Election date still undecided with suggestions of a Thursday date

Election date still undecided with suggestions of a Thursday date

By Juno McEnroe

Political Correspondent

Mullingar

Labour's director of elections has said he thinks polling day should be held on a Friday.

Amid speculation about when the election will be held, Environment Minister Alan Kelly said government would be in agreement on the date.

There have been suggestions in recent days that Taoiseach Enda Kenny may announce next week that the election will be held on a Thursday, February 25. Mr Kenny has said that the day when the election is held is irrelevant.

Students groups have voiced concern about the vote possibly being held on a Thursday, pointing out that large numbers of young voters had turned up for the marriage referendum, which was held on a Friday. Most of the coalition's referendums were also held on Fridays over the last five years too. Speaking at Labour's conference in Mullingar, Westmeath, Minister Kelly said:

"I believe that elections should always be on a Friday. But it will be decided by government in the coming week."

Noting that he, as Environment Minister, must move the wright for the election, he said that at government level all would be agreed about the election timing.

"After coming through what we've come through in the last five years, I'm sure as a government we're going to agree a date."

He also admitted that Labour were competing directly with their outgoing coalition partners, Fine Gael, for seats in constituencies.

"We're running as two very separate parties but competing."

Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin has said he is confident the party will elect all its 36 candidates in the general election as he dismissed talk of TDs losing their seats.

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