Fine Gael officials will meet today to formally open the contest to become the party’s new leader.
Prospective candidates are likely to have only two days to put their names in the ring to replace Enda Kenny.
Fine Gael is now officially looking for a new leader – as of midnight Enda Kenny vacated the office – with just 16 days of campaigning now getting underway.
That means the party can only today begin to officially draw up the plans for how he’ll be replaced.
It’s believed candidates will have until Saturday to submit nominations – which have to be signed by eight TDs, senators or MEPs.
There’ll then be a series of regional debates around the country, and a final meeting of the parliamentary party in about two weeks time.
Each of those may also serve as a polling station – allowing the votes to be counted on the first or second of June.
Those votes are weighted in a complex system that gives the most decisive say to the parliamentary party ever – a system being used for the first time they were adopted in 2004, after being backed by a leader of Young Fine Gael named Leo Varadkar.
Gerry O’Connell, Chairperson of the Fine Gael Executive Council says it’s extremely complex.
While Fine Gael will have a new leader by the June Bank Holiday weekend – with negotiations expected with other parties – it’ll be a little bit longer before that person becomes Taoiseach.