If an election is called very shortly it is unlikely that boundary changes to Kildare’s two constituencies could take effect.
In practical terms, this would mean that Kildare south would remain a three-seater (instead of moving to a four-seater) and a large area of rural north west Kildare which was due to move from North Kildare into the South, would now not do so.
It could also, in the view of some, mean that any outcome of the election would be unconstitutional.
The High Court was yesterday asked to rule on this proposition by former Labour TD Joe Costello.
According to the constitution there must be one TD for every 30,000 people. With that in mind, the Constituency Boundary Commission had recommended earlier this year that both the North and South Kildare constituencies would be four-seater and that the Kildare South constituency, which should include some areas of Offaly and Laois, namely Portarlington, Killinard and Ballybrittas, gain a TD.
This would reverse changes implemented before the previous election which had moved a part of Kildare into the Laois constituency.
The other proposed change would see the villages of Clogherinkoe, Derrinturn and Carbury move from Kildare North to Kildare South.
However legislation was required to give effect to these recommendations and informed sources have told the Leinster Leader that if the election is called in the next few days that legislation will not be enacted.
Deputy Fiona O’Loughlin noted that, even if the legislation could be rushed through, it wouldn’t be fair to the electorate who suddenly found themselves in a new constituency.
“It would only give people three weeks to get to know their TD,” she said.
Deputy James Lawless said he was “quite happy” that his constituency of North Kildare would hang onto those parts of North West Kildare.
Meanwhile, Fine Gael county councillor Fiona McLoughlin Healy has issued a statement saying that she did not wish to be considered as a candidate for the party in the next general election.
Cllr McLoughlin Healy was a candidate for Fine Gael in the previous election, but her relationship with the party since then has become strained with the result that she lost the whip.