The Irish prime minister, Leo Varadkar, will ask the president, Michael D Higgins, to dissolve parliament on Tuesday in order to call a parliamentary election on 8 February, local media reported.
Varadkar said on Sunday that he had made a decision on the timing of a general election but would meet his cabinet on Tuesday and speak to the leader of the main opposition party before ending the uncertainty.
Varadkar told his ministers that he would travel to the president’s residence to get his approval to formally start the campaign and hold the poll in February, the Irish Times and national broadcaster RTE reported.
Katherine Zappone, the children’s minister and an independent lawmaker, said on her way into the cabinet meeting that she expected it to be the last time her colleagues met ahead of a February poll.
Varadkar’s Fine Gael and the fellow centre-right Fianna Fáil are closely matched in opinion polls and some distance ahead of their other rivals, increasingly the likelihood that one of the two parties with similar policies on the economy and Brexit will lead another minority administration.
More details soon …
- General election 2019: How the BBC calculates and reports results
- Johnson wins 'huge' mandate for swift Brexit in UK election
- General Election 2019: Boris Johnson has pulled off a victory to match the best of the Thatcher years
- UK election: Boris Johnson’s whopping majority could pave the way for softer Brexit, analysts say
- What will happen to Brexit now and when will Britain leave the EU?
- What does the Tories' landslide victory mean for Brexit?
- Next stage Brexit talks must be done by October - Varadkar
- Celebrity deaths in 2019: Famous faces lost this year from Gary Rhodes to Toni Morrison
- The UK and the EU part 3: Should I stay or should I go?
- When is the Queen's Speech and when will Parliament sit after Boris Johnson win?
- Brexit, the Beast from the East and plenty of bouncing Royal babies: As the decade draws to a close, MailOnline looks back on ten years marked by political turmoil, extreme weather and the Queen's acting debut at the Olympics
- The ultimate guide to Donald Trump's UK visit
- Offshore in central London: the curious case of 29 Harley Street