THE IRISH PRESIDENTIAL election is to be held on Friday, 26 October, it has been confirmed.
Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy confirmed the news this morning on RTÉ’s Today with Miriam O’Callaghan.
In a statement, Murphy announced that he had made a Presidential Election Order, setting out key dates in the election process.
The last date for receipt of a nomination is 26 September while the winner of the 26 October election will be inaugurated two weeks later on 11 November 2018.
Murphy has appointed Barry Ryan as the Presidential Returning Officer.
Numerous prospective candidates have declared their intentions to challenge incumbent Michael D Higgins in the coming election, including businessman Gavin Duffy, activist Kevin Sharkey, independent Senator Joan Freeman, and journalist Gemma O’Doherty.
Higgins himself declared his intention to seek re-election in June.
Since the signing of the presidential election order, the nomination period commences on 30 August and closes 28 days later on 26 September.
In order to get onto the ballot, a candidate must secure the backing of 20 elected representatives (TDs or Senators) or four county councils.
Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil have both stated that they will back Higgins in his re-election bid.
Sinn Féin meanwhile is expected to announce its own candidate in due course, with much speculation the person put forward will be MEP Laidh Ní Riada.
People who are eligible to vote in the upcoming election but are not registered still have time to apply get onto the supplementary register.
Application forms can be downloaded here.