Ireland: Election fever hotting up as Government seeks bids to provide four million papers at cost of €570,000 - - PressFrom - United Kingdom
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IrelandElection fever hotting up as Government seeks bids to provide four million papers at cost of €570,000

10:10  02 july  2019
10:10  02 july  2019 Source:   msn.com

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Election fever hotting up as Government seeks bids to provide four million papers at cost of €570,000 © Reuters Ireland's Prime Minister Leo Varadkar arrives at a European Union leaders summit in Brussels, Belgium, June 30, 2019. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir/Pool

Election fever is hotting up as the Government plans to have ballots ready in the event of a snap vote.

The Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government has sought bids from suppliers to provide four million papers in the next poll, costing €570,000.

Although the next election must be held by April 10, 2020 at the latest, most observers believe it will be called much sooner, even before the end of the year.

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Election fever hotting up as Government seeks bids to provide four million papers at cost of €570,000

The Government must also prepare for a number of by-elections after four TDs – Fine Gael’s Frances Fitzgerald, Fianna Fáil’s Billy Kelleher and Independents4Change’s Mick Wallace and Clare Daly – were voted to the European Parliament.

The by-elections, which are due in Dublin Mid-West, Cork North Central, Wexford and Dublin Fingal, must be held within six months of the deputies vacating their Dail seats.

Election fever hotting up as Government seeks bids to provide four million papers at cost of €570,000 © Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images Taoiseach Leo Varadkar casts his vote in Ireland's abortion referendum at Scoil Thomas Lodge polling station on May 25, 2018 in Dublin

The prospect of a snap election later this year has increased amid reports claiming Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is preparing to seek a third term in office for Fine Gael before the end of the year – in the event of a Brexit deal being negotiated.

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It is understood Fine Gael strategists believe the party’s best chance of returning to Government is to go for an early General Election if the UK can avoid a no-deal Brexit by its latest deadline for leaving the EU on October 31.

A decision to go with a November date would also avoid the need for the four by-elections which could also potentially reduce the numbers in favour of the confidence and supply arrangement between Fianna Fail and Fine Gael which is keeping the Government in power.

Although a General Election is unlikely amid the ongoing uncertainty over Brexit, it is increasingly anticipated that either Fine Gael or Fianna Fail – or both – will favour an early election date once the nature of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU is clear.

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