TAOISEACH Leo Varadkar has confirmed that the General Election will be held on Saturday, February 8.
This will be the first time a General Election vote will be held on a Saturday, and candidates are now facing into a four-week campaign.
“In holding the General Election on a Saturday for the first time, I do so knowing the inconvenience to families of a polling day on a weekday during school term – time off work, lost income, increased childcare costs. I also want to make it easier for students and those working away from home to cast their votes,” Mr Varadkar said.
With progress made on Brexit in the United Kingdom, the Fine Gael leader believes now is the “best time for the country” to hold a General Election.
Addressing the short run-in to the polling day, he said, “Brexit is not done yet. In fact, it’s only half-time.
“The next step is to negotiate a free trade agreement between the EU including Ireland and the United Kingdom that protects our jobs, our businesses, our rural communities and our economy.
“The capacity to do everything else that needs to be done – health, housing, climate action, tax reform – depends on achieving this outcome. And, it has to be done by the end of the year.
“There exists now a window of opportunity to hold a General Election and to have a new Government in place before the next European Council meeting in March with a strong mandate to focus on these negotiations into the summer and autumn.”
The short campaign was met with some concern from opposition parties and candidates over the fact that some citizens eligible to vote may not have enough time to register.
Will @LimerickCouncil agree to add all voters who have submitted forms since the last electoral register was published to the Supplementary Register for the General Election?@Limerick_Leader @Live95fmNews @limerickpost @LimerickToday pic.twitter.com/40m4dnv9IO
— Claire Keating Green Party Candidate (@ClaireKeatingGP) January 14, 2020