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Michael Lowry expects general election will be called before Dáil no confidence vote

Speculation has been mounting in recent days that a February election could be on the cards.

Michael Lowry TD
Michael Lowry TD
Image: RollingNews.ie

INDEPENDENT TD MICHAEL Lowry has said he believes Taoiseach Leo Varadkar will call a General Election before the Dáil has an opportunity to debate a confidence motion in Health Minister Simon Harris. 

Speculation has been mounting in recent days that a February election could be on the cards. 

The Taoiseach met with Micheál Martin on Thursday night to discuss the next general election and the precarious Dáil numbers.

The two leaders met for an hour before releasing an identical statement saying the talks had been “constructive” and stating that the pair would meet again next week. 

The election talk comes as rural independents threaten to put down a motion of no confidence in Harris. Such a motion puts further spotlight on the unstable Dáil numbers for the Taoiseach.

In a statement, Lowry said: “My assessment of the present political circumstances leads me to the firm conclusion that the current Dáil will not be given an opportunity to debate a confidence motion in Health Minister Simon Harris.”

The motion by the Rural Independent Group cannot be heard until 5 February. The Government relies on Lowry’s Dáil vote to survive confidence motions. 

Said Lowry: “I expect the Taoiseach will exercise his prerogative to call an election which will be well underway by 5 February, therefore speculation on my voting intentions is immaterial and irrelevant.”

Speaking to reporters ahead of a Fine Gael parliamentary party meeting yesterday, the Taoiseach said that as things stand the Dáil will reconvene next Wednesday as scheduled. 

When asked if a 14 February election might be on the cards, Varadkar referenced the possibility of a Valentine’s Day massacre for opposition parties. 

With reporting by Christina Finn

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