5,000 party members to select leader
THE Labour Party's 5,000 members will decide who will be their next leader – and the next Tanaiste in the Government.
The new party leader will be elected by July 4.
Leadership candidates will have to campaign for the next six weeks and engage in debates attended by party members.
About 40pc of the party membership is based in Dublin, with substantial blocks also in Cork city and counties Kerry, Tipperary, Wexford, Kildare and Westmeath.
Willie Penrose's branch in Ballynacargy, Co Westmeath, has 150 members alone.
A contest for the leader's position was held in 2002 when Ruairi Quinn was replaced by Pat Rabbitte.
Eamon Gilmore took over in 2007 without a contest, but there was a competition for deputy leader, which was won by Joan Burton.
Labour's Executive Board will meet today to authorise the election process. Nominations will close at noon on June 3.