Taoiseach intends to call four byelections for November 29th

Leo Varadkar’s signal dampens intense speculation of imminent general election

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said it it the intention to hold the byelections by the end of November. File photograph: Collins

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said it it the intention to hold the byelections by the end of November. File photograph: Collins

 

The Taoiseach has signalled that the four byelections to replace TDs elected to the European Parliament will go ahead on November 29th.

Leo Varadkar’s comments follow intense speculation last week that a general election might take place in November, especially if the British parliament backed the Brexit withdrawal agreement by October 31st.

But the Taoiseach said that following “discussion with party leaders it was agreed that we would hold the by elections by the end of November . . . So our intention is the last Friday in November. I think it’s the 29th so that means moving the writ not next week but the week after.”

He was responding to Labour TD Jan O’Sullivan, who asked for “some certainty” for the candidates who had been chosen to run.

There will be byelections in Cork North Central to succeed former Fianna Fáil TD Billy Kelleher and in Dublin Fingal, the constituency of former Independents4Change TD Clare Daly.

There will also be byelections in Dublin Mid-West where former tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald was elected to the European Parliament, and in Wexford which is the constituency of former TD and newly elected MEP Mick Wallace.