Environment Minister Noel Dempsey has signed the order allowing electronic voting to go ahead in three constituencies on 17 May. On RTÉ's News at One programme, Mr Dempsey said that politicians opposed to the system were insulting the intelligence of the electorate.

Both the Labour candidate in Meath, Peter Ward, and Fine Gael's Nora Owen, who is standing in Dublin North, had urged the Minister to refrain from signing the order.

They claimed that there was huge confusion among voters about the system, particularly for elderly people, and warned that there would be large queues at polling stations using electronic voting.

The three constituencies which will vote electronically in the General Election are: Meath, Dublin North and Dublin West.