Wednesday 21 February 2018

Joan Burton insists day of General Election makes no difference to result

Joan Burton. Photo: Arthur Carron
Joan Burton. Photo: Arthur Carron

Barry Lennon

Tánaiste Joan Burton said a date for the General Election makes no difference to voter turnout, after her Labour party colleagues put pressure on Fine Gael for Friday, February 26.

Ms Burton’s comments come after it emerged her coalition partners want to hold the election on Thursday, the day before, to allow rugby supporters time to travel to an Ireland Six Nations match.

The Labour leader spoke today after colleague and Environment Minister Alan Kelly told party members he would only sign off if the vote was on the Friday.

“I think broadly Friday has been a fairly popular day for voting with people who live in Dublin and go back home to vote and also aware there are some very important sporting events that weekend,” Ms Burton said.

“That’s something we’ll sit down and discuss. Looking at turnout it doesn’t matter markedly whether it’s Thursday or Friday. I’m sure it’s something that will be decided amicably between the two parties.”

Ms Burton left the door open to a joint announcement of the date by both Mr Kenny and herself, when asked about the issue. 

“We have talked about the arrangements in relation to the calling of the election, at the end of the day that is the Taoiseach’s prerogative so I’m not at liberty to give you a detailed break-down.”

The date is expected to be announced after the Cabinet’s morning meeting tomorrow.

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