Fine Gael candidate for Cavan-Monaghan, councillor Sean Conlan, believes that jobs are the major election issue.
"It's time to get real and concentrate on the real issues facing ordinary people; jobs, emigration and the fact that there are tens of thousands of decent, hardworking people who simply cannot make ends meet," he said.
Mr Conlan, a solicitor who also holds an honours degree in economics, believes that ministers governing the big-budget departments should all hold a professional qualification in economics.
"It's time for positive change. We have had the country's economic policy run by two lawyers, Brian Cowen and Brian Lenihan, and you can see the mess they made of it," he said.
Mr Conlan is a first-time candidate but has a strong base in Ballybay. He is one of 15 candidates in a five-seater constituency. Among five independent candidates is Quinn Insurance employee Caroline Forde, whose principal platform is the retention of Quinn jobs in Cavan-Monaghan.