Ireland to go to polls in general election on February 8

Ireland to go to polls in general election on February 8”

The Saturday date comes as a surprise as many believed he would go to the country on either Friday, February 7th or 14th.

Normally, Mr Varadkar convenes a meeting of his party's ministers before Cabinet in order to discuss strategy and agree plans before discussions with independent ministers.

Leo Varadkar will now head to Aras an Uachtarain later today to meet with President Michael D Higgins.

A long line of Taoiseach and Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar posters in Dublin on the day he announces he is to seek dissolution of the 32nd D‡il for a general election.

Justifying the early election, the Taoiseach pointed to the Brexit situation - with the United Kingdom now set to leave the European Union at the end of the month with a deal.

"There will be no hard border, citizens' rights have been protected and the Common Travel Area will remain in place", he said.

When asked if he accepted he was the frontrunner in the campaign, Mr Martin said he "didn't accept anything of the sort".

"We're setting out to defend the seats that we hold, we're confident we can do that, we don't underestimate the challenge, but we're confident", she said.

Another issue that has been flagged in the timing of the election is that thousands of people may not be registered to vote, as a new register for 2020 will not become valid until February 15.

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