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Elections to the Vocational & University Panels for the 26th Seanad

Counting is underway to fill the 49 Seanad seats on the vocational and university panels and is expected to go on until Friday, 3rd April. There are 60 seats, in total, in Seanad Eireann. The remaining 11 are the (next) Taoiseach’s nominees and their election is contingent on the formation of the new Government.


Credit: Darren Lawlor- Oireachtas LRS


While many of us are missing out on the excitement of the tally and the buzz of a busy count centre, the live stream and updates on Oirachtas.ie are keeping us all in the loop. The fantastic info-graphic above by Darren Lawlor, Oireachtas Library & Research Service, explains how our 60 Senators are elected.


Outgoing Senators, TDs and local and city county councillors make up the 1,691 voters who get to elect the new Upper House and have a vote on each of the five vocational panels –Agriculture (11 seats), Culture and Education (5), Labour (11), Industrial and Commercial (9) and the Administrative panel (7).


  • There are 118 candidates seeking election to the 5 Vocational panels:
    Cultural and Educational, Agricultural, Industrial and Commercial, Labour and Administrative.
    34 of those candidates are women. Some are former Senators and TDs who lost Dáil seats in the general election, but there are some newcomers in the mix too.


  • There are 19 candidates for the 3 NUI constituency seats – 8 women & 11 men. Counting begins in the RDS today. In 2016, Alice-Mary Higgins (Ind) became the first women since 1982, when Gemma Hussey was elected, to sit on this panel. Alice-Mary is on the ticket again and we’ll be watching the NUI count closely this week.


  • Counting in TCD for the 3 seats also begins later today. There are 10 candidates for this panel. Incumbents Lynn Ruane (Ind), who sits on the WfE board and Ivana Bacik (Labour), are the only women running.


In 2016, 14 women were voted onto the vocational and university panels. This was a small increase from the 11 women elected in 2011.

We’ll be keeping you up to date on the Seanad Election results as they come in on our Twitter & Facebook & right here! Here’s to seeing #MoreWomen in #Seanad2020


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