 23,780 28.9% 71.1%
Dún Laoghaire and Rathdown 62,723 63.4% 11,875 27,135 30.4% 69.6%
Galway East 53,105 62.6% 14,713 16,708 46.8% 53.2%
Galway West 33,722 52.7% 8,606 8,574 50.1% 49.9%
Kerry North 34,785 64.1% 9,246 11,887 43.8% 56.2%
Kerry South 35,323 66.1% 10,698 11,605 48.0% 52.0%
Kildare 46,099 66.9% 11,560 17,883 39.3% 60.7%
Laois–Offaly 55,879 66.9% 14,128 21,433 39.7% 60.3%
Limerick East 46,883 67.3% 11,190 18,793 37.3% 62.7%
Limerick West 33,546 72.4% 11,272 11,908 48.6% 51.4%
Longford–Westmeath 43,795 67.8% 10,674 17,414 38.0% 62.0%
Louth 37,781 66.9% 9,785 14,453 40.4% 59.6%
Mayo North 30,802 53.8% 7,167 8,556 45.6% 54.4%
Mayo South 41,324 62.2% 10,513 14,025 42.8% 57.2%
Meath 36,192 68.5% 9,500 14,084 40.3% 59.7%
Monaghan 32,580 69.8% 8,645 12,925 40.1% 59.9%
Roscommon 42,971 69.2% 11,635 16,299 41.7% 58.3%
Sligo–Leitrim 42,362 65.8% 11,034 15,097 42.2% 57.8%
Tipperary North 34,076 71.0% 9,600 13,217 42.1% 57.9%
Tipperary South 46,045 74.0% 14,749 17,712 45.4% 54.6%
Waterford 37,519 69.8% 10,353 14,555 41.6% 58.4%
Wexford 48,050 69.6% 11,411 20,588 35.7% 64.3%
Wicklow 37,124 65.3% 8,131 15,055 35.1% 64.9%
Total 1,717,389 65.8% 423,496 657,898 39.2% 60.8%

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Referendum (Amendment) Act, 1968". 6 August 1968. Retrieved 21 April 2018.
  2. ^ "Constitution of Ireland, Article 16". Retrieved 21 April 2018.
  3. ^ "Fourth Amendment of the Constitution Bill, 1968: First Stage". 21 February 1968. Retrieved 21 April 2018.
  4. ^ "Fourth Amendment of the Constitution Bill, 1968: Fifth Stage (Resumed)". 3 July 1968. Retrieved 21 April 2018.
  5. ^ "Fourth Amendment of the Constitution Bill, 1968: Final Stage". 30 July 1968. Retrieved 21 April 2018.
  6. ^ a b "Referendum Results 1937–2015" (PDF). Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government. p. 25. Retrieved 21 April 2018.

External links[edit]