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Taoiseach Leo Varadkar with Fine Gael candidates for the Clare constituency Joe Carey (left) and Pat Breen (right), holding his 8-month-old grandaughter Aoibhin Breen, outside Clare FM during the last day of general election campaigning in Ennis, Co Clare. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Leo Varadkar has predicted “real difficulty” in forming government after the election. “If the polls are correct, then I think we are going to have (...)

From left: Ruth Coppinger Solidarity-People before Profit; Róisín Shortall, Social Democrats co-leader; Brendan Howlin, Labour Party leader; Peadar Tóibín, Aontú leader; and Eamon Ryan, Green Party leader. Photograph: Maxwell’s

The backstage riders for the final Leaders’ Debate (RTÉ One, Thursday, 9.35pm) must have involved industrial quantities of Gaviscon. Because the bigg(...)

Labour Party’s Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, Ivana Bacik and Ged Nash: Mr Nash has just completed his second course of antibiotics having been laid low by the flu. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

With the big guns still slugging it out over who will win the dubious right to attempt to govern, the smaller parties returned yesterday to their plac(...)

Fine Gael general election candidate Mary Newman Julian with Frank Mockler, left, and Con O’Dywer at the Mid Tipperary Co-Operative Livestock Mart in Thurles, Co Tipperary. Photograph: Diarmuid Greene

Canvassing in Co Tipperary resumed on Wednesday afternoon, after it was confirmed that voting will go ahead on Saturday. Voting in the constituency ha(...)

Should the State play a greater role in areas such as childcare and housing? The voters will have their say on Saturday.  Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

As the election enters the final lap, economic policies remain a key focus, particularly those related to spending in areas such as housing. The campa(...)

The two major parties spent €31,506 and €31,160 respectively on political advertisements on Facebook. File photograph: Dado Ruvic/Illustration/Reuters

Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael are by far the largest spenders on online political advertising in the past week, followed by the Labour Party, Sinn Féin, a(...)

All the parties want to spend more on hospitals, but also more on primary care and GPs. And they want to cut a variety of patient charges. Photograph: PA

Health is supposed to be one of the key battlegrounds in the election campaign, but there is a large degree of unanimity in the different party manife(...)

 Saoirse McHugh, the Green Party’s candidate for Mayo,  chatting to Vincent Barrett while on the campaign trail in Foxford. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

One day last week Green Party candidate Saoirse McHugh called to a house while canvassing in Mayo and talked to the woman there. It was evening and sh(...)

There is an apocryphal quote that is often attributed to the late US president Lyndon Johnson about the vagaries of elections. After losing a parti(...)

Ruth Coppinger’s predecessor Joe Higgins arrives to give a hand. As shoppers say hello to him, he says: ‘We need to keep a fighter in there. You could have four males elected and no female fighter’. Photograph: Harry McGee

Ongar town centre is so new that it still looks like an architect’s drawing: fresh-looking buildings, a smattering of people, and green areas with sap(...)

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