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last day

Candidates are out making their last pitches for your vote before the broadcast ban kicks in

Meanwhile more than 2,000 people on islands off the west coast are entitled to vote today.

CANDIDATES IN THE local and European elections will be out in force this morning making their final campaign pushes before the traditional broadcast moratorium kicks in at this afternoon ahead of voting tomorrow. 

The leaders of Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin are all expected out on the trail, while hopefuls in the European and local elections will be out meeting commuters to make their last pitches for votes across the country. 

Meanwhile, more than 2,000 people on islands off Donegal, Mayo and Galway are entitled to cast their votes today – including the island with the smallest electorate in the country, Donegal’s Inishfree, where there are just four voters. 

People in the rest of the country go to the polls tomorrow to vote in the two elections – with a divorce referendum also taking place in addition to local plebiscites on establishing a directly elected mayorship in Cork, Limerick and Waterford (polls open at 7am and you can find our full guide here). 

Voting in the European elections is taking place today in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Recent polls in Britain have put Nigel Farage’s Brexit party in a clear lead with an average of 32% support. The former Ukip leader looks set to capitalise on chaos in the two main political parties, particularly in the Conservatives, with prime minister Theresa May now expected to name a departure date tomorrow after a torrid week. 

The Netherlands also votes today while European Parliament elections across the EU are taking place between today and Sunday, with the first official results set to be announced when the last polls close on Sunday night. 

Here at home, the process of separating the ballots from the two elections, the referendum and the plebiscites begins at 9am on Saturday morning. 

Early tallies in the local elections should give us an indication of the council poll toppers by around midday on Saturday – but it could be into next week before all 949 council seats are filled. 

Counting in Ireland’s three Euro constituencies won’t begin until Sunday morning – and again, while early tallies should give us an indication of the likely winners, it will likely be well into next week before all the MEP seats are filled. 

The ballots in the divorce referendum and the plebiscites will be counted in tandem with the local election votes – with results in both expected to be announced on Saturday evening. 

Meanwhile, today’s broadcast moratorium, set by the BAI and starting 2pm, affects radio and TV stations only. While it doesn’t affect social media or online news outlets like, most parties and candidates aim to stage their last public events a few hours before it kicks in in order to make the most of the final few hours of available airtime. 

In other words, you can rest easy – there’ll be no more TV debates cropping up this evening. 

- With reporting by Sean Murray 

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