Ireland and Northern Ireland

1.11By the Irish Reform Act (the Representation of the People (Ireland) Act 1832) the number of Representatives for Ireland in the British Parliament was increased from 100 to 105. The Government of Ireland Act 1920 reduced this number to 46 Members, 13 of whom were to represent constituencies in Northern Ireland.1 This reduction was not to take place before the dissolution of the Parliament then existing.2 The Irish Free State (Agreement) Act 1922, s 1(4), provided that after its passing no writ should be issued for the election of a Member to serve in the House of Commons for a constituency in Ireland other than a constituency in Northern Ireland, with the result that the representation of Ireland was reduced to the 13 Members returned by constituencies in Northern Ireland. The temporary provisions of the House of Commons (Redistribution of Seats) Act 1944 did not affect this representation, but the abolition of university representation under the Representation of the People Act 1948 reduced the number to 12. Under the House of Commons (Redistribution of Seats) Act 1979, the Boundary Commission for Northern Ireland was required, in framing its first report after the passing of the Act, to divide Northern Ireland into no fewer than 16 and no more than 18 constituencies. Since the general election of 1997 there have been 18 constituencies.


  1. 1. See Government of Ireland Act 1920, s 19 and sch V.
  2. 2. See Government of Ireland Act 1920, s 73(1).