Labour casts net online as Joan Burton takes to Twitter
LABOUR leader Joan Burton is to invite the public to talk to her via Facebook and Twitter.
Ms Burton has also written to her party's members asking them to tell her what issues she should priorities in the fight for re-election.
Members are asked to choose between 10 options, including stable public finances, improved access to health care, greater access to education and training, job creation and support for small businesses. The party will use the information to draft its manifesto for the election expected at very latest before April 8 next year.
Speculation has been growing that the Government could opt for an early election after a poll bounce last weekend.
But yesterday Ms Burton said there were good arguments to allow the Government run its full term and allow the benefits of economic recovery spread countrywide.
In her letter to members, Ms Burton says: "The next General Election will be held next year, and as part of our planning for that campaign I want to hear your views. What are the issues that affect you, your family and community that should be our key election priorities?"
The party has also included a six-question survey for members to complete in which they can outline what they consider the most important issues for the campaign.
The party is also holding a number of policy discussions across the country, with the first meeting in Dublin tonight followed by similar gatherings in Kilkenny, Cork, Galway and Limerick.
It is just a year since the party leader and her colleagues travelled the country holding meetings as part of the campaign to elect a new leader and deputy leader.
Ms Burton said after the membership meetings the consultation campaign will move to the general public, including a live opportunity with the Tanaiste on social media via the Twitter hashtag "#TalktoJoan." Citizens will also be given the chance to submit their own ideas for government change via Twitter and Facebook.
The move comes as Labour hopes to arrest its continuing slump in opinion polls.