It’s widely expected that the Taoiseach is going to call the election some time over the next two weeks. There is much speculation as to the date, and importantly the day. Over at IrishElection.com they’ve launched a petition calling for the Government to not hold the election on a Thursday, favouring either Friday with late opening polls or preferably a Saturday.
I’ve just signed the petition (#815). The Local Elections in 2004 took place on a Friday, with polls open from 7am until 9pm if (I remember correctly). I went to great effort to ensure as many people as possible made it back from College and work in Dublin to get their votes in, but this wasn’t possible in all cases. Thankfully, I got enough votes to see me elected, but I definitely felt that there was a large amount of younger voters who lost out on voting in their local elections; even a 10pm close of polls would have been an improvement.
I’m delighted to support the campaign for a weekend poll; part of me thinks a Sunday may even be a good option, as happens in many European countries.
We should know fairly soon what day the election will be called on. I hope Bertie will see sense and go for a suitable date.