Pathway to the Irish General Election 2018

The Sunday Independent had some great info last weekend on the moves towards a General Election in the south in early 2018 - here's the skinny:

Fine Gael is preparing for a general election as early as next spring.

The party has been put on full election mode by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar with Fine Gael officials told to advance preparations for the snap poll.

Varadkar has also set up a ‘war council’ comprising of ministers and senior party officials.

The internal ‘war council’ committee has held its first behind-closed-doors meeting in July and is now expected to meet every month once the Dail returns in September.

Fianna Fail have also stated that they will anticipate an election in spring next year well in advance of the scheduled end of the party’s supply and confidence agreement with Fine Gael.

Varadkar has also instructed senior Fine Gael officials to hold meetings with constituency chairs to ensure that they are election ready.

FG expects to complete up to 10 selection conventions before December with a view to finishing the process early next year. Fianna Fail have already held 5 selection conventions this year with more to follow

FG will hold its party conference in November.

A future coalition government involving Sinn Féin must have a strategy for Irish unification, party leader Gerry Adams has indicated.

Mr Adams said his party will place an emphasis on housing, the health service and Brexit as part of any post-election negotiations on forming a coalition government.

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin has commissioned a white paper on a united Ireland, which is due to be completed later this year.

Gerry Adams has said Sinn Féin is open to going into coalition with either Fine Gael or Fianna Fáil is in effect formalising the party’s move away from its previous stance that it would only enter government as the lead party.

Although such a change in position has to be ratified by a Sinn Féin ardfheis, Adams has said “Sinn Féin is open to negotiating with other parties to deliver a republican programme of government and real change in the lives of citizens”.

The Irish Budget will take place on 11 October.