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IRELAND: Taoiseach (PM) Leo Varadkar confirms to Cabinet that he will not seek a
December 2019 general election.
- Rumours that the Irish PM could call a vote in December to take advantage of
the delay to Brexit. However, it appears Varadkar has shifted against this
option, with May 2020 the preferred date.
- All three polls carried out in October have shown Varadkar's Fine Gael (FG)
party leading the main opposition Fianna Fail (FF). Range of leads though, with
FG up by between 1 and 8 percentage points on FF.
- FG does not currently hold a majority in the Dail Eireann, relying on FF in a
confidence and supply agreement that was intended to last until end-2018, but
has been extended through the course of Brexit negotiations.
- FG could be well positioned going into a 2020 election regarding Brexit.
Should Conservatives win a majority in the UK and leave the EU with a deal
Varadkar can claim his gov't mitigated impact of Brexit. If not, and there is a
2nd ref resulting in UK remaining, he can claim his patient stance enabled time
for UK to change its decision.