Ireland looks set to enter next year’s European elections with 14 seats up for grabs, one more than last time.

The European Parliament voted this lunchtime to endorse the EU position for 15 extra seats across the European Union, one of which will go to Ireland.

MEPs voted 515 in favour, 74 against with 44 abstentions.

A parliament source confirmed that this is the “final step of the consent process” for parliament.

In its draft decision, EU governments agreed with the European Parliament to the extra seat for Ireland, but rejected MEPs request for 28 ‘transnational’ seats. EU governments also rejected a request for parliament to get a budget increase.

“The budgetary authority and the Commission will have to ensure that the increase in the number of seats provided for in this Decision has no budgetary impact.”

Following today’s vote, the European Council will now be asked to formalise its draft decision in the coming weeks.

Ireland’s Electoral Commission, An Coimisiún Toghcháin, will then have to carry out a formal review to decide which Irish constituency should gain the extra seat.

Assuming the Ireland South constituency will be designated five seats, as it was for the last election in 2019, the battle for the extra seat will be between Dublin and Midlands North West.

Last time around, each of these constituencies was assigned four seats.

According to data from the 2022 census, Dublin has a population of 1,458,154.

The counties which make up Midlands North West (Cavan, Donegal, Galway, Kildare, Laois, Leitrim, Longford, Louth, Mayo, Meath, Monaghan, Offaly, Roscommon, Sligo and Westmeath) have a combined population of 1,831,741.

That would suggest – based on population alone – that the Midlands North West constituency will be assigned the extra seat. However, the Electoral Commission will take into account other factors before making a recommendation to the Dáil.