Nominations for the leadership of the Social Democrats will open at 9 o' clock this morning and close next Wednesday at noon.

Rules underpinning the leadership election were agreed at a meeting of the party's National Executive last night

If there is a contested election, polls will close at the end of March and voting will be by digital ballot.

If there is only one candidate, that person will be deemed elected when nominations close on Wednesday, March 1.

The election of a new leader comes as the co-leaders of the party Catherine Murphy and Róisín Shortall confirmed they are resigning with immediate effect on Wednesday.



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