The moment everyone had been waiting for has gone and passed: Cowen went to Áras an Uachtaráin to receive the President's signature on the dissolution of the Dáil, and we finally have a firm election date - 25th February. It's one of the most important elections in the state's history, and there will no doubt be a few political musings of different colours on the web over the next few weeks, and perhaps even a few questions over the partys' online campaigning. So this is the first in a series of Irish election blog round-ups that I'm doing over the campaign with Stephen Spillane.*
Over at the Cedar Lounge Revolution, there have been a few thoughts on the latest polls.
The health system may turn out to be an important election issue, and Andy Pollak at Slugger O'Toole has been comparing the health systems North and South.
Veronica at Irish Election asks if the Labour Party are going to U-Turn and reject the IMF-EU bail-out deal outright.
Pete Barker at Slugger O'Toole picks up on an interview with Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams (who seems to be increasely staddled with the nickname "the Baron"), focusing on the SF bank guarantee narrative.
At the moment Enda Kenny and Eamon Gilmore appear to be the two most likely rivals for the post of Taoiseach. Jason Mahony asks how a rough election campaign may affect a coalition government.
Suggestions for other blogs covering the election to keep an eye on are welcome!
*UPDATE: Our round-ups will be cross-posted on MSN.ie, and if you want to send Stephen ideas, you can mail him at email@example.com.