...And they're off! Election called for February 26

...And they're off! Election called for February 26

The Dáil is to be dissolved this morning and the campaigns are in full swing.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny sent out a tweet this morning confirming the date and saying that he was en route from the Dáil to Áras an Uachtaráin to ask President Michael D. Higgins to formally dissolve the Dáil.

It's a new dawn for Donegal, where new boundary lines mean that all of the county except for the area south of Laghey.

Ballintra, Ballyshannon, Bundoran and environs have now migrated to the new Sligo Leitrim consituency, which includes Sligo, Leitrim, south Donegal, and west Cavan.

Fourteen candidates are competing for five seats in Donegal.

Sitting TDs hoping to return are Joe McHugh (FG), Charlie McConalogue (FF), Pearse Doherty (SF), Padraig MacLochlainn (SF) and Thomas Pringle (Ind).

Also on the ballot are Frank McBrearty Jnr (Ind), Paula Flanagan (GP), Paddy Harte (FG), Dessie Shiels (Ind) Tim Jackson (Ind), Gary Doherty (SF), Niamh Kennedy (Ind) and Pat the Cope Gallagher (FF) and Ian McGarvey (Ind).

In Sligo Leitrim, eighteen candidates are fighting it out for four seats.

Incumbents here include John Perry and Tony McLoughlin (both FG).

Two senators, Mark MacSharry and Susan O'Keeffe are also in the running.

They are joined by former TDs Gerry Reynolds (FG) and Eamon Scanlon (FF) as well as Martin Kenny and Chris McManus (SF), Nigel Gallagher (PBP), Leslie O'Hora (GP), Finbarr Filan (Renua) and Independents Declan Bree, Marie Casserly, Des Guckian, Bernie O'Hara, Gary Smylie, Eamonn Murray and Bernard Sweeney.