Enda did the ‘steady hand challenge’ on TV3 – and TDs across the land were out pressing the flesh.
TOMORROW MORNING, MILLIONS of people will cast their votes and decide the next government.
But there are still hands to shake and minds to change before the polls open…
Here’s what party leaders, candidates and canvassers were up to earlier – during the last few intensive hours of campaigning before the 2pm TV and radio moratorium.
Morning folks. Paul Hosford here taking you through the morning of this last day of campaigning.
Right now, we’re waiting on Enda Kenny to be interviewed on TV3′s Ireland AM.
Is Lucinda is throwing shade at her former party leader this morning? It feels like it.
So, what’s on the slate for today?
While Enda Kenny is on TV3, the AAA-PBP will have a stall at Londis on Westmoreland Street in Dublin.
Kenny will then move to Dublin city to campaign, before a joint press event with Labour leader Joan Burton.
Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin will be in Cork all day, shoring up support in his own constituency, while it’s back to Moore Street for Gerry Adams.
It’s almost as if he has this tattooed on his hand:
Commuters will probably be pleased when the election is over. Thinking about it, the candidates probably will as well.
Social Democrats co-leader Stephen Donnelly looks freezing.
Some people have told some fibs in this campaign. Luckily, our FactCheck has been there to pull them up on it.
Our newsroom gathered around to watch Enda Kenny take part in TV3′s Steady Hand Challenge.
One staffer remarked that this was “our moon landing”.
Enda didn’t make it all the way around.
Are the coalition getting their message across? Here’s what radio host and communications expert Anton Savage thinks:
Our colleagues over on DailyEdge.ie have shown Enda no sympathy for his failure on the Steady Hand Challenge. In fairness, he did “do very well during the ad break”.
Our political editor Hugh O’Connell is on location with Eoghan Murphy this morning. His team took “be safe, be seen” very seriously.
Eoghan Murphy has brought his brothers along. You may recognise the guy on the right. Yes, that’s Love/Hate’s Tommy.
UCD Students’ Union are organising a huge carpool to match students driving home to vote this Friday with students who’re stuck for a lift. Anyone can apply to be a part here.
The Union of Students Ireland have also teamed up with Irish Rail to encourage students to get home for the vote.
For some people, count day is the best day.
Personally, I love it. It’s like a political nerd’s Christmas.
Adrian Shanahan agrees.
As Snow Patrol once said: when it’s all over, we still have to clear up. Posters have been up a couple of weeks, but after tomorrow they have to come down again.
Candidates have a week to take theirs down. Beyond that, you can complain to your local litter warden or council.
After the question wasn’t asked in the Prime Time leaders’ debate earlier this week, Enda Kenny was asked about the Eighth Amendment on TV3 today.
Some of the experiences of women who have come forward here, who’ve been very courageous… It is a profound issue and it’s not one to be sort of spoken of glibly in politics to say ‘let’s have a referendum’.
With less than 24 hours to go, is your vote even up for grabs?
Our poll today wants to know: do you know who you’re voting for?
I’ve been on this liveblog for nearly two hours and haven’t posted this.
Just hoping I haven’t been fired already:
Unbelievable scones as Joan and Enda sit for tea.
Will it be the last time?
Today’s Irish Independent quotes Leo Varadkar as saying that a grand coalition of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael wouldn’t work.
That hasn’t stopped Paddy Power making it the most likely government next time around. The betting reflects the idea that nobody really knows what’s going to happen.
Undoubtedly, some of the analysis over the weekend will focus on social media.
Here’s a comprehensive analysis of the tweets from the campaign by analyst Barry James.
It shows that some candidates are very active on Twitter and Gerry Adams gets a lot of retweets.
Lorraine Higgins’ leaflet asks not for votes because she’s a woman, but because of her merits.
One of which is being a woman.
“We’ll still see each other after this, won’t we?”
“Yeah, of course we will.”
“I’m just afraid it will all change.”
“It won’t. Trust me.”
*Both stare awkwardly into the distance*
Our writers are from all over the country.
In preparation for the election, some went home to see if “the recovery” was being felt outside of Dublin city.
While trying to win two seats in Kerry, Michael Healy-Rae is also watching his follower count.
