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Second by-election in a year will cost taxpayers €300k

A second by-election for Dublin South in less than a year is set to cost the taxpayer more than €300,000.

Each of the main political parties can also be expected to shell out around €50,000 to run campaigns for their candidates.

Traditionally, it is the prerogative of the party whose TD has left the Dail to move the writ for a by-election, but unusually the most popular party in the country is unlikely to be in any hurry to face the electorate.

When George Lee swept to victory with 53pc of the vote last June, it marked a massive political milestone for Fine Gael who had three seats in the Dublin South constituency.

At the time, TD Olivia Mitchell told the Herald that she was confident that the party could hold all three at the next general election.

They will now have to produce another "outstanding" candidate and ensure they will stay in the job if they are to have any hope of taking the third seat.

Either way, sources within Fine Gael say that Enda Kenny -- assuming he is still leader in a few weeks -- will not be moving the writ until the dust settles on George Lee's handbreak turn out of politics.

The Government has made no mention of holding a by-election in Donegal South-West since Pat 'the cope' Gallagher was elected to the European Parliament at the same time as Lee entered the Dail.

Fianna Fail is unlikely to win either election and therefore won't be putting any pressure on Fine Gael.

However, voters can expect to see Labour leading the charge for a fresh round of elections.

One suggestion which may be put forward is that the by-elections would take place on the same day as the promised vote for a Lord Mayor of Dublin.