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Taoiseach Leo Varadkar with President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins following the his request to dissolve the 32nd Dail at Aras an Uachtarain. PA Wire/PA Images

The 32nd Dáil has been dissolved by President Michael D Higgins

The general election will be held on 8 February.

THE 32ND DÁIL has today been dissolved by President Michael D Higgins.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar travelled to Áras an Uachtaráin this afternoon to seek the dissolution of the Dáil after calling a general election for Saturday 8 February.

President Higgins signed the proclamation for dissolution shortly after 2 pm.

Speaking to reporters before travelling to Phoenix Park, Varadkar said now is the right time for the country, adding that the next government should be in place by the next EU Summit meeting on Brexit. 

“We have a deal on Brexit and Northern Ireland. Our economy has never been stronger, there are more people at work than ever before, incomes are rising, poverty is falling and the public finances are back in order. 

“As a nation we have every reason to be hopeful and positive about the future.”

The President of Ireland has the power to dissolve the Dáil so that a general election can be held.

general-election-ireland-2020 PA Wire / PA Images PA Wire / PA Images / PA Images

Today, the president issued a proclamation dissolving the Dáil, which means a general election must be held within 30 days.

The Constitution sets out that once the proclamation is issued, the Clerk of the Dáil issues a writ to the returning officer in each constituency directing them to hold an election of the prescribed number of members. 

With the election date now known, the campaigning is well and truly underway, with election posters already being erected on poles around the country, including in Varadkar’s own constituency where canvassers were spotted hanging posters for the Taoiseach in Castleknock.

Varadkar was also quick to tweet out a campaign video before heading to see the president this afternoon. 

Preparations for this election have been happening for some time, with politcal parties having their election slogans ready to go once the starting pistol was fired. 

Fine Gael has decided to go with “A Future to Look Forward To” as their election mantra, while Fianna Fáil have opted for “An Ireland for All”. 

Whatever way this election turns out, you can expect to hear a lot of those sayings in the weeks ahead.

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