This has come up again on the Meath East poll thread, and finally has gotten my goat enough to start a thread and try to explain something to people...
They do not exist anymore per se ... and haven't for I think around a decade now ...
The deposit system was challenged in the courts as a barrier to democracy, and replaced with the following system
If a candidate wishes to run in an election, they must have
1. A letter from a registered political party, stating that they are an approved candidate of that party
2. Pay a €500 fee to be put on the ballot (€100 for a local election)
3. Gather 30 signatures from registered voters in the constituency (10 for a local election)
S.I. No. 369/2012
What a candidate may get back, is a portion (not all by the way), of the expenses they incur in an election campaign, if they recieve more than 1/4 of the quota by the time they are eliminated from the election
In a 5 seater consituency... they must recieve more than 4.2% of the vote
In a 4 seater constituency ... they must recieve more than 5% of the vote
In a 3 seater constituency ... they must recieve more than 6.25% of the vote
In todays bye election, to be entitled to a return on expenses, a candidate will need to recieve more than 12.5% of the vote by the time they are eliminated (same as in the Presidential election)
But they don't get any deposits back... per se..