I know we talk about politicians getting into bed with each other, but this is ridiculous.
Listen, this is nothing to do with politics, but that Fianna Fáil clip put this song in my head.
If you’re anything like me, you have to listen to it before you can be a functioning member of society.
It wasn’t just Enda who did the Steady Hand Challenge, all the party leaders had a go.
Only Lucinda Creighton got through it.
Apparently Let’s Get It On is something of a Fianna Fáil anthem.
A vision of a new, and sexy, Ireland.
That’s it from me, I’m handing over to Orla Ryan now. Enjoy the rest of your polling day eve!
Manchán Magan, the broadcaster and Green Party candidate for Longford-Westmeath, is targeting an often-overlooked section of the electorate.
Fianna Fáil’s health spokesperson Billy Kelleher had this observation about Enda and Joan’s tea date:
Meanwhile, there’s a protest taking place at Leinster House about a topic that hasn’t been talked about a huge amount during the election campaign: climate change.
They might not be able to vote yet, but these kids are big fans of Gerry Adams…
Some people are REALLY looking forward to the end of pre-election coverage.
Still unsure about who to vote for tomorrow? Let our constituency database and its candidate profiles help you out.
The big question is, what’s the next Arnold Schwarzenegger film Leo Varadkar will reference when criticising Micheál Martin?
Earlier this month it was Total Recall, today True Lies.
Our money’s on Kindergarten Cop.
That is a big chandelier.
Party leaders have gained Twitter followers in the course of the election campaign, but who got the most?
Sinn Féin’s Gerry Adams gained 4,822 new followers, while the Social Democrats’ Stephen Donnelly had a 14.9% increase in followers over the course of #GE16.
In other news, Joanne O’Riordan has been confirmed as the Dublin St Patrick’s Day parade Grand Marshall.
We all need some inspiration at times.
We imagine a few undecided voters are having similar emotions today…
“I am the best” – a quality slogan from Mattress Mick, to be fair.
Schoolchildren at Craggagh NS in Mayo are getting a headstart on their election knowledge.
Nice work, guys!
That’s it from me (Órla Ryan) for now. I’ll leave you and the liveblog in the capable hands of Sinéad O’Carroll.
Enjoy the rest of your Thursday!
Are you excited for the Count Day?
Here’s a little something Hugh prepared earlier – the 10 most exciting constituencies to keep an eye on.
On his way back from the Grand Marshal announcement for St Patrick’s Day, Daragh Brophy took a stroll past Leinster House and met these two gentlemen.
We’re about 30 minutes away from the broadcast moratorium – which means that radio and TV have to be silent about general election 2016.
So you’ve probably heard the last of Enda Kenny, Micheál Martin, Gerry Adams, Joan Burton & co…. for now.
Daragh Brophy taking over for the last few minutes here before the broadcast ban kicks in…
In case you were wondering what the radio and TV moratorium is all about, by the way – here’s Broadcasting Authority of Ireland boss Michael O’Keeffe:
“The moratorium remains an important measure for ensuring that fairness is achieved by the broadcast media prior to, and during, the period when citizens cast their ballot.
The prohibition of electioneering and references to election issues will allow voters a period for reflection in the final stages of the election campaign.
Essentially it means that from 2pm, radio and television stations will not be permitted to carry any content that relates directly to general election issues, including anything relating to the merits or otherwise of general election candidates.
In non-election news, intrepid RTÉ reporter Teresa Manion (of Storm Desmond fame) landed an ‘Above and Beyond’ award at the Best Work Place Awards in Dublin last night.
If you’ve a few minutes to spare, check out this report of ours from Bunclody – which was named as the most economically depressed town in Ireland in 2014.
Coming up to election 2016 – have things changed?
Still four minutes left before the moratorium…
No sign of Enda Kenny popping up on Home and Away just yet.
Although is that Joan Burton who’s just called to this lady’s door?
There’s a new poll – squeaking in just before 2pm…
That’s it for the afternoon… We can all enjoy a politician-free 9 o’clock news tonight.
Meantime, we’ll be back early tomorrow morning with your election day blog… when we’ll do it LIVE all over again.
WE’LL DO IT LIVE.